This Kitty Litter Changes Color to Gauge Your Cat's Health

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It's every cat owner's nightmare to bring kitty in for a routine checkup and discover that they have a serious health condition. That can often happen even when the owner never noticed any signs that their cat was sick. That's why one company created PrettyLitter, a color-changing kitty litter that keeps tabs on your cat's health by changing color in response to telltale chemical cues.

See the Signs

That exact nightmare happened to PrettyLitter's CEO and co-founder, Daniel Rotman. His beloved cat, Gingi, contracted feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), but never let on that she was ill. "It was brewing in her, and I had no clue," he told OregonLive. "She was acting fine."

Unlike people, or even dogs, who are highly social and likely to show behavioral signs of illness, sick cats are more likely to withdraw and hide. That withdrawal isn't anything against you; rather, it's a survival instinct. Sick animals are easy prey in the wild, so cats put on a brave face and stay hidden to protect themselves while they (hopefully) get better. Combine that with the fact that most cats are independent creatures who spend time on their own anyway, and owners may not notice that anything is off when they haven't seen their cat in a few hours.

The virus eventually killed Gingi, and Rotman was left wondering what he could have done differently. That led to the creation of PrettyLitter, a silica gel cat litter that changes color to keep tabs on a cat's health.

A green color signals abnormal acidity, while blue signals abnormal alkalinity.

How It Works

The litter is made of silica gel, a translucent, incredibly porous material that can absorb up to 150 percent of its weight in liquid. The silica gel crystals are formulated with a reagent that changes color in response to pH and the presence of blood. If your cat's urine is alkaline — that is, higher on the pH scale — the litter will turn blue to alert you that urinary tract infections and bladder crystals could be on the horizon. If it's acidic — lower on the pH scale — the litter turns green as a sign of potential kidney issues or diabetes. If there's blood present, that's a sign that your cat may currently have bladder inflammation, bladder stones, or a urinary tract infection, and the litter will turn red.

Of course, the litter shouldn't be used as a diagnosis, just a head's up to let owners know they should take their cat to the veterinarian for a checkup. But with visible warning signs, PrettyLitter goes a long way to keeping you informed about whether your cat is sick. After all, Fluffy certainly isn't going to tell you.

Want to help your kitty stay healthy? You can use the promo code "CURIOUS" for 15% off your first subscription order.

Dr. Geoff DeWire on PrettyLitter

Written by Ashley Hamer October 20, 2017
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