The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered pet food companies to remove cat litter from their shelves by March 31.
Cat litter is a major contributor to the country’s rising rates of asthma and other respiratory illnesses, and a recent study showed the rate of cats eating cat litter in America has increased by nearly 25 percent in the last 20 years.
In a press release Thursday, the EPA said the agency has “adopted a new rule that prohibits retailers from selling pet food that contains cat litter” and it will “require companies to comply with this new rule by March 1, 2020.”
The move comes after several states, including Arizona, have introduced legislation to prohibit the sale of cat litter.
Arizona already has a cat litter law on the books that prohibits selling and distributing cat litter for any purpose other than cleaning it.
The FDA said the rule would also apply to “other cat litter products,” which include cat bedding, cat litter and dog food.
In recent years, the number of Americans reporting allergies to cat litter has grown by more than 25 percent, according to the CDC.
In October, the American Veterinary Medical Association recommended that veterinarians treat pets with cat litter as a first line of defense against allergies.