Clinic Hours:
Mon-Fri 8 to 5:30
Sat. by appointment only

31310 Woodhaven Trail
Cannon Falls, MN 55009

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Phone Numbers:
651-258-4050 office
651-258-4051 fax
651-222-0885 Twin Cities


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Feline House Soiling

House soiling is the most common behavior problem for which cat owners seek support from an animal behaviorist, and is the main reason why cats are abandoned or euthanized. Many people become angry and are unable to understand why their cat is misbehaving. The cause of your catís abnormal behavior occurs for various reasons, however most often it stems from medical issues, litter and litter box aversions, or stress caused by changes to their environment. In order to diagnose and correct your catís behavior, it is important to determine the underlying cause of their inappropriate behavior. Prior to working with an animal behaviorist, CVS recommends that your cat be examined by Dr. Winter. A complete physical exam, complete blood count (CBC) and a blood chemistry panel should be performed. These tests will determine whether or not your cat is experiencing a medical issue which may be causing their behavior. For example, cats that are urinating in a household may be experiencing certain medical issues such as diabetes, urinary tract infections, arthritis, etc. When a cat is defecating in a household, this may indicate a medical issue as well, such as inflammatory bowel disease, cognitive dysfunction, arthritis, parasitic infection, etc. If a medical issue has been ruled out, it is important to determine why your pet is misbehaving. Cats are finicky creatures. Owners should evaluate their cats litter and litter box situation. Many types of litter are available for cat owners. Testing different products may be necessary in order to find one that your cat will use. It may be helpful to know that most cats prefer clumping litter, sand, or clay litter. Some cats may prefer scented litter, while others may object to it. Not only does the texture of the litter need to be properly suited for your cat, the depth of the litter must be taken into consideration as well. Some cats prefer their litter to be deep whereas others prefer the amount of litter to be shallow.

If the litter is not the problem, then your catís litter box should be evaluated. Things to consider are: is the box large enough for your cat to stretch, scratch and move around? Is it cleaned daily? Is only one cat using the box? Is a hood cover over the box? Some cats prefer privacy while eliminating, while others dislike their hood covers. If owners have a self cleaning box, often cats will refuse to use them because the automatic cleaner frightens them.

If the litter and litter box is not an issue for your cat, then owners need to evaluate their petís sexual status. Has your cat been spayed or neutered? If not, they may be urinating and defecating on surfaces to mark their territory. By having your cat fixed, this behavior is commonly corrected.

Cats are very sensitive to changes in their environment. They may soil in your home because they are upset about certain disruptions such as: a change in your job schedule, bringing home a newborn baby, or introducing a new pet to your home. These situations can be quite stressful for your cat which may cause them to misbehave.

Although it is frustrating for owners to have their house be disrupted by their catís inappropriate behavior, it is important to know that there is help. Owners can seek the help of an animal behaviorist and Dr. Winter.




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