Cat Litter Box Health ConsiderationCats are the most popular pets in america. According to the latest version with the U.S. Petpossession & Demographics Sourcebook (2000 Edition) there were almost seventy Million pet cats inamerica. Why are cats so popular? you will find as many answers to this issue as there are catowners, but the low health risks cats pose to their owners is certainly nearby the top of this list.However the potential health risks cats pose to people are small, it is necessary that cat owners knowabout these risks and learn how to reduce them.The most of all risks stemming coming from cat ownership are associated with the cat litter boxand/or kitty feces. There are two categories of risks. The first category contains health conditionsposed by bacteria and organisms to both cat masters and their cats. The second category containsinjuries resulting from an automatic litter box or self cleaning litter box.Primarily the health issues experienced by cat owners or even their cats come from the first categoryand the most significant of such risks is called Toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis is an infection causedby a very small parasite called Toxoplasma gondii which can be found in raw or even undercookedmeat, unwashed fruit and veggies , dirty cat litter boxes and outdoor soil where kitty feces can befound. According to the centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) more than 58 million peoplein the United States may be infected with the Toxoplasma parasite(1). Fortunately, very fewindividuals ever experience any signs and symptoms because a healthy persons defensemechanisms usually keeps the parasite from causing illness. However , pregnant women andindividuals who have compromised immune systems, such as folks infected with the HIV malware ,are at risk and should consider precautions to avoid being infected with the parasite. For people inthis team a Toxoplasma infection could cause serious health problems to the individual or to apregnant womans unborn baby.
People in the high risk team may wonder whether or not they should give up their cat to preventinfection. According to the CDC, it is not necessary for cat lovers to quit their cats, but it is necessaryfor them to protect themselves from infections. The particular USFDA makes the following ideas foravoiding infections(2):1) If possible, have someone else customize the litter box. If you have to clean it, put on disposablegloves and rinse your hands thoroughly with soapy warm water afterwards.2) customize the litter box daily. The parasite doesnt become infectious until eventually one to fivedays after the waste material are deposited in the cat litter box.3) Wear gloves while gardening in a garden or even handling sand from a sandbox because cats mayhave passed feces in them. Be sure to rinse your hands with soap and warm water afterwards.4) Cover backyard sandboxes to prevent cats from using them as litter boxes.5) Feed your cat commercial dry or canned meals. Never feed your kitty raw meat because it can bequite a source of the Toxoplasmosis gondii parasite.6) Keep indoor cats indoors. Be specifically cautious if you bring backyard cats indoors.7) stay away from stray cats, especially cats.8) Dont get a new kitty while youre pregnant.Safer child , Inc. Makes the following extra recommendations(4):1) have your veterinarian test your cat for the Toxoplasmosis parasite. If you kitty is infected, you maywant to think about having someone else keep your kitty during your pregnancy.2) Keep sandboxes covered to prevent cats from using the sandbox as a cat litter box.3) Be aware of neighborhood sandboxes as the parasite can be introduced home on shoes, clothesand toys.Similar in order to Toxoplasmosis, Escherichia coli (generally called E. Coli) can easily infect humansthru experience of feline fecal material, although the main means of infection is through ingestion orraw or even undercooked meats. E. Coli is a bacterium commonly based in the intestinal tract of
humans and animals. Almost all strains with the bacteria are harmless. However a few strains cancreate powerful toxins and trigger severe illness, especially in children beneath 5 years of age(5).Signs and symptoms usually include diarrhea and abdominal cramps. In children beneath 5, 2%-7%of electronic. Coli cases can cause elimination failure. Fortunately, E. Coli is easy to prevent. Usingthe preventative measures, outlined above regarding Toxoplasmosis will greatly reduce the potentialfor loss of you or your children contracting an E. Coli infection.In addition to these individual risks, there are a few health risks kitty litter boxes actually pose in orderto cats that cat masters should be aware of. Just as a soiled litter box poses health risks in order tohumans, cats are equally at risk if forced to use a dirty litter box. Since kittens and cats stay clean bylicking themselves, allowing a pets litter box to get too dirty could cause infections when a cat cleansits paws after while using the dirty litter box. The most common infection is a urinary tract infection ,and although this type of infection is rarely fatal it is usually very uncomfortable for your cat and canmost likely require treatment because of your veterinarian.Finally, a lesser-known health risk to kittens and cats is actually caused by cat litter itself. What manykitty owners do not realize is that some types of cat litter might be harmful or even fatal to their cat.Both clumping and non-clumping litters pose health problems to cats. Clumping kitty litters areprobably the most popular form of cat litter because of their comfort , hygienic qualities and theproven fact that clumping litters are required for use in self-cleaning litter boxes. Sadly , someclumping litters might be harmful to cats. Clay based clumping litters can retain the mineral sodiumbentonite, which can be harmful or fatal to your cat. It is best to avoid using clay surfaces based catlitters, particularly with kittens. Wheat or ingrown toenail based clumping litters for example SwheatScoop, Worlds finest Cat Litter and Littermaid cat litter work perfectly and are non-toxic(6).By their very nature, non-clumping litters do not absorb and isolate a cats pee or feces like clumpinglitters do. As a result, it can be much harder to keep your own cats litter box clean when working withnon-clumping litter. When using non-clumping litter it is important to frequently clean and disinfect thelitter box by itself to reduce the chance of bacterial buildups that can cause urinary or even otherinfections in your kitty.The second category of health conditions covers injuries caused by a good automatic litter box oreven self cleaning litter box. Occurrences of this type of injuries are rare, but they can happen. Anautomatic or self cleaning cat litter box does just what its identify implies. Usually between 10-15minutes after a cat employs the litter box, the cat litter box automatically cleans itself by "sweeping" or"raking" the kitten waste into a sealed compartment or bag. For kitty owners, injuries can occur if the
small child or toddler plays with the automatic cat litter box during the cleaning cycle. Almost all majorbrands of automatic cat litter boxes contain sensors to prevent the particular cleaning mechanismfrom triggering when a cat or additional foreign object is inside the box. However, children cannonetheless be injured if they put their hand inside the cleaning mechanism in this manner as toavoid the sensors.Although these types of injuries are extremely rare it is best to take measures. Placing the litter boxsomewhere where your cat could get to it but small children can not is an easy method. This can begood advice for any litter box because is the best way to keep young children from contracting one ofthe conditions described earlier in this article. If you fail to keep the automatic litter box beyond achilds reach then its best to put the litter box within a litter box cover. There are many kinds of coversand all of them may help prevent a child from attaining the litter box and the cleansing mechanism. Afinal option should be to unplug the litter box or even put it into a "manual functioning " mode. Both ofthese options requires the cat owner to start the particular cleaning cycle whenever necessary.Although this reduces some of the ease of an automatic litter box it undoubtedly removes the dangerto young children.Automatic or self cleaning cat litter boxes are completely safe for almost all cats. However, mostmanufacturers recommend that the cat litter box be used in "manual functioning " mode for cats undera few lbs. Cats under a few lbs many not be large enough to activate the sensors and the cleaningmechanism could cause injury. Since most adult kittens and cats weigh over 5 lbs. , it is onlynecessary to use the "handbook operation" mode until cats grow to 5 lbs.This article is not intended to dissuade anyone from owning a kitty. 70 Million cat masters cant bewrong; cats make great pets! So, if you by now own a cat or are considering becoming a cat owner itjust makes good sense to be aware of the risks associated with cat possession. Understanding therisks can definately increase the enjoyment of kitty ownership.(1)Toxoplasmosis Fact Sheet;http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dpd/parasites/toxoplasmosis/factsht_toxoplasmosis.htm(two ) While Youre Pregnant USFDAhttp://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~pregnant/whiltoxo.html
(3) Toxoplasmosis An important Message for kitty Owners;http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dpd/parasites/toxoplasmosis/toxoplasmosis_brochure_8.2004.pdf(four ) Safer Child, Inc.;http://www.saferchild.org/pets&.htm(5) Escherichia coli O157:H7 Fact Sheet;http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/escherichiacoli_g.htm(6) Stanford Cat systems Guide to Caring for Your adopted Cat or Kitten;http://www.stanford.edu/group/CATNET/articles/careguide.html#litterAuthors Bio: The author is a long time cat lover who at present owns and operatesLitterBoxesandMore.com; a business specializing in high quality automatic litter boxes or even selfcleaning litter boxes. LitterBoxesandMore.com also offers additional specialty cat products forexample pet strollers and indoor cat fences. Come visit us at http://www.litterboxesandmore.com. Video Source: YoutubeFor More Info Click Here