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Information for You and Your Pets

Studious dog

There are many sources of pet information on the Internet and it can be difficult to know which ones to trust. That's why our articles are written in-house by the same doctor you can talk to right here at Creekside Veterinary Clinic. Click below to choose an article about some of the common concerns you might experience with your pets.

Kitty Wee Where It Shouldn't Be (and Poo Too)

Cat in the litter box, where it is supposed to go

Inappropriate elimination in cats can be a real trial for a family trying keep their house from being destroyed by the very persistent smell of cat urine. It puts pressure on the loving relationship between family members and the cat and it can be an expensive and time consuming problem. There can be many reasons for inappropriate elimination, some are medical and some are behavioral. Dr. Eggert can help you work through finding possible underlying causes for your kitty’s messy behavior and we can give you ideas to help solve the problem.

Any time a cat is having inappropriate elimination, the first step is to rule out underlying medical conditions such as bladder infections or metabolic problems like diabetes or kidney disease that make your kitty drink and urinate a lot. Even if the inappropriate elimination has been going on for a long time, it’s still possible that there is an abnormality affecting your kitty’s ability to hold their urine. If the blood and urine work-up are normal, the next step would be to determine what potential behavioral causes might exist for this problem.

Some kitties have something called “litter box aversion” and this can often mean both urination and defecation outside the box. These kitties have found something about their litter box options that turned them away from using the box, either sometimes or all the time. Some things that can turn a kitty away from using the box are that they don’t like the litter substrate, the box is not clean enough, they have had a frightening episode in the box (like being intimidated by another cat in the household) or they are uncomfortable with the style of the box. If litter box aversion is suspected, the first step is to make sure you have enough boxes available. There should be one box per cat plus one extra. Yes, this can mean a lot of boxes, but it’s worth it to keep the soiling where it belongs!! We can help you develop a plan to ease your kitty back to the box.

Keeping the litter box clean is an important element

Once litter box aversion has been ruled out, the other causes for behavioral inappropriate elimination often arise because a kitty feels either too confident or too insecure and frightened. A confident kitty can perpetrate territorial elimination behaviors. This appears as vertical “spraying” on walls or furniture. Scared or insecure cats will generally squat to urinate and the mess will be a puddle on the floor or in a soft item. Typically, these forms of inappropriate elimination involve only urinating outside the box, not defecating. In both types of inappropriate elimination, look for environmental factors that may have initiated the unwanted behavior. Changes in the environment can be a new pet or baby in the household, noisy and chaotic remodeling projects or an outdoor “intruder” cat taunting and stressing out the kitty. There can be ways to ease some of these stressors to help kitty come back to the box. In all instances of inappropriate elimination, make sure that each soiled spot is thoroughly cleaned with an odor neutralizer to prevent the spot from becoming future inspiration to the kitty already doing the soiling or to another kitty in the household. If changing the environment doesn’t work, it may be time to consider medications to help calm and relax the kitty. The drug Reconcile (the generic name is fluoxetine or Prozac in human medicine) can be very helpful in providing a solution for inappropriate elimination. There are other medications and calming remedies to try if Reconcile doesn’t help. The bottom line is that this is not a hopeless problem and Dr. Eggert has expertise and ideas to help you with this stinky problem.

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Our regular office hours are:

8:00am-5:30pm Mon-Fri
8:00am-12:00pm Sat

Please call or text our office for an appointment.

(503) 390-5222

Visit Us

We are located in the McNary Estates Business Center, near the intersection of River Road and Wheatland Road. Turn at the big McNary sign.

113 McNary Estates Drive Suite B
Keizer, OR 97303