Scooping the litter box on a daily basis (actually, twice daily is better) is not only important for keeping the box clean and your cat happy – it’s a valuable diagnostic tool. Too many cat parents are missing this valuable opportunity to catch potential medical problems in the early stages because they’re not keeping up with a regular scooping schedule or the schedule is far from adequate.
Time to be a Detective When it Comes to Your Cat’s Health
What does or doesn’t happen in the litter box can be a red flag indicating a potential health issue. If you’re on top of your scooping schedule you’ll be alerted to changes in your cat’s frequency of elimination, changes in appearance of the waste or change in quantity. At the veterinary clinic one of the first questions the veterinarian will ask is whether there has been a change in litter box habits. If you don’t scoop the box regularly you won’t be able to provide that valuable information.
Cat Pee: What to Look for
Cats are creatures of habit so many will choose the same litter box (in a multicat home) and many will even eliminate in the same spot within the box. If you scoop regularly, you’ll start to become familiar with a particular cat’s routine. Even if you have multiple cats and can’t seem to tell who peed where, the fact that you may notice a change in quantity, color, odor or that somebody peed on the carpet, means there’s a problem needing attention.
In general, a cat eats the same amount of food each day and drinks approximately the same amount of water. If you use scoopable litter you will become very familiar with the weight and size of your cat’s typical urine clump. If you start noticing the urine clump has increased or decreased in size, it could indicate a potential health problem. An increase in size could indicate the possibility of a lower urinary tract issue such as FLUTD (Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease), diabetes, or renal failure, among other things. It could also just mean your cat was especially active that day or the weather was hot but my point is if you scoop daily you’ll at least be aware something might need closer monitoring.
Regular scooping is an opportunity to look for other changes in the cat’s pee in terms of color, signs of blood or odor. Again, these are all potential red flags.