From the time he opened the All Cat Clinic with his wife more than 40 years ago in Englewood, Colorado, Dr. Bruce Elsey’s professional focus was, as the name of the practice indicates, the health and welfare of felines.
One area in particular was a common concern of his clients: inappropriate in-home waste elimination, to which Dr. Elsey concluded inappropriate elimination is the number one behavioral reason cats are abused and surrendered to shelters.
With those problems in mind, Elsey set out to develop cat litters meant to do more than just clump and control odor. Now featuring 12 litters and two additives, the Dr. Elsey’s line specifically addresses common behavioral issues and scenarios that kittens and cats (and their owners) deal with on a daily basis.
Dr. Elsey’s first litter arrived in the mid-1980s. After initially packing the product in gallon milk containers and selling it at his clinic, he began marketing it under the name Classic, which is still being sold today.
Following a few years of testing at his clinic and others, as well as at shelters in the Denver area, Cat Attract, the brand’s first behavior-focused litter, hit the market in 2001. Featuring a natural herb attractant and what the company describes as “the ideal texture and particle size combine to solve litter box problems,” Cat Attract remains Dr. Elsey’s top-selling litter, says Gina Zaro, marketing director for Dr. Elsey’s Cat Products.
“Dr. Elsey feels that he has contributed greatly to cats’ lives by practicing veterinary medicine, but his greatest accomplishment to saving cats’ lives was the development of Cat Attract,” Zaro adds.
Dr. Elsey didn’t stop there. Kitten Attract, also featuring the herb attractant, arrived a few years later, says Zaro, who points out that it’s softer in texture than Cat Attract. With regard to the R&R Respiratory Relief litter, available in clumping clay and silica gel formulas, she emphasizes that the product’s natural essences, along with low dust, “help to reduce stress, which can be an important factor in controlling feline respiratory disease.” For breeds such as Persians and Siberians that deal with sticking issues, there’s Long Haired Litter. Touch of Outdoors brings the outdoor experience inside. Made with prairie grass and using natural chlorophyll for odor control, it is meant for cats exhibiting such behaviors as pacing and excessive grooming.
Helping to spread the awareness and benefits of the Dr. Elsey’s litter line (and also promoting the Dr. Elsey’s cleanprotein food products) are a series of videos starring Purrfessor Catticus Whiskerton (Purrfessor Cat), the “resident academic scholar” for Dr. Elsey’s, according to the company’s site. Introduced in 2017, the bespectacled, bowtie-wearing Purrfessor Cat is portrayed by a New York-based feline named Frosty Austin and voiced by an actor.
“Purrfessor Cat has attracted a huge fan base on social media and is known far and wide for his intellect, good looks and fashion sense,” Zaro says. “He is emphatic about two things: Cats need your love, and they depend on you to keep them safe.”