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CAT CARE > Cat Health > How to Read the Litter Box for Health Clues

How to Read the Litter Box for Health Clues

Making sure that Kitty gets help when she needs it.

You’ve heard about reading tea leaves, right? It’s called tasseography, and it’s a method of fortune telling through interpreting patterns in the leaves.

Well, cats are having none of it. They want you to read about the here and now through clues they leave in the litterbox. Felines are notoriously good at hiding when they’re sick. After all, they can’t just tell you. But sometimes you just have to think inside the box.

These signs from the litter box are a good indication that it’s time to call the vet:

  1. Oops, I did it again: Is Kitty continually going outside the box? If you’ve already gone through the steps of cleaning the litter box (she likes a clean box), and using enzyme cleaner to dissuade her from going in the same spot — and still, she persists — it’s a good indication that she might be sick or stressed. Call the vet.
  2. Peeing, the Sequels: Is Kitty repeatedly visiting the box, trying to pee? Worse, have you noticed there’s blood in the pee? This is a strong sign she has a UTI, which are very painful for cats (and humans). She needs a vet’s help immediately.
  3. Off schedule pooping: Cats typically pee a couple times a day and poop once a day. If Kitty is visiting the litter box a lot, or visibly straining when trying to poop, she might be constipated. And if it’s just a mess in there, and Kitty has diarrhea for more than a day, it’s time to call the vet. Her tummy is upset, and she might (ick!) have worms. Basically, any drastic change, either going to the bathroom a lot more or a lot less than usual is cause to call the vet.
  4. Size matters: Fresh Step® clumping litter is a great choice not only because it cleans up easily, but also because it helps you monitor the size of those clumps. If you notice that clumps are smaller than usual, it might indicate that there’s a bladder infection going on. If they’re much larger than usual, and you see Kitty drinking a lot of water, she might be suffering from kidney problems. Again, time for a vet visit.

Sure, you may not be able to perform tasseography and read the future. But with litterography (that’s a term we just made up and we’re going to use it all the time now), you’ll be able to read the litter box clues — and get your faithful furry companion to the vet just as she needs it.

Need more litter than usual? Join the Paw Points® program, and every purchase will earn you points. You can then redeem those points for free litter or coupons. Fresh litter — and good kitty health — for all!

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