Here’s our definitive PrettyLitter review for 2020. PrettyLitter, offered at prettylittercats.com and on amazon.com, is a relatively new product that aims and claims to be far superior to ordinary cat litter. As a cat owner, I tested the product on my own cat over a period of 4 weeks, and I was genuinely curious about how this would work – I knew that I would definitely be a regular customer if the product did everything as advertised.
First: what is PrettyLitter?
The purpose of PrettyLitter is to monitor your cat’s health. You put it in your cat’s litter box and it will change colors depending on what’s in your cat’s urine. Therefore, what colors you see in your cat’s litter box after using PrettyLitter should, according to the claims made by this company, give you a good indication if there’s anything wrong with your cat (but even PrettyLitter will tell you that it’s no substitute for taking your cat to the vet for a full health check — you should rely on the product as a guide only).
PrettyLitter was founded in 2015 by Daniel Rotman after his cat became sick and he wanted a better method of being able to tell if his cat was sick. It participated in Startup U (an American reality TV series) and was one of the winners of the competition. In December 2015 they had a fully-developed product and were able to start shipping orders, and now in 2020 the company has only gotten more and more popular each year. So I was keen to investigate the product myself.
Putting PrettyLitter to the test
We picked up a 4lb bag of PrettyLitter from the company website, which was expected to last for roughly a month. I have a large litter box, because my cat weighs around 20 pounds, and so I could put the whole bag in the litter box.
The great things about PrettyLitter
The things that prettylittercats.com advertises about their product are true (or most of them at least), as hard as it may be to believe. Here’s what I liked about it:
- PrettyLitter is far more efficient than ordinary clay litter – you need a lot less of it before it runs out. A 4lb bag is marketed as being able to last around a month, but even with my cat – which admittedly pees and poos a lot – it was still useable after 4 weeks.
- The product gets delivered to your door once a month with free shipping — super convenient (though one may argue that the price of shipping is already factored into the price).
- The price of PrettyLitter is very reasonable, a little bit cheaper than the main alternatives I had previously used from brands like EasyClean, LifeMate and Pet’s Pal. With that said, though, the price will definitely add up over time if you’re paying around $22/month for a bag each month (that’s $264 a year).
- PrettyLitter will give you a reasonably accurate picture of your cat’s health as the litter changes color, and the colors should be very clear. Here’s what it may look like:
PrettyLitter will give you a color legend so you’ll know what each color means. What you want is olive green or yellow-colored litter – that should mean a healthy cat. Red litter naturally indicates blood in the urine, while blue litter can mean a high alkaline content (possible urinary tract infection). Bright green litter can mean a metabolic disorder. If you do get these colors, it’s worth taking your cat to the vet for a checkup.
Now – the disadvantages…
There are a number of issues with PrettyLitter that regrettably stop me from really being able to give this product an A+ rating. It is my hope that these issues will be ironed out soon enough, and I’ve already sent an email to the PrettyLitter staff about these (though I haven’t got a reply yet). We will update this post if and when the issues below get fixed:
- Rebilling — This is not a disadvantage per se, as you easily avoid it if you want, but I wanted to highlight that the default is that PrettyLitter will bill you once a month for a new bag each month – so make sure you’re aware of that. If you want to just be charged once, you should cancel in your account page after ordering for the first time. I felt that it was made fairly clear that it was for a monthly subscription, rather than a one-off payment, but it doesn’t surprise me that some people found this a bit misleading.
- Somewhat bad smell — This is kind of inevitable, but the litter does have issues with odor. That issue gets compounded when the litter would sometimes stick to my cat’s fur and get spread around the house (only a small amount, albeit). You will definitely want to clean frequently. Also, take a note that you may find that PrettyLitter is great for the first few weeks, until maybe the third week when the litter may suddenly smell awful. That was not my experience — but many people are reporting that if you check the reviews on Amazon.com.
- Doesn’t clump up – My cat’s urine did not clump up, though I did not have any issues with the poo.
If you’re curious about PrettyLitter and want to give it a try, go ahead — I thought it was a solid product and was worth the money for me. However, while I can say my experience was positive, I should also make it known that many PrettyLitter customers do not get ideal results, and there are still plenty of 1-star reviews on Amazon. So it would seem to depend on your cat as to how well this works for you, and it would be disingenuous for me to 100% recommend this based only on my own experience with my own cat. My advice is to try just one bag initially and do not sign up for the monthly contract. If you like it, only then order again once it runs out and sign up for a monthly contract.
We’re always keen to get more opinions here, so I may have another writer at OutwitTrade order PrettyLitter again sometime so they can compare their results to mine 🙂
We asked cat owners what they thought of PrettyLitter. Here are the responses:
Turns out it is insanely expensive for what it is. The bags do not fill anything other than a small litter box. I got a 4 bag order and it took three bags to fill one large litter box. It didn’t absorb and last as well as they claim either. And since it isn’t scoobable it stinks after a couple days. One of my cats pooped on the floor when I used Pretty Litter, I think the crystals hurt his paws.
Not a viable option. There is a product called Monthly Monitor that you can add to regular litter that can help monitor for urinary tract health. Much cheaper. I wouldn’t recommend Pretty Litter.
— HollyAnne Dustin, Feline Friends Cat Care and Consulting
First week of using PrettyLitter wasn’t that promising: the litter had strong smell of urine. But I read the instruction once again and it turned out that it should be thoroughly stirred daily. This solved the problem! It gets saturated in about three weeks – more than enough for me. We’re using a litter box carpet which 100% eliminates the problem of tracking.
— Claudine Sievert, CatPet
Since I have a few clients who use Pretty Litter for their cats, I’ve encountered it frequently during my cat sitting visits. While it should never be used in place of speaking with a vet, it is very helpful for loving cat parents who want to keep on top of their cats urinary tract health. The change in colors indicates a possible UT issues that commonly used litter doesn’t. Who doesn’t love the idea of monitoring cat health and looking at pretty colors?
— Melanie Deisz, Meowtel
Pretty Litter is something that I have recommended to many cat owners. I use this cat litter for my personal cat to help monitor his overall health. As a veterinarian, when owners use this litter, it allows them to be able to tell me a little about their cat’s overall health.
When a cat comes into my office with a urinary problem many times, they have urinated in their cage on the way to the vet, making it impossible for me to get a urinary sample to test for an infection. This litter will help give me some insight into possible problems that may be going on in my cat patients.
— Sara Ochoa, DogLab
For those of you who prefer the unique benefits of a crystal cat litter over a more traditional clay cat litter, Pretty Litter should be at the top of your list. A crystal cat litter is typically comprised of small silica gel beads. While these beads won’t do a good job of clumping, they do excel at locking in moisture and odor. But what makes Pretty Litter stand out from other silica gel litters on the market is its ability to change colors to alert you of certain conditions that your cat may have. For instance, if there is blood in your cat’s stool, the litter will turn red to identify it. This can be a great way to get early notification on potential health issues that your cat may be having.
Another aspect that we love about Pretty Litter is its subscription-based service. You pay a monthly fee and a new bag (or bags) of Pretty Litter arrives at your doorstep once a month. The bag is sized in a way where one bag = one month of typical cat litter use. Once the month is up, simply empty out the litter box and fill with your new bag.
The only negatives that may scare people away from Pretty Litter are its lack of clumping, above-average tracking due to the small size of the silica gel beads, and its somewhat high price tag. But overall, we feel that the benefits of this litter far outweigh the negatives. You will enjoy a product that is among the best in the industry in locking in moisture and odors and that is very easy to clean and replace each month. Everybody should give a silica gel cat litter a try at least once and see if it is a good fit for them and, more importantly, their cat.
— Brandon, Cat Litter Help
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