Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Importance of a Healthy Diet for Feline Urinary Health #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 Pawsitively Pets only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.

Did you know that a cat's nutrition and their urinary health are related? When fed a quality diet, cats are less likely to have urinary issues later on. When I worked as a Vet Tech, one of the first questions we asked cat owners whose cat was urinating outside of the box was - "what do you feed your cat?".

Unfortunately, many families do not wish to work on their cat's poor litter box manners and habits when problems arise. Instead, urinating outside of the litter box is a top reason why cats are dropped of at shelters and left homeless. 

And, in some scenarios their owners would even have them euthanized rather than trying to fix the problem. Trust me, I've seen it before. A man once brought his cat to the clinic for euthanasia because kitty was going pee outside of the box. I told him we didn't do that to healthy pets and offered him a check-up appointment for his cat. Unfortunately, he was not happy with what I had to offer. 

It is sad, but with proper knowledge and education we can help to keep cats out of shelters because of poor litter box habits. 

What Should You Do If Your Cat Is Urinating Outside of Their Litter Box?

If your cat has poor litter box habits, here's what you can do:
  1. Take them to see the Veterinarian. First of all, you need to rule out any medical conditions that could be the cause of the problem. Your vet can determine whether or not your cat is sick and help you with getting them to urinate in their litter box. 
  2. Make sure your litter box is set up properly with litter that they like. Identify the reason why your cat is behaving the way they are and do your best to fix the problem for them. 
  3. Clean the litter box on a regular basis.  
  4. Feed your cat a quality diet. 
A few months ago, I discovered that my cat had been urinating outside of her litter box. Instead, she was using my daughter's toy box. A less than ideal situation. I didn't fret too much and tried to figure out why she was doing this.



First of all, I inspected her litter box. It looked as though it had not been scooped properly. I had given my oldest daughter the chore of "poop-scooping" and reminded her on a daily basis, but I don't think she did a very good job. Lesson learned for me - don't trust my kid to take care of it and just do it myself. 

After I was able to figure out the problem, I fixed it and Callie stopped urinating outside of her box. It can really be as simple as that sometimes. 

How Can Proper Nutrition Help?

Some families who take their cats to the shelters due to poor litter box habits feel like they have already tried everything they can and have given up. What these people may not realize is that proper nutrition plays an important role in the overall health of their pet, including litter box use. 

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. 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 is a maintenance product for healthy cats, and does not treat crystals. As always, Hill’s recommends that a pet parent consult their veterinarian and ask them to recommend the best food for their cat.


The new Urinary & Hairball Control formula is available in both dry and wet for cats. You can find it at your vet's office or your favorite pet specialty retailer. 

Keeping Cats Out of the Shelter


Hill's is not only helping to keep cats out of the shelter by offering quality diets to cat owners, but also with the Hill's Food, Shelter & Love®  Program. The goal of this program is simple: to provide cats and dogs staying at the shelter with superior nutrition to keep them healthier, happier, and more adoptable while they wait for their forever homes. 


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. They've helped over 8 million pets find homes. Healthy pets are more adoptable pets, and all pets deserve proper, balanced nutrition. 

You can use the Find a Shelter tool HERE to find a Hill's Food, Shelter & Love partner in your area.

Has your cat ever had poor litter box manners? What tips do you have to share with other cat parents? Share them in the comments! 

18 comments:

  1. thanks for a super great post. I so agree with you, it's not because the cat is "evil or stupid or whatnot", the reason is mostly a health problem what can be fixed together....
    btw: the cat of my bff had a funny litter-box ritual, Felix always waited till one of his humans used the bathroom before he visited his box what was placed in the bathroom too. not only girls visit the bathroom together :o)

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    1. That is funny! Callie has been sleeping in the bathroom a lot lately. She keeps me company late at night when I have to go. ;)

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  2. In my profession, this is the number one problem behaviour I encounter with clients. I personally have my own cats on a preventative Hills urinary diet myself, due to the territorium restrictions I had until recently. It both calms them down a little and prevents urinary tract problems. Thank you for spreading the message about how important it is to have them checked out by the vet and help them out medically, before addressing it on a behavioral level!

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    1. Thanks for sharing Ilse! It's good to hear from someone who has used the product. I'm excited about it, because I'm not aware of any other products like this.

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  3. Great advice Ann, thanks!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

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  4. For most of my cats lives they were on Hills. Thanks for sharing this information.

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  5. Great post, Ann. Litter box habits reveal so much, don't they?

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  6. Never had litter box issues even with four cats and always only one litter box, but we have had bladder crystals in out male cats which is a problem. Bert is on a special diet for it.

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    1. Ah yes, they can be a big problem. Glad Bert is eating his special diet for them.

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  7. Thanks for sharing this important information. Too many cats end up in shelters because of litterbox issues. And they can be corrected.

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  8. Very important post. It is sad that so many kitties are misunderstood when they are sick.

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  9. Great advice, and thanks for sharing again and again the information. First, go to the vet, and then, think of other possibilities. Purrs

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  10. We had a male cat with urinary issues, and he'd use the bathtub when he was having problems! We were able to regulate it with better food and more wet food instead of just dry.

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    1. I did have a cat once that would also go in the bathtub if she were going to pee outside of the box. Glad you were able to get your kitty's issues under control!

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  11. That was a great post and very interesting. The only litter box issues I've had was going way too often!

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  12. Thanks for the great and informative post!
    Have a wonderful weekend...

    Noodle and crew

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  13. You’re right about junk foods. Unfortunately, back in the day we didn’t have much info on caring for a cat and Gramma was on a budget. Chizzy ate a diet of store brand cat food sardines in gelee and “the blue box” Purina cat chow. He developed crystals and they kept returning even after he was switched to Hill’s Prescription diet.

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    1. I know how that is. I am pretty sure all of our cats when I was younger also ate the junk foods for the same reasons. I do remember those blue boxes too! Sorry Chizzy had to go through all of that, but I'm glad that your peeps were willing to stand by his side the whole time. We need more people like that.

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