I adopted my cat Edison in September 2010. He was six weeks old. Edison and I had an undeniable bond. He was a Turkish Van – white and fluffy with a gray head and tail. In May 2011, I rescued Sadie when she was six months old. Edison and Sadie immediately bonded. They were pals and they did everything together. On July 22, 2013, Edison ran away. Matt and I had just gotten a new house and he disappeared three days after we moved in. I looked for him everyday for about three months. Honestly, I still look for him. I still cry for him…and I’m not the only one. When Edison left, Sadie became very depressed. She started howling, gaining weight and urinating on the carpet. I felt horrible. I felt like I could have easily prevented him running away. Not only was he gone but Sadie was depressed.
I took Sadie into the vet when she started urinating on the carpet. My vet told me that it was definitely anxiety. I’ve always had several litter boxes in my house because at one point I had three cats so I knew it wasn’t a litter box issue…or was it? I got brand new litter boxes, fresh litter and covered the spots where Sadie was urinating. I quickly learned about urinary tract infections, litter habits and how to help a cat who’s having issues with them.
Anyone else may have surrendered Sadie to an animal shelter. Litter box problems is one of the most common reasons that cats get taken to shelters. The Hill’s Science Diet Food, Shelter & Love® program is working to make sure that families can control any unwanted litter box problems by providing a nutritional diet to support urinary health. If a cat’s urinary system, including bladder and kidneys, is getting the necessary support and nutrients, it’s less likely for a cat to begin having issues with urinating in inappropriate places.
How can you ensure your cat continues to use the litter box properly?
- Have multiple litter boxes. I have two cats so I have three litter boxes. It’s recommended that you have 1-2 litter boxes PER cat. This helps prevent cats from becoming territorial.
- Clean the litter regularly. I scoop my cat’s litter boxes daily and change the litter every week. If you keep their area looking and smelling nice, the cats are more likely to continue using the box properly.
- Keep the litter boxes in a quiet place. No cat wants to use the bathroom if the litter box is in a high traffic area where there is lots of noise and commotion. If the litter box is in a quiet place where there isn’t a lot of activity, your cat is going to feel comfortable using it. Make sure the litter box area feels like a safe place, free of dogs and children.
- Make sure the litter box is big enough. My Joey is disabled so it’s important that the litter box is big enough for him to comfortably do his business. If the box is too small, your cat may not feel comfortable using it.
Hill’s Pet Nutrition has recently introduced a new Urinary & Hairball Control formula and Urinary & Hairball Control Chicken Entrée to their extensive lineup of products because a healthy bladder starts with the right balance of vital nutrients. This food supports the entire urinary system, although it does not treat crystals. If you suspect your cat has a urinary tract infection or another health problem, consult your veterinarian immediately.
Before surrendering your cat to a shelter, try adding more litter boxes, cleaning them more frequently or moving the box to a quieter place. You should also try Hill’s Urinary & Hairball control formula because feline urinary health really does start with a healthy diet and supportive nutrition.
As well as offering a formula to help your cat with urinary support, the Hill’s Food, Shelter & Love program is working to provide cats with superior nutrition that will make them healthier, happier and more adoptable as they wait for their forever home in shelters. Since 2002, the Hill’s® Food, Shelter & Love® program has donated over $280 million worth of Science Diet brand foods to nearly 1,000 animal shelters, helping over 8 million pets find a new home…and counting. Healthy pets are more adoptable pets and all pets deserve proper, balanced nutrition. You can help by donating to your local shelter, volunteering, fostering cats or adopting! When you adopt a pet through the Food, Shelter & Love program, you will receive a free bag of Science Diet® pet food for each adoption to further ensure a smooth and easy transition for pets to your home. Click here to find a shelter near you that participates in the Hill’s Food, Shelter & Love program.
Today I am happy to report that Sadie no longer has urinary issues. She uses the box properly again and her anxiety is under control. I know she still misses Edison but I’ve done everything in my power to keep her happy. If your cat is having urinary problems, consult your vet and make the necessary changes to help your cat. No cat deserves to go to a shelter or be euthanized because of a problem that their owner could most likely fix. There are many issues that may be causing your cat to abandon it’s litter box. Please do all of your research and use all resources before jumping to conclusions and putting another cat in a shelter.