Sep 05 2014

Is Your Cat Missing the Litter Box?

You have a problem. Your cat is thinking outside the box, and not in a good way. You may be wondering what you did to inspire so much “creative expression.” Is your cat punishing you? Is Fluffy just “bad”? No, and no. House soiling and missing the litter box is a sign that your cat needs some help.

According to the Winn Feline Foundation, house soiling is the number one complaint among cat owners. The good news is that it is very treatable.

An accredited veterinarian can help you determine if the problem is medical or related to social or environmental stressors. In addition to a complete physical exam, the doctor will ask you specific “where and when” questions.

492403919

Health factors

Tony Buffington, DVM, PhD, a specialist in feline urinary disorders at The Ohio State University, and founder of the Indoor Cat Initiative says that many veterinarians recommend a urine test for every cat with a house soiling problem. The urinalysis will determine if blood, bacteria, or urinary crystals are present — signs that your cat might have feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD).

FLUTD is very common and can cause painful urination. Cats that begin to associate the litter box with pain will avoid it. Other medical possibilities include hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, diabetes, and arthritis and muscle or nerve disorders that might prevent your cat from getting to the litter box in time.

Environmental factors
If there is no medical cause, the next step is to look at environmental factors. Start with the litter box. Your cat might be avoiding the litter box because it is not cleaned well enough, you’ve changed the type of litter you use, or there is only one box for multiple cats.

Another possibility is that your cat is “marking” — spraying urine, typically on vertical objects such as walls and furniture, or in “socially significant” areas near doors or windows. Both male and female cats mark. The most common offenders are cats that have not been spayed or neutered.

Buffington says that stress can cause elimination problems too. For example, subtle aggression or harassment by other house cats or neighborhood cats may be an issue.

More Information About Feline House Soiling

Indoor Cat Initiative

Even unremarkable changes in your home can make your cat anxious or fearful. Look around. Did anything change right before your cat started having problems? Did you get a new pet? A new couch? Maybe you just moved the old couch to a different part of the room, or had a dinner party. Cats are sensitive creatures and changes that seem small to you can throw your cat off his game. Check with your veterinarian about finding solutions that work for both you and your cat.

Source: http://www.aaha.org/pet_owner/pet_health_library/cat_care/behavior/missing_the_litter_box.aspx

jballinger | Cat Health Care, FL, Pet Care, Pinellas Animal Hospital, Pinellas Park Veterinarian

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Job Application

We are always accepting job applications. If we do not have a position available at this time we will keep your information on file for future reference.

Please send your information and resume to pah@pinellasvet.com

Location Hours
Monday7:00am – 7:00pm
Tuesday7:00am – 6:00pm
Wednesday7:00am – 7:00pm
Thursday7:00am – 6:00pm
Friday7:00am – 6:00pm
Saturday8:00am – 12:00pm
SundayClosed

After normal business hours our answering service will direct you to the veterinarian on call or the nearest available emergency clinic. Animal Emergency Clinic of St Petersburg: 727-323-1311