Litter Box Care and Your Cat's Health

posted: by: Aztec Pet Hospital Tags: "Clinic Specials" "News" 

  Most pet owners look on cleaning their cat’s litter box as a necessary evil to control unpleasant odors and to keep their cat using the box. Did you know that your cat’s health also depends on maintaining a clean environment for them to use when they need to go.


  Felines can be very finicky when it comes to the state of their litter box and quite frankly they don’t want to get their paws dirty by digging in dirty litter. Some will go outside the box but some will “hold it” to avoid a full, filthy litter box. When your cat keeps himself from urinating his urine gets more concentrated and this can lead to a life-threatening condition called Feline Urethral Obstruction (FUO). Cats with FUO may form stones, crystals, or mucous plugs in their urethra that prevents them from urinating. Not only is this very painful it can also lead to temporary kidney failure, electrolyte abnormalities, vomiting, lethargy, cardiac arrhythmias, and death. Other problems such as feline lower urinary tract disease or sterile cystitis can also develop. How do you prevent all this? SCOOP!!


  When you scoop frequently it will also help you spot medical issues earlier. If your cat isn’t urinating, you’ll know that when there is no urine in the litter box for two days. If your cat is constipated or has diarrhea and you don’t catch it early it will only be a bigger (and potentially more expensive) problem when you do finally figure it out.


  The point is you’ll never know if you aren’t scooping enough.


  So how often should you clean (scoop) your cat’s litter box? The bare minimum would be every other day but your cat will be happier if you scoop daily. Clumping litter works well for most cats and is easier to keep clean. As the litter level goes down add fresh litter to a level of two to three inches. All cats react differently to the type of litter used, rate of scooping etc. so experiment with what works best for you and your cat.