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
  • 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 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. 



Happy #NationalHighFiveDay Did you know that a high five is a great trick to teach both your dog and your cat? It’s true!We found some links with great instructions. Not only can your pet learn a new trick but the time you spend together can be a great bonding experience for you both.

Teach your cat to high five…/

Teach your dog to high five…/tricks…/dog-tricks/high-five/#hbspca#wecare4animalwelfare#highfive


The Water Dish – April 8

Dear Friends of the Animals,

In the world of cats one plus one does not equal two. 
In just a short time one plus one resulted in over 20 cats and kittens in one small Hamilton home. Overwhelmed with their own health and unable to provide the cats with the care they needed, their owner reached out to the HBSPCA for help. As the leader in Animal Welfare in Hamilton, HBSPCA Animal Care staff rescued 15 adult cats and discovered five new-born kittens.

Many of the adults were sadly underweight, as a result the mother to the 5 kittens had no milk to offer them. A dedicated HBSPCA staff member took the five kittens home for round the clock feedings to give them the best chance they could. Sadly, after a week of struggling to keep 2 of the babies going through parasite treatments, antibiotics, and tube feeding, they were lost.
Thankfully the 3 remaining babies are doing well, thriving in their foster home where they will stay for another 4 weeks while they grow. 

All 15 cats rescued needed veterinary care and our onsite Companion Animal Hospital staff provided them with their vaccinations, parasite treatments, spay/neuter, and microchipping. Most of the adult cats had been suffering with dental disease and required dental surgery to ease their pain and remove their rotted teeth. Dental surgery is a time consuming and costly procedure for a shelter to undertake, the cost which is never recouped through adoption fees. This is where your donation dollars are put to good use, ensuring that these cats can go to their new homes pain free, in a good state of health. 

We have already received updates from the adopters of some of these cats. They are doing well, loving their new homes and families. The remaining cats rescued will soon be ready to do the same. Their difficult past will hopefully become a distant memory.

This story is unfortunately all too common. The suffering of these cats and kittens is preventable. How you may ask? Spay and neuter your pets. It really is that simple. The Hamilton Burlington SPCA cares about the welfare of your animal and we are proud to provide affordable spay and neuter surgeries through our Community Assistance Program. You can find more information about our Spay/Neuter services for cats HERE

Our animal welfare programs support abused, neglected and abandoned animals in our community. We strive to keep people and pets together when possible and to safely rehome animals.  We are able to do this because of your generous donations, if you are able, please consider a donation today. Thank you!

Have you met Peanut?
This handsome guy is still looking for his perfect forever home. He is a big fan of the ladies and would do best wih a female as his primary caregiver.
Peanut came to us under-socialized and will require an adopter who has the time and patience to work with him. He takes a bit of time to “warm up” but once he does he is a silly, goofy boy who aims to please.
Are you the family for Peanut? Email our Adoption Coordintor at with Peanut’s name in the subject line to get things started.

As Ontario moves into a stay at home order your Hamilton Burlington SPCA, along with other animal shelters and veterinary clinics, is essential and we are here for you! We will continue to take every precaution to keep our clients, staff, and adopters safe.

As we officially move into Spring we hope you and your family are safe, healthy and happy

Your HBSPCA Staff



Feline Friday

On today’s #FelineFriday let’s talk……carriers

Do cats really hate the carrier or have we taught them to hate the carrier?  Is the carrier a warm, safe, clean inviting space or is it dirty from the basement, maybe with a few cobwebs, cold and only makes an appearance when it is time to go to the vet.  Is it possible these things are all connected????

You want your cat to feel like the carrier is part of your normal “furniture”.  It should smell the same as your living space, not the cold and dusty garage, it should have a nice soft surface to rest on and it would be great if delicious, tasty treats were served in there occasionally.  By removing the door to the carrier, placing some of your cat’s favourite toys in there and serving snacks, food or some catnip you can help your cat to learn to love the carrier and make future trips much more enjoyable for everyone involved.

This is not an overnight process but the time you spend getting your cat used to the carrier will pay off in the end.

For more great tips on cats and carriers pop on over to Jackson Galaxy

#hbspca #WeCare4AnimalWelfare #cats


Walk in the Park Day

Today is #TakeAWalkIntheParkDay ! What better day to get outside and take your dog for a walk in the sunshine.

Walking your dog is so much more then just a bathroom break.  It’s exercise, for both you and your dog, it’s stress management, a walk can make you both happy and of course a tired dog is a GOOD dog.

A walk gives your dog a chance to check out new smells and sounds and can help prevent boredom and potential destructive behaviour, it also gives you, the human, a chance to wave hello to neighbours, say hi and exchange some conversation – from a safe distance these days 😊

Grab the leash, put on some comfy shoes, make sure you have a bag to stop and scoop and get outside.  A daily walk is something to look forward to, it provides routine in your pet’s life, they do love a good schedule, and it will provide both mental and physical stimulation for you both while strengthening the bond that already exists between you.