The case for going low-tech
Case in point: the automatic cat litter box.
Why keeping tabs is important
-How much is there?
-How often I'm finding it
-What does it look like?
Along with that, I'm keeping mental track of how much water the pet has consumed in a 24-hour period and how long of a timeframe has passed between their last meal and a bowel movement.
Visiting the litter box more often to urinate could mean that a urinary tract infection is present, as well as other health issues that need treatment. Ongoing loose stools could indicate other health conditions. Stools that are chronically too firm in an older cat could signal a change in kidney function. And if there isn't a stool left (ideally) once a day, that can indicate a blockage, constipation or GI motility that is inefficient (the latter two are more common in cats with diminished renal function) and those need prompt treatment as well. Vomiting just outside the litter box after going potty means something too (click here).
The payoff of going old-school