SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A growing problem on local store shelves, is a shortage of pet food as grocery stores are seeing supply issues with mostly cat food.

The shortage has had a costly effect on nearby animal shelters. The pet food shortage has been on and off since 2020 when it began during the pandemic.

Aisles of dry and wet cat food in grocery chains or big box stores in the region are bare, but not mom-and-pop pet stores.

Mama Pastry, a 2-year-old short-haired cat at Griffin Pond Animal Shelter has special dietary needs.

She eats strictly C/D canned food, a prescription food recently harder to get her paws on.

“Well, the C/D food is if they have like stomach issues, that C/D food really helps their digestive system,” said Sherry Crolly, Development Director at Griffin Pond Animal Shelter.

Crolly says there are many cats like Mama Pastry, young and old, who prefer their food a certain way.

But empty shelves at local stores are putting them in a pinch.

“If we can’t get the donation of certain cat food, or canned cat food. it greatly impacts the animals that we serve here,” Crolly added.

From Purina Cat Chow to Friskies Cat Pate, the shelter is doing what it can to keep in stock so 1-year-old Elmer can keep on eating.

Eyewitness News found a lot of empty shelves at different stores in Lackawanna County.

But there is a solution for cat owners that benefits local businesses.

Stately Pet Supply in Clarks Summit has had no problems keeping its shelves stocked with the brands they carry.

“Every now and again a new customer will come in and mention they are seeing brands here that they don’t recognize. That’s usually due to the fact that our exposure to brands is through high marketing dollar advertising and that’s not quite in the budget for brands like this that are very quality focused,” said Rebecca Martino, Owner of Stately Pet Supply.

Mom-and-pop pet stores are very well-educated about the food they carry.

So if you’re tired of big box stores having supply issues, Martino says they’re happy to help.

“We can very easily look at the brands you’re currently feeding and find a parallel and similar brand and transition your cat very quickly if not seamlessly,” added Martino.

A lot of people buy their pet food at their local grocery store with their own food, It’s convenient.

If you don’t live in the area, Rebecca says you can give her a call and she’ll gladly help you find a local mom-and-pop pet store near you.