Elimination Problems - Cat
Litter box, elimination, stress, territory marking, marking, little, clumping, territorial, urine, bladder, infection, kidney, disease, diabetes, cancer
Elimination Problems - Cat
It's only my opinion but I am a firm believer that all pediatricians should be parents and all veterinarians should own the species they care for. How else can you really appreciate all the trials and tribulations that parents and pet owners go through?
I can whole heartedly commiserate with owners of cats that inappropriately eliminate in the home. Inappropriate elimination is their number one behavioral issue. I own a cat that urinates in corners. This kitty and his idiosyncrasies is a major point of contention between my husband and me.
Trying to determine why a cat poops or pees outside of the litter box can be an exercise in deductive reasoning. If you are able to determine the reason, this does not guarantee that you will be able to get the cat back into the box.
If you own multiple cats, you will first need to determine which cat is the culprit. You can try separating your felines and may find that the problem miraculously disappears. Your cats may be feuding over the box, hence when they are confined and each has their own private commode, no hassles, no stress, and no inappropriate urination. Once you put the cats back together again, the problem can easily recur.
Another method for determining which cat is responsible is to have your veterinarian dispense a harmless fluorescing dye that is added to one cat's food. The dye is cleared from the body by the kidneys and found in the urine. A black light will cause the urine to glow.
Board certified veterinary behaviorists will recommend one litter box per cat and an extra for the house. If you have 3 cats, that is 4 boxes. You need to strategically place the boxes in quiet areas and not all in the same room. Sometimes placing the box over the site where the cat is eliminating will help. If the area is in the middle of your dining room, this may not be an option.
Now that the offending cat has been identified the question is why are they doing it? It may be a matter of box or litter aversion or territory marking.
Cats can be very persnickety creatures. Studies have been done to determine what type of litter material cats prefer. Paws down, the winner was beach sand. A reasonable alternative is unscented, clumping litter. Cats also prefer open versus closed boxes. Can you blame them? Who wants to step into a dark, confining out house?
No litter box can be big enough and deep enough. Ever watch a cat try to dig to china? But there are those cats that prefer less litter and yes, there are those rare cats that aren't phased by a box that `flow-eth over.' Be on the safe side; scoop the box at least daily. Keep it in a quiet area that is easy to get to and clean the box several times a month with mild soap and water.
Older cats or young kittens may have difficulty climbing into a litter box with very high sides. For these feline, a shallow box positioned atop a throw rug or piece of artificial turf will catch any errant litter.
Cats are territorial. Even if you have an indoor cat, free roaming neighborhood felines can stress your cat into urine marking. Typically you will see urine deposited on vertical surfaces that are near windows or doors that lead outside. If you catch the cat in the act, it will usually sniff the spot, hold its tail high and quickly agitate it back and forth, all the while high stepping with its rear legs. Both female and male cats can urine mark. It is the unneutered male and its pungent pee that can really drive you crazy. My cat bogie is neutered but there is one neighbor cat that tweaks his whiskers to no end.
If you find urine on horizontal areas, your cat may have a primary bladder issue such as infection, kidney disease, and metabolic problems like diabetes mellitus or even cancer. Blood and urine tests, x-rays and ultrasounds may all be indicated in deducing the cause of your cat's inappropriate elimination.