Check your pet supply store for products that can alert you to possible urinary tract disease, diabetes, hyperthyroidism and kidney disease.
Among the home testing products especially for cats are Dr. Elsey's Health Monitor Everyday Litter, LifeMate clumping litter from Pestell Pet Products and Monthly Monitor from Ultra Pet Co.
How Home Testing Products For Cats WorkThe size of the clumps in your cat's litter box can tell you a lot about the cat's health. Dr. Elsey's Health Monitor Everyday Litter gives you a more accurate picture than you get by just eyeballing the box.
The clumping litter is a consistent (calibrated) particle size and comes with a digital luggage scale. Weigh a couple of clumps every few months and compare them to the chart on the box. Increased urination (heavier clumps than normal) can be a sign of hyperthyroidism, kidney disease and diabetes.
Both LifeMate clumping litter and Monthly Monitor crystals test the pH in cats' urine. The color changes if the pH is too high or too low. While high or low pH is usually a sign of bladder stones and crystals, low pH can also be a warning of kidney disease or unregulated diabetes.
To use Monthly Monitor, pour the crystals on top of your regular litter in a freshly filled box.
Think Outside The Box
Does your cat suffer from food sensitivities? NutriScan, a test-at-home kit developed by veterinary pathologist Jean Dodds, can tell you which foods are causing the problems. All you have to do is convince your cat to chew on the piece of rope that comes with the test kit. Then, you send the piece of rope off to Dr. Dodds, so her lab can test the cat's saliva.
And if you have a diabetic cat and home test, Petlet makes a blood glucose meter calibrated for cats and dogs. The meter and test strips are considerably less expensive than the pet meters and strips sold by vets.
Learn To Recognize Other Signs Of Health Problems
Monitoring your cat's litter box is just one way of detecting possible health problems. Other ways of knowing your cat might be sick include...
- Weight loss
- A veracious appetite but the cat doesn't gain weight and may even lose some.
- Loss of appetite
- Greasy fur or a poor haircoat
- Excessive drinking
- Excessive urination
- Bad breath
- Hiding or depression
- Changes in personality or activity level
- Straining to urinate or changes in litter box habits. A male cat straining to urinate can be a medical emergency.
This is my all-time favorite