Having enough litter boxes for your cats is important to keep them healthy.
This stops there being a problem with some cats being possessive and bullying. Cats that don’t have easy access to a litter box risk increased stress or problems like cystitis. Alternatively, they may then poop elsewhere, which can be unpleasant or even pose health risks to their humans.
Despite how important clean litter boxes are to the health of our cats, cleaning them is still one of the least favourite chores of any household!
There are many alternatives marketed to take advantage of our distaste for this task. Most people aren’t prepared to spend hundreds of dollars on the latest automated litter box just to save a few minutes and some smell.
There has been increased interest in flushable cat litter, or even training your cat to use the toilet directly – although they’re no good at flushing after!
While some cat litters claim to be flushable, not all toilet and sewer systems can cope with them. It’s very easy to overload the toilet system – especially with modern water-saving toilets.
Septic tanks are also not designed to deal with the type of material found in cat litter. It is much simpler just to bag it and dispose of it in household waste. If you are concerned about plastic waste, use a biodegradable bag.
Perhaps more importantly, cats can carry a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii. This is spread in their waste and can transmit to humans, particularly affecting young children or pregnant women.
Our water treatment plants are not equipped to deal with this parasite and it is spreading in the water systems. It is also now found to be affecting marine mammals such as sea otters, with a suspected link to flushing cat waste.
Pints of Pee?
Thirdly, if your cat is going directly on the toilet, you are missing a key factor in looking after their health. If you notice your cat urinating more, it can be a key sign of several diseases.
Diabetes and kidney disease are both prevalent in our cats and increased urination is an early sign. Early treatment means a better outcome, so not keeping an eye on your kitty’s litter habits means potentially missing vital information about keeping your cat healthy.
Sometimes, the old fashioned way really is the best!