While cats are the most popular pet in the United States, their most common behavioral problem, house-soiling with urine or feces, is very unpopular with their owners. In fact, house-soiling may lead to outdoor banishment, relinquishment, or euthanasia. This article will touch primarily on inappropriate urination.
Understanding the true underlying motivations for house-soiling and making a definitive diagnosis is critical to formulating a targeted treatment plan. The first thing to rule-out is a medical cause. Your pet should have a physical, blood tests, urinalysis and a radiograph. If all the tests are normal, then we need to determine if the cat is doing inappropriate toileting versus marking behavior.
Litterbox aversion is a common cause of inappropriate toileting. Litterbox cleanliness, location, style and litter type/brand can all impact acceptance/rejection of the litterbox. A negative experience accessing or in the litterbox (e.g. ambushed by a person/another animal when in the box) can create a litterbox aversion.
Marking involves urine sprayed on vertical surfaces or puddles of urine deposited on horizontal surfaces with special social significance. The cat usually continues to use the box for both urination and defecation and there is no evidence of litterbox avoidance.
If your cat is urinating around the house, contact us to set up an appointment so we can determine the best course of treatment for your pet.