This post is kindly sponsored by Smarty Pear.
Before I brought home Simba, my shorthair cat, I did not consider myself a “cat person.” But that sick, 6-week-old kitten whose mother abandoned him on the ranch pulled at my heart strings. As a medical student, I wanted a pet for my mental health, but knew that I also didn’t have a ton of free time and I definitely did not have a consistent schedule. So, Simba came home with me and I became a cat person (well, I at least became a Simba person).
Simba had fleas, worms, and a bad eye infection when we brought him home. It took a lot of care to bring him to health. My friends used to laugh because his eyes always looked wet as a kitten – full of antibiotic ointment! Now though, he has big, beautiful eyes, a clean coat, and lots of energy. What a joy it is to see that kind of health transformation!
Cats really are the perfect pets for busy people. However, you still do need to keep a clean space for them (and for you), spend time with them, play with them, and keep up with their health/vet visits. One thing I did not expect was how often I would have to clean the litter box. A clean litter box is important not only for your cat but for your own health!
Litter boxes are typically dusty, smelly, and ugly – pretty much the only part about having a cat that is not to like. Not to mention the health risks that litter poses to cat owners, especially those that are immunocompromised or pregnant!
Cat poop can contain a parasite called Toxoplasma, which can cause an infection called Toxoplasmosis. Immunocompetent people (those with strong immune systems) are typically safe from this, and any primary infection is typically asymptomatic. However, in immunocompromised people, it can be a very serious infection requiring specific medications to treat. In those that are pregnant, the infection can be passed on to the baby and cause serious birth defects such as eye and brain damage. Cats rarely have symptoms when infected, so most people will not know if their cat is infected.
Okay okay, I’m not trying to scare you! I just want to address these details about owning a cat, and offer a solution.
I recently got Leo’s Loo Too: an automatic, self-cleaning litter box by Smarty Pear. Leo’s Loo Too automatically sifts and cleans your cat’s litter (it’s whisper-quiet!) so that you don’t have to. It even has a UV light in the waste drawer that disinfects 99.9% of bacteria, parasites, and viruses – making it safer for you and your cat. Plus, when its time for you to empty the waste drawer (roughly once a week), all you have to do is open the waste drawer, draw up the fitted trash bag, and throw it out. Very simple.
Of course, I can’t forget to tell you all the reasons Leo’s Loo Too is great for your cat, too! Cats are prone to urinary tract infections (UTIs) and even urethra blockages, especially in males like my Simba. If they can’t go, this can lead to serious bladder, kidney, and electrolyte issues which could even lead to death. The Smarty Pear app connect to your Leo’s Loo Too and allows you to track your cat’s restroom visits and monitor their weight, so you’re always informed about your cat’s health. Using this app, as well as Alexa and Google Assistant Voice Controls, you can also control the cleaning schedule and choose how you want your automatic litter box to operate.
Don’t worry, your cat is safe. Leo’s Loo Too knows when your cat is in or near the litter box and it will stop any moving parts until it’s safe. In fact, I watched this in action when I first got it; the cleaning process paused every time my curious Simba got near it and resumed when he walked away.
I will leave you with a few last tips to maintain hygiene as a cat owner:
- Ensure your cat litter is scooped daily (this is where that automatic litter box comes in handy!)
- If you are doing the litter scooping yourself, wear gloves and wash your hands with soap and water immediately afterwards.
- Keep cats indoors. Cats become infected with Toxoplasma through rodents, birds, and other small animals.
- Feed cats only canned or dried commercial food, or well-cooked table food. Avoid feeding them raw or undercooked meats.
Please consult your veterinarian with any other questions you may have regarding your cat and risk for toxoplasmosis. The CDC has a great overview of toxoplasmosis for your information.