The Dangers Of Your Cat’s Dirty Litter Box

By Valdette Muller| December 18, 2017 | Blog

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What’s the worst that can happen if I don’t clean the litter box?

Apart from the stench that can emanate from a sitting litter box, there is the potential for the spread of disease as well.

Part of the responsibility of owning a cat is that a litter box comes with the territory. That means you can’t take care of one and ignore the other.

Just as you would not want to use a toilet that never flushes, cats can face similar health hazards when their litter box is not clean.

Cats find it gross too.

Remember that cats will find that their litter box is just as off-putting and unhygienic as you do.

Cats are quite fussy and finicky about their hygiene, they do not like to use litter boxes if it has not been cleaned.

They may even go as far as to refuse using their litter box and would rather hold in their excrement and urine, this means more health problems from holding it in.

Your cat may do their business somewhere else more inappropriate, such as potted plants, in your laundry basket, on the floor next to the litter box or in your cupboard by your shoes.

Possible Cat Diseases

When your cat uses the dirty litter box, they will be the first to suffer from any disease breeding particles waiting there. The risks are that the particles that a dirty litter box contains, can be transferred to pets and to humans.

Additionally if your cat regularly “holds it in” from not wanting to use their dirty litter box, it can lead to a myriad of urinary tract diseases (UTI), bladder inflammation, kidney blockage and failure.

Sean Bowes from Pet Street Mall writes that “there are some illnesses that can be spread from cats to humans. Most of these diseases can be transmitted from handling a cat’s faeces.

It is imperative that we clean and sieve out our cat’s litter boxes at least once a day.

Diseases that you can get from dirty litter:

  1. Cat-scratch Fever: Also known as bartonellosis is one of the most recognised diseases associated with cat faeces. For the elderly an infection can be fatal.
  2. Salmonellosis: Many think you only get salmonella from tainted food, but dirty litter boxes can become a home to the disease as well. Washing your hands after handling your cat’s waste is important.
  3. Toxoplasmosis: This a single-celled parasite that can be spread and cause infections.
  4. Fungal Infections: A cat that spends too much time in a dirty litter box can contract fungal infections such as ringworm. This can quickly spread to other pets and family members.

Keeping things clean.

Cleaning up after our pets is just a mundane chore that we unfortunately need to do every single day.

However there are plenty of products today that do make it easier for us as pet owners to clean up with out too much fuss, some of these products do half the work for us.

Poop scooping becomes a lot easier when we place the litter box in a more easy-to-clean area of our house, such as the bathroom, close to the patio door or in the kitchen scullery.

ScoopFree Self-Cleaning Litter Tray and the Ultra Self-Cleaning Litter Tray from Pet Safe are great because you do not have to see, touch, or smell messy waste but simply replace the disposable tray every few weeks. These are great if you have a busy lifestyle related to work and family and do not have the time to clean out the litter box every day.littercatbox

Remember that if you use conventional litter and litter boxes, you should clean the box daily, and once a week empty it completely and wash it out with soap and warm water. When washing the litter box, do not use anything with a heavy scent, as this can put your cat off using the litter box altogether as strong scents do tend to linger.

Sources: http://www.petstreetmall.com/articles/risks-of-a-keeping-a-dirty-litter-box.aspx

https://www.easyologypets.com/blogs/news/90260934-your-cat-s-dirty-litter-box-is-putting-you-both-at-risk

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