Pet Tip Tuesday- Going outside the litter box

Dr. Megan Okes joins us live in our studio.
To contact Dr. Okes:
307-235-4889
www.BestFriendsAnimalHealthCenter.com




Going outside the litter box aka inappropriate urination/defecation in cats


#1 reason for cats to be surrendered, euthanized or made outdoor cats.

Majority of visits to veterinarians


What is inappropriate urination or defecation?

Urinating or defecating outside the litter box

ANY location other than litter box

Can be ALL the time or occasional


How do I know if it is a problem?

If it occurs more than occasionally (due to  very dirty litter box, moved litter box)

If it bothers you or changes your feelings about your cat


Where do I start?

FIRST should be a visit to your veterinarian as soon as you notice a problem

There are MANY different reasons for inappropriate urination- medical should be addressed FIRST!


What could be the cause?

Simple as a picky cat that wants a VERY clean litterbox, a certain litter or location for litter box

Any change in the household- new people, pets

Bad experience in the litterbox scared the cat away from box

Urinary tract infections or stones - it is their way of telling you something is wrong

Arthritis- Climbing into litterbox or going up/down stairs to litter box is painful

IBD = Irritable bowel disease, cats can’t control their defecation

Behavior disorder is usually the LAST and least likely reason


FLUTD = feline lower urinary tract disease is the MOST common cause of this problem

No infection, just inflammation of bladder

No specific treatment- varies with each cat

Enrich environment- outdoors on leash, scratching posts/trees

Diet change

Dietary supplements of glucosamine and fatty acids

Monthly injections to promote bladder health


What can I do at home after seeing my veterinarian?

- Observe cats closely for changes with treatment and watch for urination

Treat the medication conditions as needed (antibiotics, pain medications)

Make the litterbox a welcoming place: clean box daily, quiet location, don’t change type of litter or location abruptly, 1 more litter box than number of cats

Slow introduction of new pets

Cat attract

Feliway- feline calming pheromone spray or plug-in