Animal Care Clinic Behavioral Tips

Nov 23, 2009 5:54 PM by Bonnie Markoff, DVM, ABVP

Litter Box Woes

Perhaps the most common cat behavior problems we deal with at Animal Care Clinic revolve around the litter box.

Cats that urinate on vertical surfaces are usually marking territory. Intact male cats are most likely to do this, but any cat may start. Cats in multi-cat households are most likely to mark and the addition of a new cat to your home (or even the neighborhood) can spark this behavior.

Cats urinating on horizontal surfaces or in your shoes, bathtub, purse etc. are more likely to have a medical problem causing increased urgency to urinate.

Cats that defecate outside the litterbox often have arthritis or other painful issues.

If any of these problems are occurring in your home, start with a visit to the vet to check for medical problems.

Behavioral marking may be alleviated by altering all cats in the house, providing more litterboxes than you have cats or changing the type of litter you use. It may help to put a pheromone diffuser in each room where marking occurs.

Many cats are helped by short courses of mood altering medications and a few need to be on medication lifelong.

If you have a pet behavior problem, come see one of the doctors at Animal Care Clinic. We are open M-F 7:30-6, Saturday 9-3 and Monday evenings until 8 p.m.



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