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Litter Box Behavior Changes catipedia-icon4.png

Find out why your cat is having bathroom issues.

If your litterbox-trained cat suddenly changes his or her bathroom habits, you’ll need to consider possible causes—and create a plan of action for getting your cat back to the box.

Changes in the home

Household changes can upset even the most confident, best box-trained cats. If there has been a sudden change in your home—a new baby or pet, the extended absence of a household member—your cat may express stress by refusing to use the litterbox. Even a less lasting change—like using a new brand of litter or hosting a large party—can create a lingering disruption in your cat’s behavior.

A sign of something more

Not using the box may also be a sign of disease, like a urinary tract infection. Your cat may associate the pain with the litterbox and therefore avoid it. Or it could be something that makes it difficult for him or her to get to the box on time, like some kidney, liver or thyroid conditions or more commonly, diarrhea. Straining to urinate or defecate—in the box or out—is another symptom of illness. Monitor your cat for signs of disease and visit the vet if you detect any indications of sickness.

Getting back to the box

Cats prefer a clean bathroom—just like humans. If the litterbox isn’t up to your cat’s standard of clean, he or she may suddenly refuse to use it. Start by offering access to two large, shallow litterboxes filled with your cat's preferred litter. Change the litter frequently and clean the boxes at least once a week.

Privacy, please

Give your cat a quiet place for conducting bathroom business. A too-public location may drive your cat out of the box in search of a more secluded locale. Put the litterbox in an area that is away from household traffic to provide privacy and prevent interruption.

TOPICS: BASICS LITTER

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FAQs

Below you'll find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about our company, our products and caring for your cats. If you have a question that isn't addressed here, please feel free to contact us.

Q: How can I email or talk with the Purina Pet Care team?

A: If you would like to talk with us, please contact us here or call us at 1­-888­-228­-2469.

Our Hours of Operation:

  • Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST
Q: How are Purina Cat Chow products different from other healthy pet foods?

A: Inside every bag of Purina Cat Chow you'll find a selective blend of protein, fat, and fiber. Everything we use in our premium cat food formulas has a place in your cat's healthy diet.

Q: How can I be sure of the quality of the Purina Cat Chow products?

A: Our top priority is the quality of the food that nourishes not only your pets, but the pets we share our lives with, too. So from source to bowl, the quality of our food is assured by taking the following steps:

Ingredient Sourcing

  • Purina ingredient sourcing and processing meet or exceed FDA, USDA or AAFCO standards for pet food. And every supplier of ingredients for Purina products must meet our stringent standards for ingredient specifications, product safety, sanitation and manufacturing practices.
  • Ingredient Testing
  • All of Purina's North American manufacturing facilities have on-site quality assurance laboratories and staff. And we're working to expand the use of technology to further screen ingredients for quality assurance.
  • Ingredient Tracking & Control
  • 99% of all Purina pet food products sold in the U.S. are made in Purina-owned U.S. manufacturing facilities and Purina's sophisticated tracking system ensures important measures of control: All raw ingredients are tracked from time of receipt at our plants, through their inclusion in finished products, and on to retail stores.
Q: Where is your food manufactured?

A: 99% of all Purina-branded pet food products sold in the U.S. are made in Purina-owned U.S. manufacturing facilities. Purina's sophisticated tracking system ensures important measures of control: All raw ingredients are tracked from time of receipt at our plants, through their inclusion in finished products, and on to retailers.

Q: I am unable to find a particular product in my area. Can you help me locate it?

A: Yes, we can help. Although distribution of our Purina Cat Chow products is national, not all stores carry all sizes and varieties. Contact our Customer Service department via our Contact Us page or call us at 1­-888­-228­-2469.

Q: Do you offer coupons?

A: We offer coupons in local papers, through direct mailing programs and via emails to registered members. We don't have a regular section on our website itself. We suggest you watch for sales or promotions at your local retailer.

Q: Where can I find articles and information about my cat?

A: We believe there's always more to learn and to share and that discovery should be fun. It's one more way we're helping you and your cat share a better life together. Visit Catipedia for articles and information and... a little bit of fun.

Q: Where can I find articles and information about my cat?

A: We strongly recommend talking to your veterinarian for immediate answers to urgent situations. While CatChow.com is an excellent resource of information provided by cat care experts, your veterinarian can provide the best care for your individual cat..

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