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Cat Health

Diagnostic Cat Litters Help Spot Health Problems

diagnostic cat litters

Diagnostic cat litters can help you identify urinary problems in cats before they become full-blown medical emergencies. Cats are naturally prone to urinary problems like FLUTD, FUS, cystitis, blockages and more – but early detection can go a long way towards reducing medical bills and maybe even saving your cat’s life.

If you have any experience at all with cats, you know that they are masters of hiding pain. When they do finally decide to let you know they’re miserable, the issue is generally so far along that there are few options available for treatment.

Often, the only way we can determine a potential health problem is through their blood or urine. Since few of us are equipped to run blood panels or evaluate a urine sample, a diagnostic litter is an inexpensive and easy way to help us detect problems early.

How Diagnostic Cat Litters Work

Diagnostic litters are coated with a completely safe pH detector. The litter detects pH levels, which changes color if it detects changes in your cats urine.

diagnostic cat litter

How to Use Diagnostic Cat Litters

Diagnostic litters are very simple to use! Just replace your cat’s current litter with the diagnostic litter of your choice. When your cat uses the box, the cat litter will turn a different color to let you know if they have a high pH (or alkaline) level. These changes in pH levels are indicative of possible urinary problems.

diagnostic cat litter


We found most of them to be very reliable, but like anything else, it will never take the place of an actual visit to your veterinarian.

There are certain chemicals that can impact your litter’s readings. This is why it’s important to keep diagnostic litters sealed and in an area separate from cleaning supplies (which can impact the readings). We think they work best when they’re alone, but you can mix your old litter and new litter if needed. Just remember, that may (or may not) impact the readings.

Notes on Multiple Cats

If you have multiple cats (like we do), you will need to isolate your cat’s with a single use box until they use it.

You could use this as a “general health” reading and use in a litterbox that more than one cat can access. Just remember that if you do detect a problem, you’ll need to be able to isolate each cat and test each of them.

The best solution to easily test individual cats is placing each in a room with their own individual boxes (like these disposable boxes from Nature’s Miracle ).

diagnostic cat litter

Here are a few of our favorite brands of diagnostic cat litters: 

Pretty Litter

Pretty Litter is one of our favorites because one 3-lb bag lasts one cat 30 days! The litter is made of highly absorbent silica microgels. The odor becomes trapped and the moisture evaporates into microgels. Since you don’t need to use as much, the benefits are pretty obvious. Add to this the fact that it’s dust-free, and the benefits multiply.

We found this to be a great “daily” litter that has the added benefits of tracking potential health problems with our cats. Also, it truly is a “pretty litter”!

Sometimes temporary color changes can occur as a result of a new diet, changes in environment or temporary stresses that may cause a cat’s pH levels to elevate or drop. If you see a color change, observe the litter over the next 24 to 48 hours. If the color change persists, consider taking your cat to their Veterinarian for a wellness visit. Use the color changes above as a guide to point your Vet in the right direction. Only a licensed Veterinarian can diagnose any specific issue.

diagnostic cat litter

Perfect Litter

The Perfect Litter + Wellness Indicatordiagnostic cat litter The Pet Ecology Perfect Litter “Alert”™ from Perfect Kitty Litter contains a patented material that shows the level of alkalinity by changing the color of your kitty’s litter from light pink to dark pink, indicating an increased urine pH and a possible urinary tract infection in your cat.

This litter is all-natural and nontoxic, provides maximum odor control and is 70% lighter than traditional brands.

diagnostic cat litter

Simple Solution UTI Cat Litter

Simple Solution Urinary Health Risk Indicator is very simple to use. Just add to your current litter by sprinkling the powder over top. The pH-Indicating Technology quickly changes color to identify potential health risk.

diagnostic cat litterdiagnostic cat litter

diagnostic cat litter

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