Reducing Infectious Waste With an Automatic Cat Litter Box

Automatic cat litter boxes can make cleaning cat litter trays easier and more convenient than ever before. They work well with almost all types of clumping cat litter, even litters made with natural ingredients such as wheat and corn. Automatic litter boxes can also reduce the risk of infectious disease and parasitic infestation associated with cat feces.

Infectious Agents in Cat Feces

Cat feces can contain several different infectious agents, including the Toxoplasma gondii parasite which is responsible for toxoplasmosis. While healthy adults with uncompromised immune systems might never experience any symptoms, pregnant women, children, and those who suffer from immunodeficiencies (such as HIV infection) are at increased risk for toxoplasmosis. For those at high risk for toxoplasmosis infection, symptoms can be severe, and might include brain, eye or organ damage. The unborn children of pregnant women infect with toxoplasmosis might experience mental retardation, hearing loss and blindness years after birth.

E. coli infection is another risk associated with cat feces. While most strains of E. coli are harmless, some can cause serious illness, especially in children under five.

Another risk associated with infectious agents in cat litter trays is to your cat himself. Inadequately cleaned trays increase your cat's risk of urinary tract and other infections.

How An Automatic Cat Litter Box Can Help

Automatic cat litter boxes can go a long way towards helping you reduce infectious waste, simply because automatic litter boxes clean themselves consistently. All models are different; some use motion sensors to self-clean about ten minutes after your cat leaves the box. Others clean themselves at preset intervals. While you'll still have to empty a tray or dispose of waste receptacle, an automatic litter box will consistently remove lumps and feces, cutting down the risk of infection for both you and your cat.

Other Automatic Litter Box Considerations

It's important to empty your automatic litter box's waste receptacle daily. This is especially important in the prevention of toxoplasmosis, because the Toxoplasma gondii parasite does not become infectious for one to five days after feces are excreted.

Use rubber gloves when handling your automatic cat box's waste receptacle. Wash your hands thoroughly afterward. If you are in the high risk group (pregnant or immuno-compromised), have someone else dispose of your cat's waste and refrain from handling cat waste yourself.

If you're concerned about the health effects of clumping litter made with sodium bentonite clay, you can still use a natural clumping litter with your automatic cat box. Safe and flushable cat litter made with wheat or corn clumps as readily as litter made with clay.