I’ve had a bad week. I ordered a food delivery; it arrived, but not all of it – they forgot the prosecco. The horror!

To make it worse there seemed to be no way of rectifying the issue, leading me to try to find a new supermarket to deliver – but which one? And why is this related to pets and vet nursing?

Litter trayWell, it all centres around cat litter, not prosecco (I know this may surprise you). Cat litter is key to a happy cat.

The great cat litter search

Our girl, LB is old and arthritic, so we need fine litter; she prefers clumping litter and we all prefer non-scented litter – this narrows down our choices.

This means I choose my supermarket based on their cat litter selection. However, this has meant chopping and changing a lot over the years, which annoys me.

My journey, at the moment, has brought me back to Sainsbury’s. Its own brand ultra clumping cat litter is a great product, at a good price. In fact, a cat behaviourist we used for LB (she’s a bonkers Persian) rated Sainsbury’s clumping litter very highly.

However, it’s not available in our nearby branch. I would also struggle to carry it home, so we’re back to delivery.

Supermarket sweep

In the past we used a larger local Tesco as it stocked Catsan clumping litter, but then they changed and the only clumping litter available was a dusty, gravelly, scented effort. Morrisons is too far. There is a Lidl or Aldi (I’m always confused which is which) not too far away, but their choice of litter isn’t great.

Asda were helping, but after the prosecco debacle I can’t order in case it doesn’t arrive. The last mistake was only resolved after I emailed their CEO – and that still took 10 days – and I’m still waiting on a full refund.

There is a local Pets at Home, but its retail plan seems to be to open and offer a good variety of products, then slowly change to offer mainly own brand products – the litter range has been reduced hugely and our favoured one is no longer stocked.

I’ve tried bulk ordering online, but as we’re in London we live in a tiny space, which doesn’t cope with an extra wall of cat litter.

“The problems changing cat litter can cause…”

litter
“Cat litter is key to a happy cat”, says Jane.

I know this may not seem a huge issue, but we know the problems changing cat litter can cause:

  • The toileting elsewhere
  • the long-term behavioural problems of cats and toileting
  • the fact that owners are likely to rehome a pet with toileting issues

…so maybe it is a big deal after all.

So why does this happen? There is more space given to pet treats and toys than cat litter – not a great advert for where our petcare priorities should be.

Well, the fewer product ranges a supermarket holds, the more profitable they are likely to be.

Discount retailers like Aldi stock a few thousand lines, Tesco stock up to 90,000. By giving us choice they lower their profit margin1. Well, their profit margin can come and clean my kitchen floor when it becomes a litter tray.

Minimising stress

It would seem that changing cat litter will happen at some point in your cats life so how can you do it so it causes the least distress? The RSPCA’s Cat Litter Tray tips are really helpful and, as ever iCatCare have some great dvice on types of litter tray, where to place the them and types of litter.

Finally, as we have to face the horror of supermarket shopping, here are some life hacks to help you find the best product for the best price – your cat will thank you for it.

References

  1. Neville S (2015). Supermarkets of the future: Aisle have what they're having, The Independent, www.independent.co.uk/news/business/analysis-and-features/supermarkets-wake-up-to-reality-of-time-poor-shoppers-10497671.html
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