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Litter Box Problems: Behavioral or Nutrition Based? #FoodShelterLove

This post is sponsored by Hill’s. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Hill’s® Science Diet® and The Hill’s Food, Shelter & Love® Program, but Stunning Keisha only shares information I feel is relevant to my readers. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.

Could this be possible? Do people really surrender cats because of an accident or inappropriate litter box usage/non-usage?

Yes, Virginia, it does happen more than you think. Here at we take reporting very seriously. We report the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. That’s why it’s disturbing when I have to show a beautiful cat being surrended due to a problem that’s more likely neglect on the part of his former human. Hill’s® Science Diet® and the Food, Shelter & Love® Program hopes to make stories like this a thing of the past by educating cat parents on the importance nutrition—and proper litter box ettiquette—plays in keeping kitties out of shelters and in their homes.

Some cats don’t like a covered box. I happen to prefer them.

Why is it when humans lack simple cat care skills, the victim—the cat—always seems to get blamed? Take litter box etiquette. Every cat knows—and every human should—the basic rules of the litter box:
  • one more box than the number of cats occupying the house and make sure the boxes are large enough
  • a box on every floor of your house
  • don’t place boxes in heavy traffic, noisy areas or next to feeding stations
  • scoop out boxes twice a day; once at the very least
  • don’t use harsh chemicals and disinfectants to clean the box. Dish soap and water will do
  • use litter that won’t offend your cat’s nose or hurt their paw pads. Cats aren’t down with smelly perfumed litters and neither should you
Chizzy making a deposit in Banco Poopular in what should
have been a private moment.
You’ve followed all the rules and kitty still prefers your nice Tibetan rug to the box. Maybe it’s not behavioral. Perhaps the cat in question has a illness or isn’t getting the proper nutrition. CK pretends to be a lot of things but a veterinarian isn’t one of them. Only a vet can diagnose any bladder or kidney disease in your cat. If Kitty is straining to use the box or depositing small amounts of urine every few minutes, Kitty needs a trip to the Stabby Place pronto. A cat with a blockage can die quickly if not promptly treated.

Gramma's Chizzy had several blockages which required unscheduled trips to the emergency vet. Even though TW was tired after getting home from work, she rushed Chizzy in to get treatment. The costs mounted but no one ever talked about leaving him off at a shelter. He was Gramma’s baby and we all loved him.

Hill’s Pet Nutrition now has a new Urinary & Hairball Control formula, which also comes in a wet variety, because a healthy bladder starts with the right balance of vital nutrients. Science Diet 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’s a maintenance product for healthy cats, and does not treat crystals, which was what Chizzy suffered from. It doesn’t prevent or treat a lower urinary track infection. Only a trained veterinarian can do that.

Some cats don’t like a closed box. I’m not most cats as you already know.

Hill's Food, Shelter & Love Program has donated over $280 million worth of Science Diet brand foods to nearly 1000 animal shelters across the country since 2002. That’s a lot of love and good nutrition which helps these cats be healthy so they have a better chance to be adopted. You can help them by donating, volunteering, fostering or adopting from a shelter participating in the program.

Of course, litter box problems aren’t the only reason our shelters are overwhelmed. Some are born feral out in the streets and humans carelessly permit their unneutered cats to wander outside because “it’s cruel to keep them indoors all the time.” People move and leave their “beloved” fur children who may or may not be fixed behind to fend for themselves. Many of these are in shelters looking for new forever homes. With the Food, Shelter & Love Program on their side, these healthy cats will be happier and more adoptable.

For more info and to get social with Hill’s Pet on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Would you like to comment?

  1. I think the new food is pretty exciting! And you did a fabulous job of reporting it - I like your newsroom picture ;) I will say that back in the vet tech days, most of the people whose cats were having urinary health issues were eating junk food. We'd ask what did they eat, they'd reply with a food that made our faces cringe, and then we'd think "oh, well that's why this is happening".

  2. That was a great post CK, and that food does sound like something good.

  3. Maybe it's just me but I can't even fathom people that are willing to give up their pets so easily. Tara had quite a few "accidents' when she was having her UTI's due to the diabetes. You clean up, seek proper treatment, and move on. It's not the cat's fault. There is always a reason for what they do.

  4. CK.....thiz new food soundz pawsum....manee thanx for sharin a bout it....we like de urinary AND hairball combo eye dea ......N yea........sum peepulz R just plane stooopid azzez.....peer ee ud......heerz two a stargazer sheatfish kinda week oh end ♥♥♥

  5. Yous pawdee box is quite joyful CK. Weez have used hooded afur but we do purrfur open air. MOL Gweat posty, weez not like to hear these stowries eever.

    Luv ya'

    Dezi and Lexi

  6. Mom Paula recently changed our little for a review and Truffle let her know "in no uncertain terms" that she was not pleased with the change. We're back to our regular litter now.

  7. Great post CK. I prefer an open litter box. Actually I prefer to use the greenhouse so my mum put a litter box out there for me to save her tomatoes. Next best is to give the hedge a blasting when I go out in the garden in the morning. I do use the indoor litter box during the night though.

  8. Very well reviewed CK. It was interesting too. Mom says she has never had a problem with a cat peeing or poohing out of the litter box. We all are great cats. We are Sia- mese if you please. You are so right...many folk have poor hygiene skills and then wonder why kitty doesn't want to use the kit lit. Tell me peeps would you like to go to your bathroom and wade through pee and pooh in order to do your business...I don't think so. You would probably pee outside the bathroom where it's cleaner. Get my drift!


  9. Mommy changed our litter, too. None of us liked it, including her. We're back to our old litter. Mommy is lucky we're very lady like and dint' stop using the box.

  10. Awesome job, CK. It's so important to figure out the underlying cause of inappropriate elimination. And there's ALWAYS an underlying cause. Hugs to you, TW and Pop.

  11. We love our litter box it's a very stripped down model and suits us just peachy...
    Have a wonderful weekend...

    Noodle and crew

  12. Great job CK. Mom says she has never had a problem with her cats since she has been using Science Diet. We have two huge boxes that Mom cleans daily and uses the litter that makes Ralphie happy. I am not litter picky. We will be on the look out for the wet food. We use Science Diet Indoor Kitty.

  13. It is hard to believe that so many cats are turned in for a problem that could be fixed so easily by the humans. I admit, I didn't know that litter box placement was so crucial for some cats. Luckily I got it right the first time and our cat has been great about using it.

  14. Fantastic post - it might take some time and trial and error, but more times than not, litter issues can be solved. So, so sad to think people bring a cat to a shelter for something that can be resolved. Purrs from Deb and the Zee/Zoey Gang

  15. Great reminder, and great review ! Purrs

  16. It may take time and patience, but most if not all litter box problems CAN be corrected! Great job explaining the issues!


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