Whereas dog owners normally must let their pups out or be walked to do their business, cat owners are often considered lucky for having litter box-trained pets. The truth of the matter is that cat litter is a very complex product category.
Litter has come a long way since it was introduced to consumers in the late 1940s, evolving over the years to the many forms that are on the market today. And while maintaining a litter box will always be undesirable, innovations have even turned cleaning that aspect of pet care into something more bearable. Gina Zaro, marketing director at Dr. Elsey’s Cat products, recently shared her insight on the importance of the cat litter sector and what it means to the industry, consumers and even homeless cats.
What is a solution-based litter product, and when did Dr. Elsey’s realize the need for it to be available to the public?
At Dr. Elsey’s, enhancing the lives of cats to the degree in which they enrich ours is the ultimate pursuit. We put heart, soul and science into our products—it’s all about pets, not profit. Every problem calls for a solution. Whether it’s bringing a fussy feline back to the box, keeping paws clean and free of dust or fueling the ancestral dietary needs of our beloved pets, Dr. Elsey’s is dedicated to creating products that solve the complex needs of pet owners.
In 1985, Dr. Elsey, in search of a better in-home elimination solution, started packing litter in gallon milk containers and selling them to his clients at The All Cat Clinic. Soon after, Dr. Elsey officially starting selling Classic, the first all-natural, superior clumping cat litter on the market.
In 1999, Dr. Elsey starting testing Cat Attract (the feline behavior modification and training cat litter) at his All Cat Clinic and at the Animal Rescue and Adoption Society in Denver, Colorado. Testing was also done at The Cat Care Society of Colorado and many other independent feline clinics in the United States. The launch of Cat Attract and Kitten Attract soon followed.
Dr. Elsey’s donates litter to shelters nationwide to keep cats in loving homes. Dr. Elsey’s is currently hosting adoption events nationwide at cat cafés for their Power of Purrsuasion campaign. The Power of Purrsuasion aims to increase adoption rates by raising awareness of the benefits of owning a cat to those who might need “purrsuading” to adopt. The campaign kicked off at Meow Parlour in New York City. During the course of the event, 35 cats were adopted with their new owners receiving complimentary Adoption Starter Kits full of item from Dr. Elsey’s line of products as well as campaign partners. Additionally, adopters also received financial support with entrance and adoption fees.
Dr. Elsey’s is launching an online iteration of the Power of Purrsuasion campaign in partnership with PetFusion to support three cat cafés around the country through social media promotion, product donations and by entering them to win a $10,000 prize. The goal is to provide one lucky cat café with the ability to upgrade its facility and improve its space to attract more potential adopters, while spreading the word of the winner’s contribution to the health of cats. With 3.4 million cats entering shelters each year, Dr. Elsey’s is on a mission to change this statistic through the interactive Power of Purrsuasion campaign. Dr. Elsey’s believes that donating litter is a generous act, but creating behavior that leads to adoption is a powerful movement.
What kind of research and development goes into creating a single variety of Dr. Elsey’s litter?
Dr. Elsey is the driving force and innovator of Dr. Elsey’s Cat Products. Dr. Elsey’s Cat Products is the only feline-focused and veterinarian-owned, solutions-based cat-product company. Dr. Elsey has been a feline veterinarian for over 40 years, and he saw firsthand how heartbreaking it can be for a cat not to use the litter box. Inappropriate elimination is the No. 1 behavioral reason cats are abused, abandoned and surrendered to shelters. Our litter address specific issues like inappropriate elimination and nonuse of the litter box with Cat Attract and Kitten Attract or upper respiratory issues with Respiratory Relief litter.
We always speak for the cat at Dr. Elsey’s cat products by putting ourselves in the cats’ paws. Ultra litter has the right texture a cat loves with no scent and low dust with superior odor control due to its hard clump.
What is the most important trend currently in the litter sector?
The humanization trend continues to be important. Cat parents are more educated than ever, and they want specialty products like they are able to purchase for themselves. Every problem calls for a solution, whether it’s bringing a fussy feline back to the box with Cat Attract or Kitten Attract or keeping paws clean and free of dust with Clean Tracks. Dr Elsey’s is dedicated to creating products that solve the complex needs of pet owners.
What makes Dr. Elsey’s Senior / Post Surgery Litter so unique among litter products?
Senior litter addresses the medical and urinary tract problems that this specific group of cats’ experiences, with an amorphous silica gel litter infused with hydrolyzed herbs. This litter will help prevent kidney failure and urinary infections that can cause nonuse of the litter box.
Senior litter has a small particle size that cats prefer. It absorbs urine and odor on contact and traps it inside the crystals to keep a cat’s genital area clean to help prevent urinary tract infections. Its small particle size and dust fines also coat and dehydrate cat feces to reduce odor.
How is Dr. Elsey’s supporting the environment with its packaging materials?
Dr. Elsey’s believes that a successful business environment requires investment back into the people and planet that allow us to thrive. Dr. Elsey’s solution-based products include Ultra, Classic, Cat Attract, Kitten Attract, Clean Tracks, Touch of Outdoors, Respiratory Relief, Senior and Long Hair litters and clean protein kibble and canned food for cats. We always put pets first and strive to provide solutions that are safe and environmentally friendly. Dr. Elsey’s is on a mission to provide recyclable packaging materials and opportunities for our customers to minimize their waste footprint.