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Elimination Disorders in Cats

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elimination disorder in catsCats are very special animals. They are solitary, yet social. They bond closer to places than people. Dogs are almost the opposite. Therefore, when cats feel stress or change in their world, they will change the two things that they do control: where they urinate and defecate.

We as their caregivers need to be detectives and try to figure out what the cat wants. Maybe they are already telling us they want more boxes, in more quiet places, not in the laundry room which has lots of traffic, and funny detergent smells. Maybe they don’t like to feel trapped in a box with a cover. Does Kitty want a shorter box because her joints have arthritis?

Sometimes inexpensive aluminum trays can be used while determining what the cat wants. These are inexpensive and can be folded over to a good height for the cat. If kids or dogs might get into the box, a cardboard box that is larger than the litter can be placed over it and a hole cut for the cat. Many companies also make furniture for litter boxes- the sky is the limit!

We must also be mindful that medical issues can make a cat not want to use their box. Lower urinary tract inflammation, infections, bladder stones, kidney diseases, and inflammatory bowel diseases can be uncomfortable. The cat then associates the discomfort with the box.

A good diagnostic plan involves getting samples of the offending substances and ruling out medical issues before behavioral ones. Getting to the cause early in an issue such as elimination disorders is crucial. Once housesoiling becomes a habit, it is harder to stop. Let us know how we can help.


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