Posted by Farley
If there’s one thing I have absolutely have no tolerance for, it’s a dirty litter box. I demand a clean litter box every day and I am lucky my hoomans feel the same way. The first thing either my mom or dad do in the morning is scoop out the litter box. When they come home it’s the same thing. My box is always clean and never soiled for more than a few hours.
They do this because they have a little bit of compulsive, obsessive disorder, but also do this because my mom read an article about the importance of a clean litter box. While kitties like myself are cute and wonderful… hanging out with us means cleaning our litter box on a regular basis. You really shouldn’t be lazy when you own a cat or any pet for that matter. It takes responsibility and I see many loving pet owners fail to see that they can harm their pet’s health due to their laziness.
You need to know you are doing nothing but making your cat suffer when you don’t clean their box on a regular basis. Cats are finicky when it comes to their personal hygiene. If the box isn’t clean, they will try to hold it in. The longer you delay the cleaning, the longer they will try to avoid using the bathroom. This will ultimately exacerbate any health issues they develop in the future and can easily cause some diseases. Here are some feline illnesses that can be connected to having a dirty litter box according to PetMD:
- Urinary tract infections is when you cat has blood in the urine, difficult or painful urination, abnormal, frequent urination, peeing in inappropriate locations or partial or complete blockage of the urethra. This is actually a very common disease in male cats, I actually have it, but my trigger is obviously not a dirty litter box, it’s mental over stimulation. (When I get too excited I pee blood, and then mommy gives me a drug and I am all better within a few hours.)
- Kidney and bladder stones are rock-like deposits of minerals, crystals and organic material that are found in a cat’s bladder. They can be small in size or grow and rub against the bladder walls, causing inflammation. Bladder stones can also lead to blockage and interfere with a cat’s ability to urinate.
But dirty litter boxes don’t just affect cats. It’s bad for hooman health too. Mommy had to go to one of her friend’s homes recently to clean their cat boxes. They have multiple cats and left on vacation. When she got to the laundry room where the sole litter box was kept, she nearly choked! The litter box hadn’t been cleaned out in at least a week and there were feces spread all over the floor and right outside the room. The litter box itself was full of feces and urine. Mommy couldn’t eat for the rest of the day. The sights and smell were just too much. But because she’s a clean freak, she ended up giving the laundry room a good cleaning before the family got back. She later learned there were so many things that put her health at risk when she did that:
Overexposure to ammonia is common to humans as they clean out extremely dirty litter boxes. As urine and feces accumulate in the litter box, fumes are produced. Ammonia is a toxic gas that causes queasiness and headaches and can cause serious respiratory problems like pneumonia. The effects of this poisonous gas can especially be horrible for children, seniors, and those with weak immune systems.
Bacterial infection and salmonellosis are just two bacteria-caused diseases that can be traced back to cat pee and poop. The infections first spread in the cat, although some kitties may not show symptoms. It gets into humans during the belated cleaning process.
Parasite transfer happens when cat excrement becomes full of parasites, the scariest being Toxoplasma gondii—a parasite that produces fever-like symptoms and has been linked to suicidal tendencies. Other parasites you need to be on the lookout for are hookworms, roundworms, and ringworms.
Besides the scooping every day, which literally takes less than five minutes, my mom cleans and bleaches my litter box once per month. If she is feeling lazy or too busy, she just buys a new litter box for five bucks and tosses out the other one. She also recently discovered a new cat litter called “Slide by Arm and Hammer.” Nothing sticks to the litter box so it scoops up in seconds. (They did not pay me anything to write this. I just like their product. The only thing is that you must use a good litter mat with it… because the sandy-like granules can spread all over your floor.)
She may be bit of an extremist when it comes to cleaning, but she takes pride in knowing her house doesn’t smell like a house with multiple pets. While Mommy is a crazy cat lady, she doesn’t really want to live up to the stereotype. Of course, we’re both not judgmental, so to each his own. But she and I both want you to know, you and your cat are nothing without good health. So why not take preventative action to prevent any illnesses? Cleaning really doesn’t have to take much time and that’s Whisker Fabulous!