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What Do PrettyLitter Colors Mean?

Once, somebody asked me what was the best invention ever created for the feline world.

The answer was easy. I didn’t have to think about it.

PrettyLitter,” I responded quickly.

You won’t have to worry as much about how your cat is doing because it’s an excellent tool for monitoring your cat’s health. So, what does PrettyLitter do, exactly? The litter changes color to help notify me when something might be wrong with my kitty’s urinary tract, for instance, if there’s a potential urinary tract infection. If it shows a potential health issue for move than a day, I immediately take my cat to the veterinarian to ensure he is okay or prevent the condition from worsening.

How Did PrettyLitter Begin?

Daniel Rotman founded PrettyLitter in 2015 with that goal in mind – to help cat parents detect a cat’s potential health problem early.

His sister had gifted him his first cat, Gingi, when she was 10. After many happy years together, his cat became ill and Rotman realized he didn’t have at-hometools to help keep an eye on his furbaby’s health.

Daniel wished he could have been able to help Gingi more. She, like many other cats, hid their pain. Animal experts often comment that cats are among the most stoic animals.

During that time, the seeds to create PrettyLitter took root. He developed proprietary technology that helps cat parents monitor for potential health issues. This can help other pat parents take their little tabby to the animal doctor early to prevent the illness from becoming severe. Many cat parents reported back to PrettyLitter that the litter helped save their cat’s life.

How Does the Litter Work?

When feline mothers and fathers start using the litter, they always want to know how this unique litter works. It’s all about the cat urine’s pH level – which measures the amount of acidity or alkalinity in an animal’s liquid waste.

Unlike traditional clay cat litter, PrettyLitter has unique technology which determines a cat’s pH level. The normal pH range of cat urine is between 6.0 to 6.5. Chemical reactions occur when acids or alkalines come in contact with Pretty Litter and change the litter’s color.

PrettyLitter show change four colors: dark yellow/olive green, orange, blue, and red. It is important to note that while the color change helps inform pet parents and veterinarians about the cat’s health condition, a diagnosis should not depend on only the color change. Parents and animal doctors need to consider other factors – such as the cat’s environment and if the cat is showing any other symptoms.

The Colors

Dark yellow/olive green

This shade means the urine’s acidity or alkaline level is within the typical pH range for the feline.

Orange

Orange means the kitty’s urine has an abnormal acidity in their urine, indicating the cat’s pH level is below the normal-cat range. As a result, the kitty may have kidney issues or struvite crystals in the urinary tract system.

Blue or Dark Green

These colors mean the cat’s urine has high alkaline levels. As a result, this means the kitty may be suffering from a cat urinary tract infection or feline bladder stones.

Red

Blood in the urine is a condition called hematuria. If you notice red in the litter, the color signals blood in the kitty’s urine. It’s easy for people to spot the red against the white-crystal litter. Bloody urine means the kitty may have bladder crystals, feline lower urinary tract disorder, or certain types of cat kidney disease.

Litter and Science Experiments

Skeptical kitty owners can conduct a science experiment at home to see how the health monitoring litter works. This experiment involves mixing the litter with different ingredients that would mimic the color change that would occur based on the urine’s pH level.

For instance, tap water has the normal pH range found in cats. Therefore, when pouring tap water into the litter, the transparent crystal litter should turn greenish-yellowish – the color of a healthy cat’s urine.

Try mixing vinegar with litter to get the same orange color resulting from high-acid urine levels.

For the blue color, try ammonia. This will demonstrate how alkaline liquid reacts with the litter.

No pH reaction occur when blood touches litter; rather, the red liquid is easy to see on white litter.

More Information About The Diagnosis

Now that you’ve gotten some information about how PrettyLitter’s health monitor works, you’re ready to learn about the illnesses associated with the various colors.

The colors may help to indicate the presence of many Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) conditions. FLUTD refers to multiple conditions that can affect a cat’s lower urinary tract system – a cat's kidneys, ureters (the tubes that link the kidneys to the bladder), the bladder, and the urethra (the tube urine flows through to exit the body). Many of the conditions PrettyLitter detects affect a cat’s FLUTD.

Urinary Tract Infection

The Illness

One of the most common health issues PrettyLitter can help indicate is a urinary tract infection (UTI). These infections form when bacteria congregate in a cat’s urethra or bladder. UTIs most commonly occur in females. Cats with these risk factors are most vulnerable to getting a UTI:

  1. Obesity
  2. Poor grooming
  3. Diabetes
  4. Kidney disease
  5. Anatomical changes in the bladder or urethra

Symptoms

Cat parents can also look for the following symptoms to find more evidence the cat is suffering from a UTI:

  1. Straining to urinate
  2. Urinating out of the litter box
  3. Hematuria
  4. Frequent urination but only in small amounts
  5. Crying out while urinating
  6. Genital licking

Bladder Stones or Crystals

The Illness

Orange litter may signify cats have bladder stones or crystals. Other times, they may occur due to the cat’s diet or genetics. Both stones and crystals are waste particles found in a feline’s urine. They form when the waste product concentration is so high, the waste products become solid particles.

It’s challenging to see crystals when they first form. You would need a microscope to see them. But, as the crystals grow, they can become bladder stones. As the stones increase in size, they can become as large as the bladder.

If parents suspect their kitty has urinary stones (also known as urolithiasis), they must take the kitty immediately to the veterinarian. Bladder stones can occur anywhere in the urinary tract system – from the kidneys to the ureter to the bladder. However, bladder stones can be fatal because they block urine from flowing out of the urethra. This health problem is especially true with male kitties. Even waiting a few hours can be dangerous.

The following factors play a role in whether a cat will have bladder stones or crystals:

  1. Sex
  2. Breed
  3. Age
  4. Diet
  5. Underlying health condition

Symptoms

Cat parents can also be on the lookout for the following symptoms to help determine if the cat does, indeed, have bladder stones/crystals:

  1. Straining to urinate
  2. Frequent urination
  3. Genital licking
  4. Blood in the urine
  5. Painful urination – the cat may howl while urinating.
  6. Urinary tract obstruction
  7. Urine spraying
  8. Urinating out of the litter box

Feline Idiopathic Cystitis (FIC)

The Illness

A blue color may also mean the cat has Feline Idiopathic Cystitis. FIC, which is also known as Feline Interstitial Cystitis, is a lower urinary tract illness that causes a cat’s bladder to inflame. The inflammation causes the bladder wall to thicken. Veterinarians can diagnose this with an ultrasound or a cystoscopy – a procedure where the veterinarian uses a scope to view the bladder.

Cats with FIC experience many of the same symptoms as those with a UTI. However, the difference between the two conditions is that bacteria cause a UTI. Animal experts are still trying to figure out what causes FIC. FIC is still dangerous because the inflammation can become so severe, it can block the urinary tract – keeping the kitty from urinating. Not being able to urinate can result in a medical emergency.

To determine if a cat does, indeed, have FIC, a veterinarian must exclude other conditions such as bladder stones, UTI, urethral obstruction, acute kidney injury, idiopathic renal hematuria ( a rare condition that causes kidney bleeding), blood clotting disorders, toxin ingestion, prostate disease, or cancer. The exclusion procedure is stressful and expensive, but it is an important puzzle piece to determine what is wrong with the cat.

The following risk factors may make a cat more vulnerable to FIC –

  1. Age
  2. Obesity
  3. Being male
  4. Stress

Symptoms

  1. Straining to urinate
  2. Urinating more often – frequent litter box trips
  3. Frequent urination but only in small amounts
  4. Hematuria
  5. Urinating outside of the litter box – especially on cool, smooth surfaces – like hard, tile floors
  6. Genital licking
  7. Crying out or meowing while urinating
  8. Lack of energy
  9. Decreased appetite
  10. Vomiting or diarrhea
  11. Hiding

Conclusion

PrettyLitter colors can provide valuable insights into the health of your feline friend. The color changes may indicate potential health concerns such as urinary tract infections, kidney problems, and other issues that may require immediate attention from a veterinarian. By regularly monitoring the color of your cat's litter, you can stay ahead of potential health problems and ensure your furry friend stays happy and healthy. Remember, a small change in litter color could make a big difference in your cat's life.

 

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Sources:

  1. Merck Veterinary Manuarl, Urinary Stones (Uroliths, Calculi) in Cats. Retrieved from: https://www.merckvetmanual.com/cat-owners/kidney-and-urinary-tract-disorders-of-cats/urinary-stones-uroliths,-calculi-in-cats
  2. WebMD, Bladder Stones in Cats. Retrieved from: https://www.webmd.com/pets/cats/bladder-stones-cats
  3. PetMD, Bladder Stones and Crystals in Cat Urine. Retrieved from: https://www.petmd.com/cat/conditions/urinary/bladder-stones-and-crystals-cat-urine
  4. PetMD, Feline Idiopathic Cystitis (FIC) in Cats. Retrieved from: https://www.petmd.com/cat/conditions/urinary/feline-idiopathic-cystitis-fic-cats
  5. ThoughtCo, What Acid Is in Vinegar? Vinegar Chemical Composition. Retrieved from: https://www.thoughtco.com/what-acid-is-in-vinegar-603637
  6. Pet Health Network, Feline Idiopathic Cystitis (FIC). Retrieved from: https://www.pethealthnetwork.com/cat-health/cat-diseases-conditions-a-z/feline-idiopathic-cystitis-fic
  7. PetMD, FLUTD (Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease). Retrieved from: https://www.petmd.com/cat/conditions/urinary/feline_idiopathic_lower_urinary_tract_disease
  8. PetMD, How to Test the pH Levels of Cat Urine. Retrieved from: https://www.petmd.com/news/view/how-test-ph-levels-cat-urine-37337
  9. Merck Manual: Veterinary Manual, The Urinary System of Cats. Retrieved from: https://www.merckvetmanual.com/cat-owners/kidney-and-urinary-tract-disorders-of-cats/the-urinary-system-of-cats
  10. Veterinarians, Cat UTI Treatment: A Comprehensive Guide. Retrieved from: https://www.veterinarians.org/cat-uti-treatment/
  11. VCA Hospitals, Bladder Stones in Cats. Retrieved from: https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/bladder-stones-in-cats

 

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