Litter Box Avoidance Part 3
Nutritions Role in Litter Box Habits
We bring you Part 3, ‘Litter Box Avoidance: Nutritions Role in Litter Box Habits’, by Beverly Morgan, Animal Solutions Specialist. Beverly has two certifications in animal behavior and uses a method she created and calls Mother Nature’s Blueprint™ to evaluate and solve behavior issues in the cats and the people she works with!
In this article, Beverly talks about nutrition and how it can impact your cat's health and litter box habits. Nutrition is such an important, but oftentimes overlooked aspect of a cat's behavior and habits. Cats are masters at hiding any illnesses for the sake of self-preservation, which is why it's so important for cat parents to be well informed when it comes to nutrition!
"Welcome back! It’s Beverly Morgan again with the 3rd and final piece to my Litter Box Avoidance series! My goal is to give your cats the very best life they can have with you and for you to have the very best life you can have with them. Some of the people I have helped have tried traditional methods when it comes to litter box issues with a lack of positive results. What I offer is in-sight through the animal’s eye, combined with some unique talents and gifts I have and my Mother Nature’s Blueprint™ that allows me to give back to the animals and the people who love them.
Unwanted urine-based behavior in cats is one of the most common reasons cats are re-homed. This article is the third of my three-part series of articles about cats and urine issues. The first two articles can be found using the tabs at the top of the page if you'd like to read or re-read!
The third and final piece of my Litter Box Avoidance series will focus on how feline nutrition can impact a cat’s urinary health and create problems for your cat with regard to inappropriate urination. The content of this article is not meant to be a replacement for a certified veterinarian’s diagnosis or recommendations. If you notice any changes in your cat’s litter box use or urine, please see a certified veterinarian right away!
In my experience, while working in the pet nutrition industry, and as a former veterinary nurse, I have found that both in America and in Europe, when a cat has bladder infections and crystals, non-holistic veterinarians often recommend 2 popular food brands that are found on the shelves in their waiting rooms. Those food brands are not holistic foods and are typically dry kibble. Owners are surprised when the foods that claim on the bag to aid in urinary tract issues fail to do so. While working in Europe, these cat owners would come to me and sheepishly make inquiries to me about any substitutes for what their non-holistic vet had recommended. They felt guilty for seeking solutions outside of what food was sold at their vet, but they knew it had not worked and were desperate for solutions. The substitutes for the traditional recommendations can be found in following nature’s design for how a cat should eat.
Some of these cats were starting to have unwanted behaviors with their litter box use because of the bladder and urinary tract issues and one of the reasons that poor urinary health conditions can cause cats to urinate outside of the litter box is due to the pain they may be experiencing when trying to urinate in the box. The litter box then becomes a place associated with pain and the cat may start to avoid it altogether, seeking out a different, most often an inappropriate place to do their business.
I explained to the desperate owners that it was not a magical mystery why the foods they had tried failed their cats. By simply reading the ingredients of the 2 most popular brands of cat food found in non-holistic veterinary offices, I would educate my clients on what was listed to be in the cat food, as well as what should be in cat food but was not included. There are a few ingredients in those foods that most cats should NOT have because it is something a cat would never eat in the wild. More importantly, cats eat things that those foods do not have in them. On a daily basis, all cats need to source absorbable and correct ratios of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, fat and live probiotics.
Here is an example of what a cat gets when it eats a mouse. A cat will nutritionally provide its own digestive track with live probiotics through live probiotics found within the digestive tract of a mouse. These are critical for a cat’s digestion for that meal and for the cat’s intestinal health. Just like humans, the intestinal health of a cat affects his general health. Further, by eating select organs of the mouse, a cat will obtain vitamins, minerals, fats, enzymes, and essential amino acids and protein. Even the stomach contents of the mouse will provide nutrition to the cat in an easily absorbed manner. Fresh, non-processed food is critical for your cat’s bladder and urinary tract as well as its general well-being just as it is to yours. If there is any doubt in your mind, ask yourself if you would you eat baked kibble with sprayed-on vitamins and minerals for the rest of your life and expect your body to maintain optimal health. Many clients have told me that their cat’s health has drastically improved when they switch their cat from any kibble diet to a natural diet, and while genetics does have an impact on your pet’s health, diet is very critical in the overall health of all cats.
When it comes to a cat’s bladder, kidneys and urinary track, food has a huge impact on preventing bladder infections and crystals in cats that do not have underlying medical issues creating them. Your cat’s kidneys need moisture to function and because cats originated in the desert area, they have the ability to concentrate their urine making it possible to survive on smaller quantities of water. In fact, cats were designed to get the majority of their moisture from their food. Cats actually have a low thirst drive, meaning they don’t feel the need to drink water that often, which is why dry kibble isn’t always the best solution for a cat that is having bladder, kidney and/or urinary track issues. Fresh food, on the other hand, has a high moisture content as opposed to a dry, baked kibble that has so little moisture in it that you can hear it crunching and breaking as your cat eats it.
Some things to think about when it comes to your cat’s health and wellbeing:
Did you know that dry cat food kibble is processed to the point that the vitamins and minerals must be sprayed onto the kibble after it is created because no vitamins or minerals found in the original food sources survive the processing?
Did you know that when a cat eats kibble it can take up to 3 days for a cat to fully digest it?
Did you know that if you don’t provide amino acids and enzymes for every meal your cat eats that your cat has to steal them from its own organs?
Did you know that there is a popular pet food on the market right now that is known for destroying your pet’s bladder over time, and that it is still on the market, and that some foods on the market contribute to bladder crystals forming and infections?
Do you think baked kibble has the live probiotics your cat needs that are found in the intestinal track of a mouse?
Dry kibble may be a convenient way to feed your cat, but the many nutrients and moisture lacking in the dry-processed cat foods that are needed for the optimal health of your cat may be a reason to educate yourself on how to feed a non-processed, nutritionally complete fresh food diet instead. Finding alternatives to a dry kibble only diet can help give your cat a healthier life and a much better chance at avoiding the potential kidney and bladder issues that can occur. The nutrients that nature’s design requires for your cat help to maintain urinary health, and avoiding health problems with
preventative care when it comes to your cat’s diet can help end, reduce or altogether prevent unwanted litter box behavior.
If you’re not able to provide the small 4 or 5 fresh food meals a day due to your life schedule, even supplementing or adding a nutritionally complete fresh meal to your cat's daily diet can improve your cat's health and longevity. You may think 4 or 5 meals a day is a lot for a cat, but these are smaller meals, not a heaping bowl full, and keep in mind that in a natural setting, a cat will catch and eat 10 to 12 small mouse meals a day that provides the complete nutrient diet and moisture content to keep kitty healthy and happy!
This article completes the three-part series on ‘Litter Box Avoidance’ issues found in cats. If you have questions or require a personal consultation for your own pets, you are very welcome to contact Beverly for an in-home or virtual custom consultation. Your cat will love you for it!
Watch this space for more regular upcoming articles at the Kurious Kat. Cat lovers are sure to enjoy and learn from Beverly Morgan as she shares her expertise and experience!
As always, readers are welcome to set a consult with Beverly and learn about solutions for their cat’s unwanted behavior using her method, Mother Nature’s Blueprint. For more information, or if you have a cat behavior concern you need help with, please contact Beverly. She would be more than happy to help! Meow!
Beverly Morgan, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please remember: If you see changes in your cat’s urine or urination habits please consult a licensed veterinarian right away to rule out any medical conditions before trying to resolve using a behavior method or technique!