Common Behavioral Problems in Cats

 

Inappropriate Urination or Defecation and Urine Spraying

     There are many possible reasons why cats stop using their litter boxes or spray urine on vertical surfaces. Physical causes include bladder irritation or infection, arthritis and dementia in older cats, or bladder stones or constipation. Behavioral factors include litter box and litter type preferences, litter box hygiene and location, and number of cats in the household and outside. Determining the factors involved requires a careful and methodical diagnostic plan. It is important to start with a physical examination and urinalysis to look for health issues which may be causing the cat to avoid the litter box. This also allows the doctor to assess the cat's personality.  If no physical causes are identified, a thorough investigation helps to identify factors in the cat's life and environment which may be making the litter box unattractive to the cat. The final step is putting together all of the information to arrive at a diagnosis and a treatment plan. To be successful, the plan needs to address the specific factors that are causing the undesirable behavior, so identifying these factors through a methodical evaluation is critical.

Almost all cats can be successfully treated with changes to their home environment. Other cats may need temporary medication to relieve anxiety while allowing them to adjust to changes in the home. The best outcome is achieved if the problem is addressed as soon as it occurs. Once eliminating outside the litter box becomes a habit, it takes more time and effort to change it.

Upgrade the Litter Box!

Destructive Scratching

     All cat need to scratch in order to sharpen their claws and exercise their toes. It is also a way for a cat to mark its territory by means of the scent glands located on the paws. Upholstered furniture is often chosen by cats because it provides a good scratching surface and is heavy and stable enough not to slip or tip over if the cat stands to scratch.  Cats can be trained to scratch only where the owners want them to scratch. If your cats scratch your furniture, be sure and discuss it with your veterinarian, who can offer some training suggestions.

Cat Scratcher Solutions

 

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