As a certified crazy cat lady, I was *thrilled* to hear that there was a new product on the market that could provide early detection for a handful of serious feline illnesses before my Siberian cat, Figgy, would even show any symptoms — basically a pet parent’s dream, right? It’s called Pretty Litter, and it offers diagnostic, eco-friendly and lightweight litter that actually changes color when it detects illnesses in your cat — and it’s delivered straight to your doorstep so you don’t have to lug around heavy cat litter on your next shopping trip. In that regard, it’s a lifesaver in many ways.
We chatted with Veterinarian Geoff DeWire of Douglassville Pets, who is the “Vet-in-Chief” and medical advisor on the Pretty Litter team. He explained that Pretty Litter currently detects four things in the urine which cause the litter to change color: bilirubin (may indicate FeLV, fatty liver syndrome, cancer, pancreatitis and infectious or metabolic diseases), red blood cells (may indicate bladder inflammation, kidney stones or urinary tract infections), alkaline urine (can lead to urinary tract infections or stress-related bladder inflammation) and acidic urine (can lead to metabolic acidosis and kidney tubular acidosis). Yep, you could know all of that instantly from what may seem like a routine trip to the litter box.
As a pet owner, I know all to well that it’s heartbreaking to learn too late that your animal has been ill and/or suffering without you even being aware. It’s also frustrating and perplexing how and why cats can seem to just weather the storm when it comes to illness. Geoff explained that, “It’s the evolutionary nature of the animal. Cats are a stoic species. In the wild, it doesn’t benefit them to show signs of weakness — it can actually make them a target for predators — so they just quietly deal with illnesses, often without showing any signs of pain.” I’m not crying, YOU’RE CRYING.
Any way you can proactively detect illness in your feline is invaluable, especially when the form of detection is built in to you + your cat’s routine. It couldn’t be easier to ensure your cat is healthy and happy, not to mention a way to keep your pet budgets in check since you’ll theoretically be able to get to the vet earlier instead of when it’s potentially too late and very costly. Geoff said that the eventual goal of Pretty Litter is to be able to detect way more than the current four categories of illnesses it can alert kitty mommas + poppas to, but we’ll take its current notifications over nothing at all.
Pretty Litter plans to begin shipping pre-orders to customers in mid-December, with a one-month supply costing $19, a two-month supply costing $35 and a three-month supply costing $60.
Would you use an early illness detection product for your animal? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
(Photo via Rob Stothard/Getty)