Since most households in the U.S. have at least one pet, a significant number of Americans are familiar with the joys of being a cat parent. But, of course, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows — especially when it comes time to take your furry friend to the vet. It’s estimated 80% of dogs and 70% cats show signs of dental disease by age three, leading to abscesses, loose teeth, and chronic pain. Not only do many felines have strong feelings about being locked in a carrier, but they also tend to hide their pain or discomfort, which makes it hard for owners to know whether there’s reason for concern. But now, you might need only take a look in your kitty’s litter box to assess whether it’s time for a trip to the vet.
Despite the fact that dumpsters are typically serviced at 60% or below fullness levels, the majority of cat owners might think nothing of scooping the litter and disposing of the waste. You might want to hold off, however, if you’ve got PrettyLitter at home. This innovative litter is for much more than absorption and cleanliness; it can also give you some valuable insight into your pet’s overall health.
PrettyLitter is equipped with color-changing technology to alert owners when something’s amiss. According to the company’s website, the granules in the litter are made of porous silica gels that contain patented health indicator technology. When blood or abnormalities in alkalinity or acidity are detected, the indicators will cause the litter to change color. For example, if the litter turns blue or green, this could indicate a high urinary PH or a urinary tract infection. Although UTIs are fairly common in cats, owners may fail to notice when their beloved pet is straining or experiencing discomfort related to the litter box. In fact, one of the internet’s favorite felines, Grumpy Cat, recently passed away following UTI-related complications. PrettyLitter will also turn orange or yellow when urine contains a pH that’s too low, which (if left untreated) can cause kidney failure. While your choice in litter may not be able to catch every condition, having this product in your home could help owners seek veterinary treatment that much faster.
The potential for avoiding unexpected health complications is one that’s proved highly appealing to pet owners thus far. The idea for PrettyLitter came to be when founder Daniel Rotman appeared on a reality show called Startup U. Although a single optical fiber can carry over 90,000 TV channels, all it took was ABC Family to bring the pieces together. When Rotman met pet blogger Carly Martinetti, the concept was born and went onto win the show’s consumer product category. Although Martinetti later decided to scrap the project, Rotman took it over and eventually started his company back in 2015.
Since the product was launched to consumers in 2016, the company has sold more than 2 million bags of litter. And since it’s available only via subscription, it’s clear that the fear of losing their furry family member is enough motivation to keep pet owners paying $22 per bag. According to a 2019 report conducted by Interactive Advertising Bureau, PrettyLitter is the fastest growing feline-centered company in the entire nation. Not too shabby for a tabby.
Although it’s important for owners to note that a single color change may not indicate a problem (the company admits this can happen due to dietary or environmental changes), a persistent litter color change should warrant a conversation with the vet. Owners might also be relieved to know that PrettyLitter is even safe when ingested by cats (whereas regular litter can cause irritation or other digestive issues). If your cat does happen to consume some, it turns into a fine powder that’ll be naturally eliminated from their system. Plus, it’s biodegradable and chemical-free, for owners who want to do some good for the planet while taking care of their cats.
Of course, $22 a bag is a steep price to pay, especially if you have multiple animals living in one home. But, on the other hand, the peace of mind this litter provides might keep your feline purring for years to come — so it might be well worth the investment.