How does cat litter affect pregnancy

The early stages of pregnancy can be a very exciting but also a very worrying time, and one of the concerns that many pregnant women have is becoming infected with toxoplasmosis.

This is a parasitic infection that can be present in cat litter and cat feces, so if the pregnant woman comes into contact with infected feces then it can be passed on to the unborn baby which can cause serious birth defects.

how does cat litter affect pregnancy

Although the condition is very rare, it can also be very serious so it is well worth taking some simple precautions if you are in the three first months of pregnancy to avoid having to give away your beloved family pet:

Simple precautions

The best precaution to take is to ask another member of the household to change the litter tray. This will, of course prevent you from coming into contact with any of the litter or cat feces.

If this is not possible, then you should change the litter box on a daily basis as it takes 48 hours for the organisms in the feces to become infective if your cat is infected with toxoplasmosis.

If you do have the change the litter tray, then you should wear disposal rubber gloves and make sure you wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.

Other precautions to take include wearing good quality gardening gloves if you are digging in soil, as you never know when you may come across cat feces in the garden from your own cat or neighbouring pets. You should also wash your hands thoroughly after coming into contact with any cats and keep children’s sand play areas covered just in case.

 

It is worth bearing in mind that even having said all of the above, it is very unlikely that you will pick up any infections from your cat, especially if they stay indoors and don’t eat any raw meat. You may also be immune if you have been around cats for some time.

 

 

Coming into contact with cat litter is not the only way that you may become infected with toxoplasmosis, as the parasite can also be found in unwashed vegetables or undercooked meat, so it is worth taking extra precautions when handling and cooking food as well.

There are plenty of things to be thinking about in the first few months of pregnancy, so make sure that toxoplasmosis is not one of these by minimising any contact that you need to have with cat litter. However, if you do have concerns and feel that you may be at risk then you can contact your GP or midwife for a blood test.

You can then enjoy the months ahead with planning for your new arrival, and making sure that the family pet is part of all of this.

Multiple Cat Litter

Many cat owners have more than one pet, and although this trend is generally showing some signs of increasing it can cause some areas of conflict.

Cats are naturally solitary animals, but can be very adaptable to living in group conditions. There is a huge amount of advice available regarding owning more than one cat which is beyond the scope of this blog, but one area that we can concentrate on is the use of litter trays and multiple cat litter in households with more than one cat.

Multiple cat litter solutions

The best solution to having more than one cat is to offer a litter tray for every animal, with maybe an extra tray thrown in for good measure. There are several reasons to this, but the main one is that many cats will simply not want to share their litter tray.

Cats are very territorial, so some cats may block access to the tray to other cats in the household. This can cause stress related illnesses and problems for the other cats if they don’t have a safe place to use the toilet.

It is also very difficult to keep a single litter tray clean enough for multiple cats, especially if you are going to be out of the house for long periods of time.

Cats will be get very anxious if they can’t find a clean part of the litter tray and this can also cause health problems.

Best Multiple Cat Litter

Although offering a tray for every individual cat is recommended, it is recognized that this is not always possible. It may be that you live in a small flat or just don’t have the space for more than one litter tray.

Everclean Multiple Cat Litter

Everclean Multiple Cat LitterBuy now  £15.99

 

There are some cat litters on the market which are designed for multiple cat households, and one of the recommended brands is Everclean Multiple Cat litter.

Multiple cat litter tends to offer more clumping power, which means that it should be easier to scoop and offer more odour control.

Everclean Multiple Cat Litter is made up of premium clay granules which are bonded to an odour neutralizing carbon, so this helps to prevent liquid waste from reaching the bottom of the tray.

Scooping is less of a chore thanks to the firm and solid clumps which are formed, leaving the rest of the litter dry for further use.

Everclean multiple cat litter is available in a 10 litre bag for £15.99, but this does provide good value as a small amount of the litter should last for a long time.

 

Clean N Tidy Multiple Cat litter

Clean N Tidy Multiple Cat LitterBuy now  £8 – £10  (7kg)

 

Another option is Clean N Tidy Multiple Cat litter, which is slightly less expensive as it costs between £8 – £10 for a 7kg bag.

This litter is environmentally friendly and almost dust free, which helps to reduce the mess from cat paws. The specially designed solution including botanical essences reduces odours and is ideal for homes with more than one cat.

It offers an extra strength clumping solution, with a tightly binding litter for maximum absorption.

Owning more than one cat can be very rewarding, although special consideration should be made if you are thinking of bringing an extra cat into your home.

Making sure your cats are happy with their litter trays and the cat litter you use can help to make your cats feel comfortable in their environment, leaving you to concentrate on the pleasures and companionship that multiple cats can bring!

Changing cat litter

The task of changing cat litter is one that nobody enjoys, however it is an essential part of looking after your cat and keeping your home clean and tidy.

How often should I be changing cat litter?

The frequency that you will need to change the cat litter will depend upon several different factors, and the most important of these is the type of cat litter that you are using.

Changing clumping cat litter

If your cat prefers clumping cat litter, then you should be scooping the clumps of used litter out of the tray as soon as possible, so this will probably end up being a couple of times a day. You should then completely change the litter and thoroughly clean out the litter box at least once every couple of weeks.

Changing non-clumping cat litter

A non-clumping cat litter such as wood pellet cat litter or silica cat litter does not require as much maintenance, as the litter will absorb the moisture and it does not need to be changed every day.

A tray of good quality non-clumping cat litter can last up to a week, although if the tray is left for much longer than this it can become quite unpleasant for the cat. Silica cat litter will need to be changed less frequency than wood pellet cat litter as it is more absorbent.

It is recommended that you clean your litter tray as thoroughly as possible, as this will help to keep your cat in the best of health and also means they won’t become discouraged from using the litter try. Make sure you don’t use bleach as this can be toxic for cats.

A concern of some cat owners associated with changing cat litter is regarding how to dispose of the used litter. This will also vary according to the type of litter than has been used and we have covered this subject in a separate post about cat litter disposal.

Changing cat litter when pregnant

If you are pregnant, or planning to conceive then it is highly recommended that you don’t help out with changing cat litter.

This is because cat faeces can contain a parasite that causes toxoplasmosis infection, and this can be very harmful to your unborn baby.

If there really isn’t anyone else that can help out with changing cat litter, then you should use disposable rubber gloves and thoroughly wash your hands afterwards. You should also use gloves when gardening, even if you don’t have a cat as there could be faeces present in the soil.

The most important thing to consider when changing cat litter is to make sure that the litter tray stays clean and attractive for the cat to use. Apply common sense and change the tray if there is a build up of waste or the litter has become saturated, and remember to keep the area around the litter tray as clean and private for the cat as well.

 

Cat Litter Mat

Another accessory to consider when you are choosing the best cat litter to use is a cat litter mat.

A common problem with cat litter is ‘tracking’, which occurs when some of the litter becomes stuck to the cats paws after they have used the tray and is then trailed around the house.

Litter can also come out of the tray when cats dig to cover their waste. This can result in a lot of mess and an unhygienic and unpleasant area around the tray. It is also not unknown for cats to sometimes miss the litter tray.

A simple solution to these problems is a cat litter mat, as these mats keep the area around the litter tray clean and tidy as well as being designed to extract litter from the cats paws.

A good cat litter mat will be comfortable for your cat to step on, be easy to clean and help to capture the litter from accidents and from tracking. We have also found that large cat litter mats can do a more effective job, as litter can spread a surprising distance beyond the reach of smaller mats.

Best Cat Litter Mat

Some of the best cat litter mats currently available are:

Easyology Premium Cat Litter Mat

Easyology Premium Cat Litter Mat

Buy now  £14.97

 

The extra large Easyology Cat Litter Mat is top of our list of recommendations for several reasons. Firstly, it is a really good size and measures 90cm x 60cm, so this means it is big enough to catch the litter being tracked out of the tray and will protect your floor.

 

This mat includes deep grooves which catch any litter trapped in the paws, and it is made from durable PVC plastic so it is water resistant and easy to clean with a vacuum or by shaking.

It provides a soft and comfortable surface for the cat, and the thickness of the mat can withstand sharp claws and frequent use.

This mat is so large it can also be used as a doormat, and it is available in several different colours to suit the décor of your home. It is currently unavailable but usually priced around £15.

 

Pets N All Super Size Cat Litter Mat

Pets N All Super Size Cat Litter Mat

Buy now  £11.99

 

A similar size mat is on offer from Pets N All, which is also made from PVC and consists of flexible fibres which help to trap the litter. There is also an outer channel which helps to prevent litter escaping off the mat.

This mat is available in cream, and will help to keep the area around the litter tray clean and tidy as it will fit under any size of litter tray and the underside of the mat is non slip. This is another great option for a large cat litter mat.

 

 

Petz Cat Litter Mat with Paw Prints

Petz Cat Litter Mat with paws

Buy now  £4.99

 

This is a smaller mat which measures 40cm x 30cm, so it is ideal to place outside the doorway of your litter tray rather than underneath a larger tray.

We like this mat because of the cute design of the paws tracking across them mat, although it will also do a good job of trapping the litter as it is made from a tough and durable material.

This mat is slightly less expensive at £4.99, and will brighten up the area around the litter tray as well as keeping it tidy and hygienic.

There are many more options of cat litter mats available, and plenty of other things to consider including the size and location of the litter tray in your house.

However, it is well worth investing in a good quality mat for all of the reasons listed above – especially if it helps to stop the spread of litter around your home.

 

Cat litter disposal

Keeping a cat is fun, and all but you should know how to properly take care of it. Cat litter disposal is one element that you have to learn if you intend to get a cat. Leaving cat litter lying around will result in bad odour and an unhealthy environment for the occupants of the house, including the cat. For some people, it may seem easy enough when they just have to dispose the waste into a dust bin but is not always possible, especially if you use community bins.

Using Plastic Bags

You should know how to maintain your cat’s litter box to provide a clean place for it to be used, and find out when and how to scoop and refill the litter box.

The simplest and most common method of cat litter disposal is to use plastic bags. Most people will just scoop the litter, put it in a bag, tie, and then throw it in a bin. It is advisable to use double plastic bags to keep away the smell, and prevent breakages and consequent leaks. Numerous cat owners just reuse the bags they get after shopping.

Composting Litter

Another method that you can use for cat litter disposal is to compost it. Turning litter into compost manure is environmentally responsible, and that is why some people prefer it.

Start by buying a compost bin or if you have one for food waste, use it. It is possible to build a compost bin, but you should choose cat litter that is suitable for compost use. Clay and sand are not appropriate choices. Composting cat litter is an extensive process, and it takes time. Cat litter compost has to stay about eighteen months before it is ready to use.

Automatic Cat Boxes – Cat litter disposal cat genie

The use of automatic cat boxes has changed how people dispose of cat litter. Cat Genie litter box is one of the products in the market that cat owners are now using. This box is a self-flushing system that allows cleaning and drying of litter.

The three automatic settings on the box facilitate all major functions at the switch of a button. With the “Cat Start “setting, the self-clean delays ten minutes after a cat completes its business, then activates. The box can also go to sleep mode for 14-24 hours and then activate with the “Auto Start” function. There is also the “Push Start” setting that allows manual flushing of the box.

The Cat litter disposal cat genie uses a biodegradable sanitising solution for cleaning. It has SaniSolution cartridges that are responsible for the sanitisation. The solution can last up to 120 washes, and it breaks down the cat’s feces in the litter and also disinfects the box.

The box has a circular design, which allows accommodation for large cats. With the sidewalls in the design, the box keeps litter inside even with cats that like to kick around. The construction is solid enough to last a long while. To use the system, you must connect it to a cold water supply on one line and a drain pipe such as a toilet or sink on the other line. A purchase of the product comes with Cat Genie washable granules, GenieDome to provide privacy for the cat, SaniSolution cartridges, Genie Sidewalls, and a Genie Paw to prevent litter trailing.

Although the initial outlay on an automatic litter box like Catgenie will be more expensive, you may find yourself saving money in the long run as you will not have to continually purchase new bags of litter. This can also be a more hygienic solution to the problem of cat litter disposal.

Litter tray liners

Litter tray liners are an optional accessory to cat litter trays that line the tray before it is filled with litter. This means that the messy job of emptying and cleaning the litter tray should be much easier, as the used litter can be gathered within the litter tray liner and disposed of easily.

Litter tray liners are widely available from the same manufacturers that provide the best selling litter trays, so it is usually advised to purchase the liners at the same time as the tray and to make sure they fit.  Several different types of liners are available, from basic litter tray liners to sifting cat litter liners which are also known as cat litter liners with holes.

Benefits of using Litter Tray liners

  • The main benefit of using cat litter tray liners is that they are hygienic and help to keep the litter tray clean. The liner will stop the waste and the urine from reaching the sides and the bottom of the tray, so the soiled litter is easy to remove and it provides a much more hygienic environment for your home.

 

  • This also makes cleaning and scrubbing the litter much easier, as the tray will have been protected from the litter and the waste. It is still recommended to give the tray a good scrub every few weeks or every month to make sure you get of all the bacteria.

 

  • Litter tray liners are very cheap, with a pack of 10 liners from Trixie available for just £2.68 this makes each liner extremely economical.

Disadvantages of using litter tray liners

Despite the apparent convenience and wide availability of litter tray liners, not all cat owners are keen advocates of liners as they also come with some disadvantages as below:

  • Cats have sharp claws, so this means that if they are scratching around in a litter tray with a liner then it is likely to rip or tear. This means that some of the litter or waste can escape between the liner and the bottom of the tray, making the tray more difficult to clean than if the liner wasn’t there!

 

  • It is important to make sure that the liner fits the litter tray correctly, as otherwise the liner can bunch up creating folds where waste can gather. This can make the tray more difficult to clean as well as being unpleasant for the cat.

Sifting litter box liners

As well as the traditional litter tray liners which keep the tray clean and easy to change, sifting litter box liners are also available.

These types of liners are cat litter liners with holes, and they allow you to ‘sift’ the litter so that the clumps remain in the bag and the clean litter is sifted back into the tray and is not wasted.

A recommended brand of sifting cat litter box liners is the Neat ‘N Tidy Litter Sifting Liners. These come in a pack of 28, so you place all of the liners in the litter tray and use with clumping litter. As you change the litter tray on a daily basis, simply lift out the top liner with the soiled clumps and the clean litter ‘sifts’ through to the next liner in the pile.

Recommended litter tray liners

A wide range of different litter box liners are available, and as liners are generally very cheap it is worth paying a little bit more for some good quality liners.

Trixie Cat Litter Tray LinersTrixie Cat Litter Tray Bags are available in a pack of 10 for £2.68, and these are tough and strong liners that will do a good job in your tray. Although no liners will be able to withstand a very sharp claw, Trixie Cat Litter Tray Bags are stronger than most and they are also a very good size.

Another good option is a pack of Gardman Scented Litter Tray liners. These are slightly more expensive at £3.89 for a pack of 20, but they are also nice and strong as well as being scented with citronella.

 

 

There are plenty more varieties of litter tray liners available, but the most important consideration is to make sure that your cat is comfortable using the tray when a liner is included.

A litter tray liner can make the job of cleaning out the litter tray more bearable, but make sure your liner fits well, it is nice and strong and it is suitable for your cat to use.

How to litter train a kitten

There are many things to consider when you decide to bring a kitten into your home. You must make sure that you can provide a warm and loving home for her, and you must also make sure that it is the right thing for you, your family and the kitten that you decide to adopt.

As well as equipping your home with essentials such as a comfortable bed, a scratching post and some toys – you will also have to tackle the task of training your new arrival to use the litter tray so we have prepared some useful tips on how to litter train a kitten.

How to litter train a kittenIt is a good idea that you treat your kitten to a full check up before you start any litter training and as soon as they are introduced to your home. Your kitten should be at least 10-12 weeks old before she is separated from her mum as she may not be mentally ready for a new home before then.

A cat’s natural instincts is to use the toilet outside, but if your kitten is still very young or she is going to spend most of the time inside the house then you will need to help them to learn to use the litter tray.

It is best to start some litter training as soon as you can as young cats will find it easier to adapt to using a litter tray. However, litter training can also be useful for older cats if they have less energy or inclination to go outside.

 

 

 

Find the right litter tray

This website reviews some of the many different types of litter trays available, which range from small and simple plastic trays to hooded litter trays and automatic litter trays.

However, when you are introducing your kitten to a litter tray it is probably best to keep things as simple as possible to start with and use a fairly basic tray. Select a tray that your kitten will be able to get in and out of very easily, and there is no problem to use quite a large tray to begin with as kittens grow very quickly!

Once you have decided on your litter tray, make sure that you place it in a quiet part of the house where your kitten can have some privacy and won’t be surprised by loud and sudden noises as this can put them off from using the tray. It should also be in a place that is easily accessible.

The best litter for kittens

Some cat litters are much more suitable for kittens than others, although there are still many different varieties available and the best litter for your kitten will ultimately depend on you and your cat.

The best option to start with is usually to use a pellet or clay based litter. You should avoid silica cat litter from the outset as kittens can be sensitive to unnatural materials and dust.

Introducing your kitten

After you have bought a litter tray, placed it in a suitable location and filled it with kitten litter then it is time to introduce the new member of your family to her litter tray.

If your kitten is from a reputable shelter or if her mum is still around then your new arrival shouldn’t need too much actual ‘training’. You will just need to introduce her to the litter tray and you can do this by gently placing her in the tray after she has eaten or when you see her scratching or sniffing the ground.

The natural instincts of the cat should then take over, and as long as the tray is easily accessible with a suitable litter then you should not have too many problems.

If you have more than one cat then you will need to make sure that each animal has its own litter tray, and the litter should be changed on a regular basis.

You and your family can then enjoy all the pleasure and fun of having a new kitten in your home without having to worry about where you might find an unpleasant surprise. As mentioned, kittens grow very quickly and when they mature into adult cats many of them prefer to use the toilet outside. However, it is a good idea to keep the litter tray handy just in case of emergencies, and to always make sure it is filled with the best cat litter for her!