This post is sponsored by Hill’s. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Hill’s® Science Diet® and Food, Shelter & Love® Program, but Daily Dog Tag only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.
Today’s post contains important information for cat owners, and if you don’t have a cat, I can understand why you might think this doesn’t apply to you. However, chances are you have a friend, co-worker, or family member that has a cat. This information could be the difference between a cat being surrendered to a shelter or staying in a loving home. So please read this, bookmark it for one day when you want to help keep cats out of the shelters!
The Hill’s Food Shelter & Love® Program has provided over $280 million worth of food to nearly 1,000 shelters, 365 days a year helping over 8 million pets find a new home…and counting. Hills partners with shelters all across the country to help provide proper nutrition with the hope of helping keep cats and dogs healthy and happy until they are placed in their forever homes. The cats featured today are all available for adoption from one of Hill’s Food Shelter & Love partners: Orange County Animal Services, located in Orlando, Florida. Volunteers took all photos at the shelter and members of Pawsitive Shelter Photography.
There are way too many pets turned into shelters, and sometimes it may be for a valid reason, such as the owner moving into a nursing home. Too often, it is for something that could have been prevented with proper training, nutrition, and attention. The number one reason given for turning cats into a shelter is inappropriate elimination. I understand why someone would consider giving up a cat if it is not using the litter box. However, the solution could be really simple!
Reasons Why A Cat May Not Use a Litter Box
Cats may not use a litter box for a few reasons: nutrition, physical issues with the current litter box, territorial marking, or medical issues.
Inappropriate elimination may be easily solved with the proper cat food. Hill’s® Science Diet® has recently introduced a new Urinary & Hairball Control formula to their extensive lineup of products because a healthy bladder starts with the right balance of vital nutrients. Hill’s Science Diet Feline Adult Urinary & Hairball Control is formulated to support the health of the whole urinary system, from kidneys to bladder, through an optimal level of magnesium and natural fiber to help avoid hairball formation in healthy adult cats. It is a maintenance product for healthy cats and does not treat crystals. This formula is available in dry food as well as wet food. As always, Hill’s recommends that a pet parent consult their veterinarian and ask them to recommend the best food for their cat.
As a lifelong dog owner, the thing I like the least about my cat is hairballs. For the 13 years we’ve lived with our cat, he’s been on food that helps control hairballs. There was a short period of time when I picked up the wrong bag, and I’ve never made that mistake again. I have tried a few different brands, but I always go for the hairball preventative. I don’t want my cat coughing up any hairballs! I think hairballs are grosser than cleaning out the litter box.
Hill’s Science Diet Urinary & Hairball Control will soon be available from Pet 360 and many specialty pet stores.
Sometimes the problem isn’t with the cat, but with the litter box itself, including:
- The wrong type of litter.
- The litter box is in the wrong location (cats prefer a quiet place for their litter box.)
- Not enough litter boxes (should be one more box than there are cats.)
- The litter box is not clean enough.
- The litter box is not the right size (walls may be too high, the cat may not like the lid, etc.)
We’ve been fortunate that our cat hasn’t had too many litter box mishaps, but when he has, it was because he either couldn’t get into the room where the litter box is or the litter box needed to be cleaned.
- Stress – if you notice that your cat suddenly starts marking, it might be a sign of stress or territorial spraying. Try and think if anything has changed that might be causing stress. Work to eliminate or reduce the stress, and the behavior might stop.
Medical conditions can also cause a cat to stop using the litter box. If your cat suddenly stops using the litter box, a trip to the vet may be in order. If your cat seems to be in physical distress, don’t wait to see if it clears up on its own!
Use the Find a Shelter tool to find a Hill’s® Food, Shelter & Love® shelter partner in your area!
Follow Orange County Animal Services on Facebook and Pawsitive Shelter Photography to see more adoptable companions. Sharing homeless pets save lives. Thanks to the volunteer photographers for taking these photos and to Hill’s Pet Nutrition for helping so many shelter animals!