Thursday, May 8, 2014

Sponsored Product review - Ultra Monthly Monitor Litter additive

As some of you know, I have been dealing with Jack and his urinary issues for way too long now. He developed struvite crystals when he was about three due to the fact that I was feeding him dry food. He has been good except of one incident of him getting into some dry food, until the past year when he some Catswell Cat Treats that were made in China (and they will not acknowledge that their product was the problem) While experts have no idea why some cats develop crystals, they do know several factors that can help or hurt cats who do have this problem.  One is proper hydration (eating canned or raw and not dry) the other is maintaining proper urinary PH.

A cat's ideal urinary PH is on the acidic side of neutral.  Some will say 6.0 to 6.5 (with 7.0 being neutral) some others say that 6.0 is too low, and shouldn't go below 6.2.  A cat's PH balance varies a bit depending on what they eat, how much they eat, if they get enough sleep, if they are stressed, etc.  So being able to monitor your cat's urinary PH can be very helpful if you are dealing with a cat with urinary issues.

Years ago I heard of a product that you can put in your litter box that would help that, called Scientific Professional Cat litter.

Unfortunately this litter is discontinued. It also had the limitation that it only notified you if the cat went too alkaline.  Generally the issue with cats with struvite crystals, but some cats do have an issue becoming too acidic and thus at a risk at developing oxalate stones - which are much more difficult to get rid of. What I did like about this litter though was it was VERY obvious when there was an issue.  I still have about a quarter of a bag left, so I use some of it from time to time when I want to try to test Jack's urine.

But I recently heard of a new product called Ultra Monthly Monitor. It is a litter box additive instead of a litter (as in the case of the other product) that you put on top of your current litter. I wrote to the company and asked if they might mind sending me some in exchange for a review on my blog, and they thought that was a good thing and sent me two packages.

What I like about this litter product is that  it reads both too acidic and too alkaline issues. Unfortunately it showed up right after we removed the litter box from the bathroom after it had been in there for a while, and then nearly immediately after that I got a pretty horrific cold that brought me to my knees for a week and kept me exhausted for two weeks after that. The last thing I wanted to was deal with litter.

I think Jack REALLY wanted me to give this product a fair review though, because all last week he was peeing all over the floor.  I tried putting a little of the litter on the puddle in the floor and didn't notice a change at all, so I gave up, and was about to lock Jack up for a day with a box and the litter, but then I was able to get a syringe full of urine..

Let the testing begin!  As you can see I got a PH strip to test the urine prior to the photo shoot so I could see where he was. Sadly the PH test strip only goes down to 6.2, and the strip seemed to be even lighter than that, so I'm guessing he was somewhere around 6.0 - not too bad considering I had given him some PH altering supplements the night before to help acidify his urine.

PH test strip, urine in syringe, a bowl for testing
the fresh litter additive and the PH indicator on the bottom of the bag
Urine added to the litter additive
Well that was anticlimactic.  I'm not sure I would notice a difference if this were in a litter box over the litter.  For fun, I thought I'd show you the other litter - and no change on this one since it only changes when the urine is alkaline.

So I dug out the vinegar (PH of 5) and mixed some baking soda in water (PH of ~8.0 which Jack has been tested at a few years ago when he got into a bag of dry food and ate his fill and then started peeing in the tub)   I put some on the Ultra Monthly Monitor, as well as the other stuff..

Light yellow blotch is urine
Bright yellow blotch is vinegar
Green blotch is baking soda water
This litter turns pink when alkaline liquid hits it
In conclusion, I am sorry that the old litter has been discontinued, since it is so obvious when there is an issue.  As you can see in the Ultra Monthly Monitor, the change isn't as obvious in the acidic range. Since this is designed to be put on regular litter, if your litter has pink or green bits, you might also have an issue deciding the PH - especially if you have a strong digger.  I do like that this is something that you can add on top of the litter you already use which would most likely help with compliance.  It is also something that might be difficult for a multi cat household since you need to have one box per one cat per one test.  If your cats don't mind being isolated for a day while you test it, then that isn't an issue at all.

So I totally applaud them for this product.  I would recommend you try it if you feel the need to monitor your cat's urine - especially since the alkaline shows up so clearly and that is generally where the problem is.  You can get it rather inexpensively if you search around the internet, I saw it under $6 at one shop.

Disclaimer: This post was brought to you by Ultra Monthly Monitor.  They sent me the product for free, but the review is 100% my own opinions.. 


  1. This is an interesting product. I hope that they will continue to refine it because it could be useful for some people.

  2. that is are right about the multiple cat thing, but what a great idea

  3. My human thinks it's important to check our pee every now and again - I'm not sure if she has used this product, but she has tried something similar to it.

  4. I like the idea of that litter but I think you'd have to have some really perfect conditions for it to be useful. Like 1 cat household. I have a cat with urine issues (stress gives her UTI symptoms and antibiotics don't cure her) but I don't know if monitoring her pH would help. What the vet had us do was lock her up with a sterile litter box and gave us some nonreactive rocks to put in there. She peed, we poured into into a glass with no contamination and that's how we got her checked for a UTI.
    I think there's a lot of potential with making litmus test litter though. Maybe it can go on to check for other things like too much sugar for diabetic cats.

  5. Very interesting! I didn't know there were products like this out there. I have been suspecting that Sassy, my FIV+ girl, might have a urinary tract infection. She eats a wet food diet and doesn't display any of the traditional symptoms, but her urine has a very strong odor to it. Perhaps getting a product like this would alert me to whether or not there is a real problem! Thanks for sharing this review.

  6. I had no idea stuff like this existed! My one cat had crystals but they gave us special food to disolve them, and he has been on a 90% wet food diet since (and the dry food we ocassional give us for cats with urinary issues). We use the Kit4Cat sand to get a urine sample, but it doesnt offer testing, it just makes the urine bead up on the surface and it comes with a syringe so you can suck it up and put it in a cup to bring to the vet. Its been over a year, and Oliver hasn't had any issues, but this would be awesome to have on hand so I could check it without having to go to the vet each time!


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