Staying on top of your cat’s health can be difficult, even if you religiously take your pet to the veterinarian for regular checkups and dental care. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) and conditions like kidney tubular acidosis often create health problems that can’t be anticipated.
The clinical signs are often missed until the cat begins exhibiting troubling behavior, such as difficulty urinating, often resulting in a veterinary emergency. PrettyLitter provides you with a convenient way to keep an eye on your pet’s health. The innovative crystal litter is pH sensitive, turning one of four colors depending on the acidity of your cat’s urine. While not perfect, it provides another piece of information that you can use to keep your cat healthy.
What Is PrettyLitter?
PrettyLitter is a crystal litter that changes color in response to the acidity of your cat’s urine. It turns yellow or green if everything is within a normal pH range. High pH readings are indicated by the crystals turning blue. According to the PrettyLitter website, high pH readings often indicate a bacterial UTI.
When exposed to low-pH urine, the crystals turn dark orange, which often accompanies metabolic acidosis and kidney tubular acidosis, two kidney stone precursors. Red crystals indicate the presence of urinary tract inflammation, blood in the urine, or a UTI.
It’s a crystal-based product, meaning you won’t be able to remove urine clumps during daily cleanings. Litter color changes and smell are the only ways to be sure all the crystals are saturated.
There are two ways to get your hands on PrettyLitter. Head to the website, answer a few questions to find out how much of the product you’ll need every month, and sign up for the subscription service to have cat litter delivered to your door every 3 or 4 weeks.
Alternatively, you can find the product at Target and Walmart stores, making it easy to give the litter a try without worrying about canceling anything if you’re not satisfied.
Here is an infographic about PrettyLitter colors and their meanings.
|Blood in urine
|No associated conditions
|Calcium oxalate crystals
Kidney tubular acidosis
Is PrettyLitter a Scientifically Proven Diagnostic Product?
Absolutely not. The company doesn’t claim its products will catch all infections or inflammatory conditions. Nor does the manufacturer claim that the litter’s pH readings provide any definitive information about the overall state of a cat’s health.
At no point does PrettyLitter claim that green crystals mean that there’s nothing wrong with your cat and that red ones indicate an emergency veterinary visit is overdue. The litter reflects your cat’s health, as noted in the acidity of your pet’s urine, which is only one of several vital biomarkers.
Some owners have had positive experiences with the product, as it accurately indicated a feline health issue that needed addressing. Others have expressed disappointment with the product due to its failure to warn about conditions like UTIs that were later clinically diagnosed.
It’s essentially up to each owner to decide how to best use PrettyLitter’s pH information. But the answer to the initial question is no, PrettyLitter isn’t a scientifically proven diagnostic tool.
Clay, Crystal, or Biodegradable Litter?
There are roughly three types of cat litter currently on the market.
Clay litter is usually bentonite clay, which clumps and traps moisture. Clumping products make it easy to scoop out urine and feces from litter boxes, and clay is pretty effective at limiting smells.
Crystal products are a great choice if you’re interested in reducing dust and tracking. Clay products produce a good bit of dust and are easy for cats to track throughout the house. A great deal of vacuuming is often required to keep clay-based-litter-associated dust under control. Crystal-based cat litters usually produce far less dust, making them ideal for people or cats with allergies or conditions such as asthma. PrettyLitter is, according to its manufacturer, 99% dust free!
Crystal litters also tend to last longer and are often easier on the pocketbook than clay litters that require weekly replacement. PrettyLitter usually only needs to be changed once a month.
Biodegradable products are the third option. These choices break down after use instead of contributing to landfill growth. Although they’re often marketed as flushable, putting cat waste down the toilet is problematic for public health reasons. The practice can lead to unhygienic sewer backups and the infection of wetland animals with human pathogens.
However, biodegradable options have many benefits, even if they aren’t technically flushable. Many are made with sustainable materials such as recycled newspapers or dried tofu. Most feature recycled or recyclable packaging, giving these products reasonably good sustainability profiles.
They’re available in clumping and non-clumping options, and you can also find scented and unscented choices. Many unscented products include natural odor neutralizers such as baking soda. You can find several options if environmental sustainability is essential to you.
Disposing of Biodegradable Litter
There are two ways to dispose of used biodegradable kitty litter responsibly: Throw it in the trash or compost it. It’s fine to throw these products away, but using a recycled, biodegradable trash bag can reduce your cat’s overall carbon footprint.
Instead of tossing it in the trash, you can take biodegradable litter to the compost bin. You’ll need to throw away the bits your cat pees or poops on, but the other parts can be composted and used on non-edible plants.
PrettyLitter is a crystal, non-clumping product that offers information about your cat’s urinary tract health. It changes colors to reflect the pH of your pet’s urine, which may provide an early indication of some types of illness. PrettyLitter isn’t a medical product, though, nor does it claim to be one. It’s a litter that can provide a bit of feedback on the acidity of your cat’s urine. Ultimately, it’s up to you to determine if PrettyLitter is necessary for your pet’s litter box.
Featured Image Credit: PrettyLitter