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Feline Friday

For today’s #FelineFriday lets talk……..Cat Enrichment

What is enrichment?  Enrichment is providing animals with needed environmental stimuli that satisfy their natural instincts, this helps promotes physical, psychological, and emotional well-being.  Basically enrichment is activities to prevent your cat from being bored 😊 A bored cat can often lead to some unpleasant and inappropriate behaviours so let’s keep them busy.

Feline enrichment does not need to be expensive; we have several suggestions that are cheap or even FREE!

Make them a kitty fort – grab a few cardboard boxes, we know there are extra deliveries coming to your house these days, get the kids involved and make a fun cardboard fort that your cats will love.  Cut some openings, stack them on top of each other and watch your cats have a blast.

Muffin Tin Cat Puzzle – You will need a muffin tin, some cat toys and some kibble or treats.  Place a few kibbles or treats in each hole of the muffin tin and then cover the food with a cat toy.  Your cat will need to search around the toy to get to the food/treats.  If they master the muffin tin you can also try an egg carton or an ice cube tray for more of a challenge.

Reach Feeder – An old shoe box with the lid or a pop can box works perfect for this one.  You will need the box, a few toilet paper rolls, a pencil, some scissors and some cat kibble or treats.  Using a pen or pencil, trace the end of the toilet paper rolls on top of the lid; repeat in different locations on the lid, one outline for each roll.  Using your scissors, cut the holes out on the lid. Make sure to cut along the traced lines – if the hole is too big the roll will not be sturdy.  Slide rolls into each of the holes, and place kibble or treats into each roll. Give to your cat!  This is a another great one for the kids to help with, just be careful with the scissors!

Bird Watching – This one is CRAZY easy!  Place a soft bed or blanket near the window, up high enough that the cat can watch the birds outside.  This works best if you have a bird feeder just outside the window.

A paper ball – This one is the easiest of them all.  Crumple up a piece of paper and watch your cat bat it around all over the house.  Most cats will go crazy over a simple paper ball.  You can also give them an empty paper bag for hours of enjoyment.

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Feline Friday

For today’s #FelineFriday let’s talk……..FLEAS!
How many times have your heard, or even said, the sentence “my cat is indoor only, they don’t need flea prevention”? Unfortunately, this is simply not a true statement.

You may feel that by keeping your cat indoors 100% of the time you are immune to the trouble that fleas can bring, however fleas are incredibly resilient and by not providing flea prevention to your cats you may be making it easier for the fleas to make themselves right at home on your indoor cat.
How does this happen?
🐱 Does your cat like to sit in the window by the screen or perhaps by the screen door on a lovely warm day? Fleas are one of the strongest jumpers in the animal kingdom and they will find your cat as they bask in the sun and warm breeze through that screen.
🐱 Do you go outside? Every time you go outside the fleas are watching. They are not afraid to hitch a ride on your socks, or latch onto your pants and come home with you. And it only takes one flea for a problem to begin. Just one pregnant flea can quickly lay 50 eggs and then the cycle continues. It’s said that for every 1 flea that you see there are 100 more lurking just out of sight.
🐱 Do you have a dog? Even if your dog is on flea prevention, they can still bring in a live hitchhiker flea when they return inside, and that flea is going to make a beeline for your unprotected cat.
🐱 Did you just move into a new home? As we mentioned fleas are crazy resilient and pre-existing fleas can be dormant for many months just waiting for you and your indoor only cat to move into their space.

What can you do?


Prevention is ALWAYS easier than treatment. For most pet owners a once-a-month topical treatment is the easiest way to prevent fleas. Place it on your pet, on the back of their neck, once every 30 days and rest assured that everyone is protected. These days there are several different prevention options available and pet owners can speak with their veterinarian to find the one that is best for them. We are also able to sell Advantage Flea Prevention over the counter here at the HBSPCA and you can visit our website /services/flea-prevention/ for more details or give us a call at 905 574-7722.


#hbspca #WeCare4AnimalWelfare #fleas

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The Water Dish – April 22

Dear Friends of the Animals,

It’s National Volunteer Week! The National Volunteer Week theme for 2021, The Value of One, The Power of Many, reflects on the awe-inspiring acts of kindness by millions of individuals AND the magic that happens when we work together towards a common purpose. This past year, we have seen people supporting family, friends, neighbours, and strangers, people standing up to systemic racism, and people sharing insights on how to create a more just and equitable society.

We recognize the value of the caring and compassion that each one has shown another, and we recognize the power of people, organizations, and sectors working together. Across the country. Even though COVID is continuing to keep us apart we can’t let this week go by without sending a huge thank you to our AMAZING volunteers!

Did you know that our Spring Lottery is possible because of some of our amazing, dedicated volunteers? When you phone to purchase your lottery tickets it’s likely a volunteer on the other end of the phone taking your order. The lottery is a success because of our volunteers who give hours of their time in order to help the animals. 

THE EARLY BIRD DRAW IS APRIL 30th!

There are only a few hundred tickets left and our volunteers will be ready to receive your call between 10am-2pm, Monday to Friday at 905 574-7722 ext. 407. Purchase your Spring Lottery tickets today!
While most of our volunteer programs are still on hold we can’t wait for the day when we can welcome our volunteers back. Until then, we want to express our sincere appreciation to them all and send them a big virtual hug. Thank you to volunteers everywhere!

HBSPCA looking for nominations

Do you know someone who has shown outstanding commitment and dedication to the animals in your neighbourhood or broader community?
The Hamilton/Burlington SPCA seeks nominations for the annual Dr. Jean Rumney Award. Tell us their name, where they live, and how they demonstrate their passion, dedication and commitment to the well being and safety of animals.

Send your Dr. Jean Rumney Award nomination to info@hbspca.com no later then Monday May 31st.

Press releases

New Campaign Launches to Promote Animal Welfare in Hamilton and Burlington

Monday, April 19, 2021: The Hamilton-Burlington Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (HBSPCA) announced today that it is launching the #WeCare4AnimalWelfare campaign to inform the community of the Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare and the services it provides to help the community care for the welfare of their animals. 

“As the leading provider and advocate for animal welfare services in our community we felt it was critical to educate the public about the Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare and the range of services we provide to help our community care for the welfare of their animals,” said Melanie Barlow, CEO of HBSPCA.

While some of the HBSPCA services are well known such as Animal Adoption and Spay/Neuter, a recent stakeholder survey revealed that other critical services offered for animal welfare are less known such as free/low-cost vet care for pets belonging to our most vulnerable citizens, end of life care and bereavement counselling, animal surrender, microchip and vaccination clinics, and protection for animals who are abused or neglected.

The #WeCare4AnimalWelfare campaign provides the public with information on HBSPCA services and highlights the 5 Freedoms of Animal Welfare including freedom from hunger and thirst, freedom from discomfort, freedom from pain, injury and disease, freedom to express normal behaviours and freedom from fear and distress. 

The campaign features Frankie and Peppermint and will be on social media, in the HBSPCA newsletter, on the website and other promotional material.

“As our community struggles through this pandemic we must care for the welfare of our animals and let our vulnerable citizens know that we are here to help them care for the welfare of their constant companions,” said Melanie Barlow, CEO of HBSPCA. 

For interviews contact:

Melanie Barlow, CEO 

(905) 574-7722

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Feline Friday

For today’s #FelineFriday let’s talk……….Inappropriate Urination

We get it, it can be very frustrating for pet owners if they have a cat that is stopped using the litter box.  Did you know that roughly 1 in 10 cats will have an inappropriate elimination problem in their lives.

It’s important to remember that eliminating outside of the litter box is unusual behaviour for cats.  Your cat is trying to tell you that something is wrong!  There are several reasons why your cat may stop using the litter box.  This could include medical issues, litter box logistics, stress, or inter-cat aggression.

If your cat has stopped using the litter box then your very first step is to make an appointment with your veterinarian.  We will say it again nice and loud MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH YOUR VET!   The most common reason for litter box problems is that your cat is trying to tell you they are in pain or they are ill.

Your cat may have urinary tract infection, urinary crystals, bladder stones, or external infections like vaginitis or urethritis. 

Why??  When your cat feels pain while they are using the litter box they don’t understand that the pain is coming from the kidneys or the broken tooth or whatever the cause may be.  They just know that the litter box = pain and will then choose to eliminate on the carpet and when that still causes pain they move to another spot and the cycle continues.  

If your vet visit rules out any medical concerns, there are other things you can try

  • Provide enough litter boxes. Make sure you have one for each cat in your household, plus one extra. For example, if you have three cats, you’ll need a minimum of four litter boxes.
  • Place litter boxes in accessible locations, away from high-traffic areas and away from areas where the cat might feel trapped. If you live in a multistory residence, you may need to provide a litter box on each level. Keep boxes away from busy, loud or intimidating places, like next to your washer and dryer or next to your dog’s food and water bowls, or in areas where there’s a lot of foot traffic.
  • Put your cat’s food bowls somewhere other than right next to her litter box.
  • Remove covers and liners from all litter boxes.
  • Give your cat a choice of litter types. Cats generally prefer clumping litter with a medium to fine texture. Use unscented litter. Offer different types of litter in boxes placed side-by-side to allow your cat to show you her preference.
  • Scoop at least once a day. Once a week, clean all litter boxes with warm water and unscented soap, baking soda or no soap, and completely replace the litter. The problem with scented cleaners is that your cat could develop an aversion to the scent.
  • Clean accidents thoroughly with an enzymatic cleanser designed to neutralize pet odors. You can find this kind of cleaner at most pet stores.
  • If your cat soils in just a few spots, place litter boxes there. If it’s not possible to put a box in a spot where your cat has eliminated, place her food bowl, water bowl, bed or toys in that area to discourage further elimination.
  • Make inappropriate elimination areas less appealing. Try putting regular or motion-activated lights in dark areas. You can also make surfaces less pleasant to stand on by placing upside-down carpet runners, tin foil or double-sided sticky tape in the area where your cat has eliminated in the past.

Regardless of what you do so solve your cat’s elimination problems, here are a few things to avoid:

  • Do not rub your cat’s nose in urine or feces.
  • Do not scold your cat and carry or drag them to the litter box.
  • Do not confine your cat to a small room with the litter box, for days to weeks or longer, without doing anything else to resolve her elimination problems.
  • Do not clean up accidents with an ammonia-based cleanser. Urine contains ammonia, and therefore cleaning with ammonia could attract your cat to the same spot to urinate again. Instead, use a product specifically for cleaning pet accidents.

Products that may help:

  • Feliway helps comfort and reassure cats by mimicking the natural feline facial pheromone that happy cats use to mark their territory as safe and familiar. Use our online tools to learn more about the factors that can affect your cat’s behaviour.  For more information, please visit www.feliway.com.
  • Rescue Remedy is a combination of 5 Bach flower remedies to help your pet deal with stressful situations such as: going to the vet, entering a new home, groomer, thunderstorms etc.  This is an all natural holistic product.  Please visit www.bachflower.com for more information. 

An important part of this process is patience, having good conversations with your vet or other veterinary professional and remembering that your cat’s relationship with their litter box can be complex.  To them it is much more then just a toilet.