Colour Changing Cat Litter? Pretty Litter Review!

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A new cat litter launched late last year in America caught my attention.  Pretty Litter sounded such an exciting product, I had to get my hands on some!

As a doting owner to 3 indoor cats, the Pretty Litter advertising ticked a lot of boxes; it’s lightweight, dustfree, absorbs odours and its highly absorbent and eco friendly.

However, the one thing that makes this litter stand out is that it changes colour if there are abnormalities in the urine.  Changes in the pH levels of the urine can indicate signs of ill health which may not be obvious in the early stages.  To me, this sounded a great idea, so out came my credit card and I pre-ordered a bag for my cat family to try.

At $19, or £13.10 a 3lb bag of Pretty Litter would last 1 cat 1 month.  I would have probably bought more for my 3 cats but the shipping was $30 (£20.68!!)  I stuck with my 1 bag, and reckoned that this would probably last 10 days or thereabouts.  As there are 2 litter boxes in our household, I was hoping I might stretch this to 2weeks.

The litter arrived just after Christmas so I put it to the test early January.  There was just enough for one litter tray which made me doubt if it would even last a week.  It was very lightweight and consisted of fine white granules that had reddish orange flecks.

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To be fair, this is the first time I have used this type of litter before, which I suspect is a silicate type litter as it is so light.  However, there is no mention on the packaging what it is made from.   Having used wood based litter for years, where soiled waste is thrown out, I was very dubious when I read the instructions.  The object is to throw only the poo out.  Any wee patches were to be mixed in and distributed throughout the rest of the litter and the moisture will be absorbed.  My immediate thoughts were focussed on potential smells.  My secondary thoughts were, “What if I see some abnormal changes in the litter?”  My cat family are very relaxed about sharing their trays and if one of them was producing a colourful patch in the litter, I would have to spy on their toileting activities to find out who would need a trip to the vet.

Just to clarify, normal urine shows up as a yellow to olive green patch in the litter.  Anything blue, red or orange/brown needs monitoring for 24-48hrs and if no improvement, a trip to the vet is advised.  Orange/brown means there’s bilrubin in the urine which could suggest liver problems.  Red means there is blood in the urine, which may not be visible.  Blue is alkaline, which may mean lower urinary tract issues, struvite crystal formations or kidney problems.  Green indicates abnormal acidity which again could mean lower urinary tract disease, amongst other possibilities.  Quite an ingenious product!

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Yellow wee patch!

Ringo and Bart were the main users of the Pretty Litter box in the conservatory, which tends to be a bit cold in winter.  Phoebe prefers the conservatory in summer when its baking hot!  None of the cats objected to the change of litter and used it as normal, but fussier cats can be introduced to it more gradually by mixing their usual litter with the new for a short period.  Despite it being quite fine, I didn’t think it tracked any more than other types of cat litter I have used.  Reluctantly, I mixed in the yellow wee patches and was quite surprised how they ‘disappeared’ into the litter.

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5 days later, the granules had become yellow in colour, which is normal.  This became deeper in colour as time went on, and the granules became less dry and free flowing.  My cats have short fur, so we have no problems with any sort of litter.  Owners of long haired cats may find that this litter may get stuck in the fur – probably no more than other types of litter, but something to consider.  I used Pretty Litter as long as I could get away with (2 weeks) and noticed that Bart’s poo left to sit in the now damp litter was turning the litter blue!  To be sure, I put some droppings from the other litter tray and left it for a few hours (that’s wood based litter stuck to the poo by the way!)  As you can see below, the litter surrounding the poo is blue!

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I contacted Daniel Rotman from Pretty Litter, who stated that high alkalinity (blue indication) is an issue in urine but not necessarily from stools.  As a precaution, Bart had a visit to the vet where he agreed that the pH of urine was something he would investigate, but not poo.  I can only assume that the damp litter was past its use by date anyway at 2 weeks between 3 cats, but I was compelled to test it to see how far it would go!

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Eeew! Time to throw away!

The amazing thing from this trial was that the litter had great odour absorbing qualities.  Despite never actually throwing away the wet patches, there were no smells – and my husband is usually first to complain!  It would be interesting to use this litter again in summer as that is when litter trays seem to smell more.  The granules were easy to work with so it really is a low maintenance product.

The downsides?  Well, the price.  At the moment it is not available in the UK although I am assured it will be, which will certainly save on the £20 shipping!  However, my regular wood based litter is altogether better value, even if I have to buy 40 ltr bags! I also enquired about how safe the product is if ingested but unfortunately I didn’t get a reply.  There is a FAQ section on the website which states that the product is safe if ingested, but it would be helpful to know what the litter is made from.

Personally, I would be inclined to use this product on an occasional basis, just to see if there are any changes in the urine, especially with my 2 older cats.  I think it can be a really useful way of monitoring your cat’s health.  However, it is not a diagnosis of any condition, and I would still consult my vet if I have any concerns about their health.  Owners of cats with a confirmed diagnosis of eg diabetes, urinary disease, etc may be interested in using this product as a guide to monitor their cats’ health, again with veterinary advice.  Not sure when this product will hit the UK but look out for it and check out the website https://prettylittercats.com/  You might want to conduct your own trial yourself and let me know what you think!

82 thoughts on “Colour Changing Cat Litter? Pretty Litter Review!

  1. My senior cat had a UTI so I ordered PRetty Kitty Litter to see if the meds worked. When going to the site I was annoyed that you could only do a subscription but I wanted it so I subscribed and then cancelled right away so I could get one bag. I emailed them saying it would be nice to just be able to order a single bag to try it or to use to test cats urinary health, i am sure a lot of people turn away because of their subscription model but he didn’t seem interested in that feedback, still, I got my bag and cancelled without problems (I believe). I locked my cat in a bedroom with water and access to only that litter since I have two cats until she peed and it was yellow, so it looks like the blood is gone. If I notice another problem, will try it again or just periodically but would be mo likely if they made it possible to order a single bag. There was no shipping cost in US.

  2. Hi Lynne, so pleased your cat is ok! This product could be really helpful for monitoring health problems in cats and like yourself, I would prefer to buy one bag as and when I needed it, rather than subscribe. 🙂

  3. I was curious about pretty litter so bought a bag. There’s just enough litter in the bag to cover a regular size litter box. My cat was afraid of it at first, she was hesitant to go into her covered cat box. She finally did and her urine was yellow. I don’t think I’d buy another bag. The litter is light and is getting on the floor. When my cat smells the litter, she gets a little on her nose and she eats it. I don’t know if the litter is safe for her to eat.

  4. I was so hopeful for this litter but after four days I threw it all out. It’s impossible to scoop out any urine since it doesn’t clump, so when you try to it just spreads all throughout the litter. My cat’s paws smelled disgusting because it does such a poor job controlling odor even when they bury their waste. It was a cool idea but I found out recently that there is another product that does the exact same job detecting illness in cats and all you have to do is sprinkle it on top. I wouldn’t recommend this litter to anyone.

  5. My two cats have been using the Pretty Litter for about two weeks. My initial problem with the company was that they advertise “one cat, one box, one month” however when you get the written materials it states for larger sized boxes you may need more than one bag to fill it up to the minimum. So I ordered two more bags and now have a sufficient volume in each box.

    I’m finding two problems, bad enough that i’ve cancelled my subscription (hope THAT goes okay) with Pretty Litter.

    First, the silica crystals track *everywhere* linoleum, tile, rugs, it gets on all of it, I suppose because it’s so light.

    Second, my cats tend to pee in one rear corner of the box so it gets very wet back there. It’s mostly yellow but some of the stuff near the bottom turns a grey-blue i assume from age and decay products. Scooping that urine out into the rest of the litter and mixing to incorporate it is terrible, because all you smell is cat urine. Once it’s covered and mixed in, the smell lessens but there is a lot of litter to mix.

    On the positive side, I’m not emptying my CatGenie nearly as often and when i do it’s much lighter, so saving on time and material there.

    Overall, i think Pretty Litter is a great idea but it’s product could use some more tweaks and consumer research, taking into account customer complaints and positive reviews as well.

  6. Hi Kathe, thank you – that was a really balanced review from you! I didn’t think there was much litter in a bag for my tray either and yes I agree, lighter litter does track more. I have seen a tofu based litter advertised recently (normal cat litter, not a health indicating litter) so I may be giving that a test drive soon. 🙂

  7. Hi Eva, thanks for your take on Pretty Litter! I guess the up side is you know your cat is ok if the urine is yellow so there wouldn’t be much need to use this litter again unless you were worried about her health. Regarding ingesting the litter, its not ideal but I would imagine a tiny amount would not be a concern. I remember the website stating that the product is safe but if you have any concerns, do ask your vet’s advice.

  8. Hi Lily, thanks for your opinion on this product. It differs from other litters because the urine patches are meant to be mixed into the litter. This is difficult to accept if you are like me, a clump scooper! I would be interested in this new product you mentioned that you sprinkle on? Please get in touch with the name and I’ll probably try that out 🙂

  9. WE just used it for a month for our two cats and at first it was great, absorbed odor, minimal tracking but I would say about 2 weeks in I noticed everytime I would stir it up on the morning the pungent smell of stale cat pee would just fill up the room. My husband thought it was just from their most recent urination but as time went on the smell just lingered and omg it STINKS! We are a few days short of the full 30 and i swear it is reeking up the entire front room of our home. I would much rather just use the regular litter, which is cheaper, than to use this and have a home that smells of piss.

  10. We like it fine. Customer service great. Arrived in 2 days here I California. We are On the monthly, can cancel anytime plan. They just emailed that our 2nd order is on its way. It doesn’t stink and it doesn’t track through the house. You can’t please everyone, I guess. Rude emails vs direct emails aren’t the same to me.

  11. Hi and thanks for your feedback! Yes, I have to agree there’s no way it could last a month but to be fair, that was probably the recommendation for one cat. Still, it was worth the experiment! 🙂

  12. Hello Joy and thanks for your opinion! Good to hear it works well for you – do you have one cat, and have you seen any unusual urine indicators? Would be lovely to hear some feedback on the health indicating colours as this is what really drew me to the product 🙂

  13. I used the Pretty Litter for a little over a week but finally got rid of it
    since the granules tracked far and wide and were sticking onto the
    soles of whatever shoes I had on. I have sent an email to Pretty Litter
    advising I do not want to be on the subscription and hope to get a
    response beyond the automated reply system. My concerns also goes
    to the issue of kitty licking this stuff into her system when cleaning paws.
    There isn’t any info available on the chemical composition. Price is
    another issue but my primary concern is tracking, stickiness, possible
    negative effects from cleaning paws.

  14. I have never used this product before, but I have used other silica based and Crystal litters. For me, all Crystal litters and silica litters all have the same problem- the urine doesn’t clump and just pools at the bottom of the tray, stinking up the room.

    I have been using a combination of fresh step Crystal litter and generic clumping litter for years. And with 3 cats using the same litterbox (I only have one giant litterbox) there is NO SMELL (provided you scoop it once it twice every day).

    I have been planning on giving pretty litter a try, but I will not be using it as directed. Instead it will be thouroghly mixed with my current clumping litter along with a little crystal litter for the smell. Really I would just like to test this litter out as far as detecting early signs of illness goes. I imagine the litter would still change color even when mixed with clumping and crystal litter right?

  15. Hi Penny, thanks for your feedback. I was doubtful from the start about it lasting a month as it was a fairly small bag!

  16. Thanks for your comments Susan! All very valid point. The finer the litter the more it will track and I tend to steer towards natural compostable litter.

  17. Sounds like a great idea Raina, and it will certainly make it more economical! I should imagine you will still see the colour change in the wet areas – hopefully it will just be a healthy yellow. 🙂

  18. I just purchased this and my cat went in right away so no issues there. He did tip the litter box over because it’s so light and I had to clean it up. Anyone have any suggestions PLEASE!!!?

  19. Hi Sherry! Just wondered if what sort of litter box you have – is it open or a covered one? I tend to only use covered ones and they don’t tip. Hope that helps 🙂

  20. I’ve been using pretty litter for close to a year. I have two large cat boxes and I buy four bags which they have a nice deal of four bags pay for three. If you want to try just one bag you can call their toll-free number and they’ll ship you a one time amount. It saved one of my cats lives. He was a kitten and sure enough he had so many sturvite crystals that he would’ve had total blockage within a short time. I don’t have a problem with odor but I stir it up twice a day and make sure that the urine is thoroughly mixed in. I have one cat who refuses to use any other litter. As a matter of fact I’ll be taking my kitties to the vet tomorrow because I’m seeing blue in the litter. My two cats and I love it. As far as tracking goes there is some issues but I’ve had that with other litters so to me it’s no big problem.

  21. Hi Joan! Thank you for your review. I hope your kitties are ok. Do let us know what the outcome is for a blue colouring in the litter, as so far we’ve not had much feedback on this, and this is what makes this litter different from others 🙂

  22. I do not care how good the litter is! I have sent 3 e-mails to cancel the subscription! Still has not happened yet! You can not just buy one! I had to buy 4 bags and then the next month I received 4 more! It just keeps on being delivered and charged to my Cedit.you can’t just try it out! You have to live with it till they finally ( if ever) stop sending it and charging it!

  23. I wanted to buy pretty litter but knew would cost too much so I found Kokoba silica health indicating litter. This only indicates if PH issues so any colour other than yellow should consult vet. My cat has 2 trays so I only put this in the 1 that I thought only he used (we also have 3 older females). Now not sure only him using or whether litter needed changing as had noticed blue colour before changing tray and he has peed since then and it’s fine. Anyway point being Kokoba is similar and cheaper.

  24. Hi Antonina! Thanks for the tip – please feel free to post a link or details where we can buy this litter, as there’s a lot of people unhappy with Pretty Litter. And thanks for liking the Facebook page, you can also post your recommendation on there! 🙂

  25. Wow, that’s bad Lauri 🙁 I got one bag shipped to the UK for this trial before the subscription was available. I hope you get it sorted somehow.

  26. I’m on my second month of delivered product and I can’t speak highly enough about the customer service. I live in Seattle, in case that makes a difference to anyone.

  27. That’s great Sandra,and thanks for your input. Out of interest, have you seen any abnormal colour changes in the litter?

  28. I have used this twice. For 2 cats lasts about 2-3 weeks (2bags). My little girl is smelly with#2 and doesn’t cover anything. I have to admit that my house smells great, not like Other sands we have tried. That is an A+.

    Now, after 2 weeks the area smells like old diaper. Not a nice scent but is better than having the smelly #2 scent daily. I change the sand and even is pricey is something I’m ok to pay since I can’t stand a house that smells like cat #2. I never had that issue with my old boy, I guess my girl is different.

    I noticed yesterday the sand turned light green/blue. It was were the #2 was. I was wondering if is bcs is time to change it since is going to 18 days. Same as the picture you posted above. What the Vet said to you ? Can you share? I reviewed a comment above and since It was “old” and under the #2 the vet gaved a clear after running labs

    We decided to change the litter box tonight and check tomorrow am. If is green or blue in the morning we will take them to the Vet. We have 2 cats and have no idea which cat will need labs and vet $$$.

    We were thinking to put a camera in the room and check every time is activated till we find the one. Hopefully the new sand will answer our question.

    Now … if it was bcs it was old sand or used for more than 2 weeks. That is sooo wrong to give me a false alarm and for me to run and pay labs and Tests. But if is true, omg I can’t thank enough.. we shall see tomorrow.

    If you can share the outcome of your blue sand.

    Thanks
    Piper&Nacho’s Mom

  29. Hello Travi, and thank you for your post. The blue litter occurred under the faeces when the litter was well used, and a little damp. It was protein from the faeces which wasn’t a concern and our vet confirmed that. Its a good idea to check with your vet if you are worried about Piper or Nacho, but using a new batch of litter sounds like a good idea. Do keep us posted and let us know if the blue/green colour persists, as I found that faeces on dry clean litter didn’t turn it blue, so it was alarming to see it when the litter was old.

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