Escherichia coli (commonly called E. coli) can infect humans through contact with feline fecal material, even though the primary means of infection is via ingestion or raw or undercooked meats. Virtually all strains of these bacteria are harmless. However a few strains may produce powerful toxins and cause severe illness, especially in children under five years of age(5). Symptoms usually include diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Fortunately, E. coli is simple to prevent. Employing the preventative steps, outlined previously for Toxoplasmosis will significantly reduce the risks of you or your children contracting an E. coli infection.
In addition to those human risks, there are a few health risks cat litter boxes actually pose to cats that cat owners should be aware of. Just as a dirty litter box poses health risks to humans, cats are in danger if forced to use a dirty litter box. Since cats remain clean by licking themselves, allowing a cat’s litter box to get overly dirty can cause infections when a cat cleans its paws after using the dirty litter box. The most frequent infection is a urinary tract disease, and though this kind of disease is rarely deadly it can be very uncomfortable for your cat and will almost certainly require treatment by your veterinarian. You may be interested in reading this: best cat litter boxes for odor control
At length, a lesser-known health risk to cats is actually brought on by cat litter itself. Exactly what many cat owners don’t realize is that some types of cat litter may be detrimental or even fatal to their cat. Both clumping and non-clumping litters pose health issues to cats. Clumping cat litters are probably the most popular type of cat litter because of their convenience, hygienic qualities and that clumping litters are necessary for use in self-cleaning litter boxes. Regrettably, some clumping litters could be harmful to cats. Clay based clumping litters could include the mineral sodium bentonite, which may be harmful or deadly to your cat. It is best to refrain from using clay based cat litters, particularly with kittens. Steak or corn based clumping litters such as Swheat Scoop, World’s Best Cat Litter and Littermaid cat litter work really well and therefore are non-toxic(6).
By their very nature, non-clumping litters do not absorb and isolate a cat’s urine or stool like clumping litters do. As a result, it’s a lot more difficult to keep your cat’s litter box clean when utilizing non-clumping litter. When using non-clumping litter it is important to frequently clean and disinfect the litter box to reduce the odds of bacterial buildups that can cause urinary or other infections on your furry friend.
The next category of health dangers covers injuries caused by an automatic litter box or self cleaning litter box. A automatic or self cleaning litter box does just what its name implies. For cat owners, injuries can happen if a small child or toddler plays the automated litter box during the cleaning cycle. All significant brands of automatic litter boxes include sensors to protect against the cleaning mechanism from tripping when a cat or other foreign object is inside the box. However, children can nevertheless be injured if they place their hand inside the cleanup mechanism in such a manner as to prevent the detectors.
Even though these kinds of injuries are very rare it’s ideal to take precautions. Putting the litter box in a location where your cat can get to it but tiny children can not be a simple method. This is very good information for any litter box since this is the best way to keep kids from contracting one of the disorders described earlier in this article. If you can not keep the automatic litter box out of a child’s hit then it’s best to set the litter box inside a litter box cover. There are many types of covers and all these will help prevent a child from hitting the litter box and the cleanup mechanism. A final option is to unplug the litter box or place it into a “manual operation” mode. Both these options will require your cat owner to initiate the cleaning cycle if required. Although this reduces some of the ease of an automated litter box it surely removes the threat for kids.
Cats under 5 pounds many not be big enough to trigger the sensors and the cleaning mechanism could cause harm. As most adult cats weigh over 5 pounds, it’s only required to utilize the “manual operation” mode till kittens grow to 5 lbs.
This article isn’t intended to dissuade anyone from having a cat. 70 Million cat owners can’t be wrong; cats make great pets! Consequently, if you previously own a cat or are considering turning into a cat owner it simply makes sense to know about the health dangers associated with cat ownership. Understanding the risks can definitely increase the enjoyment of cat ownership.