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Dr. Emily
Dr. Emily, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 945
Experience:  Associate veterinarian at a small animal clinic
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New years eve i adopted 2 cats 1 bermin 1 ragdoll the ragdoll

Customer Question

new years eve i adopted 2 cats 1 bermin 1 ragdoll the ragdoll will not do his poop in the litter tray but just near my toilet he is 3 years old i think he's a.d.d he will not leave anything on my small tables that he thinks should not be there which includes the phone, he's crosseyed plays fetch with the ball and is totally jealous if the other cat comes near me .If i do something he does not like he wee's on the mat ,i cannot leave any bathroom mats on the floor he weill wee on them. I have tried all the sprays it does not stop them ,they get on very well together.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Emily replied 2 years ago.
My name is***** and I would like to assist with your question today. Typically defecating and urinating outside the box are two different problems that are unrelated.
Expert:  Dr. Emily replied 2 years ago.
I will provide you info about both.
Expert:  Dr. Emily replied 2 years ago.
here are medical and behavioral reasons for what your cat or cats are showing at home. Since there is no one specific test for the behavioral troubles, it is best to rule out the medical problems first.This would include assessing them for urinary tract infections with a urine test to look for bacteria and the cells that fight bacteria and with a routine blood panel to be sure the kidneys are functioning normally and the blood sugar level is appropriate. It is more likely that there is a medical cause if only one of the cats is doing the behavior though.There is also a condition that causes the bladder to be irritated and inflammed and cats can urinate outside of the litter box due to the pain associated with urinating and relating this to being in the litter box. This is treated with increased amount of water intake and a special diet. The way it is diagnosed is with a urine test that looks for white and red cells but there is not bacteria present as their would be with infection. It tends to be related to stress or change in the cat's world. It is called FLUTD.It can be useful to add a new litter box that the cats would not associate with the past negative interaction with the box (pain while urinating)As far as the behavioral side -- this can happen if cats are stressed and are acting out, if the cats are trying to display dominance and claiming certain areas as their own. If there is a way to remove the items that are repeatedly urinating on, that is best. If this is not possible, then a product to remove the urine scent is needed. It can also be useful to use bitter apple spray as this tastes and smells bad and deter the cats from going in certain areas. I would like to address some potential medication causes of inappropriate urination.1) Urinary tract infection (bladder, kidneys) -- sometimes we may see blood in the urine as well with this but not always. The way to detect a bladder infection is to retrieve a urine sample and have it examined under a microscope for signs of infection (bacteria, white cells that fight infection) or have it cultured (put on a plate to grow bacteria if any are present). A bladder infection can occur at any time, but I am suspicious of this when there has been diarrhea. Diarrhea can create more of a mess on a pet's rear end. This can cause bacteria translocation from the anal area, hair, tail up the urethra into the bladder. The bacteria can also be moved from the fecal area to the urethral from the pet licking. Urinary tract infections are treated with antibiotics.2) Kidney disease -- this can begin developing in middle to older aged dogs naturally or can begin at any time if there is toxin exposure -- such as from raisins, grapes, anti freeze. Routine blood panels can assess kidney values to determine if the kidneys are functioning well. A urine test to be sure the urine is concentrating appropriately can also be quickly done. Kidney disease is often accompanied by vomiting, weight loss, lack of appetite, but in the earlier phases we may only be seeing abnormal urination.3) Diabetes -- similar to in people, increased blood sugar secondary to diabetes can cause frequent urination and frequent drinking. Routine bloodwork can check the blood glucose (sugar) level, as well as the urine test previously mentioned can be done to check sugar in the urine.These are the most likely medical causes of the signs you are seeing. There are less common problems that can also cause frequent urination that may need to be looked into if the urine and blood tests are negative. Also be sure to reinforce all good house training techniques. Is there anything that changed in his environment that could be causing him to act out in a rebellious way or cause him to be stressed and urinate appropriately?Here are some more ideas:Increasing Litter Box Attraction and Cleaning Urine MarksThe litter pan should be friendly and very clean. Recent research has shown that providing appropriate numbers of boxes, cleaning boxes regularly and cleaning urine marks can decrease urine marking in the home. Waste material should be scooped out 1–2 times a day.Owners must empty and wash the litter box by totally changing clay litter material every 3–4 days and totally emptying and replacing scooping litters weekly. The depth should be adequate, 3–4 inches seems preferred. Research has shown that some cats prefer the clumping materials to clay litter products; it may be beneficial to switch to a clumping-type product.Litter boxes must be easily accessible, in quiet locations and where the cats spend their time. Where and how to allocate litter boxes should be decided based in information on the household routine, the number of other cats within the home and the social relationship between individuals. In multi-cat households there should be an adequate number of pans (one pan per cat) in different locations, not just an increase in the number of pans side by side.Since urine marking is a normal feline behaviour, some cats will respond to the creation of an acceptable spraying spot for the cat. You can create an "L"-shaped litter arrangement, two litter boxes, one horizontal with litter inside and placed inside one that is empty and vertical or just one litter box leaned against a wall. Some cats will use this set up and limit their urine spraying to this location.Cleaning urine spots and making the sprayed areas aversive using tactics such as placing potpourri at the spot, food bowls, motion sensors and keeping rooms blocked off are useful environmental changes.Dealing with Social Issues Between CatsEnsuring adequate numbers of food bowls, resting places and litter boxes throughout the environment may help diminish social tension and perhaps spraying behaviour. In other situations the number of cats in the home may need to be reduced to eliminate or decrease spraying behaviour, or permanent separation of cats may be needed.For cats that are dealing with social stresses within the home, a component to a treatment plan is "alone time."This allows the spraying cat to have access to an area all by himself without the presence of the other cats in the household. This can be in the basement or a bedroom, but the cat should have a minimum of 4–6 hours of alone time daily. The separate space should have a food bowl, water bowl, litter box and adequate resting and hiding locations. Social interactions with owners must also be regularly provided.Attempts should be made to limit the inside cats ability to visualize the outdoor cats and to get rid of those cats if possible. Blocking visual access out windows and doors, or closing the cat in a room where it cannot visualize outside cats is useful. In some cases motion sensors or fences may keep some cats out of the yard and away from windows.PheromonesFeliway®, a synthetic pheromone spray or diffuser can also be very useful in the treatment of urine marking. Feliway® is synthetic cheek pheromone of cats and can be useful in decreasing or stopping spraying behavior.In a study by Mills and Mills, cats exposed to Feliway® in the diffuser form showed a decrease in urine marks when compared to cats treated with placebo.4 Feliway® is often effective in decreasing urine spraying caused by reactional stimuli such as changes in the cat's environment (moving, new pets, stress, etc.). Pheromone spray has also been used to calm cats in new environments.Medical Treatments for Urine MarkingWhen considering drug therapy, a complete behavioral and medical history should be obtained prior to choosing a medication. Most drugs used for behavioral problems are not approved for use in cats, and therefore constitute extra-label drug usage. Complete bloodwork is recommended prior to starting therapy.Drug therapy can be a helpful adjunct to behavioral treatment by decreasing the emotional arousal which may motivate urine marking. Drug therapy should only occur when a behavioral diagnosis has been made using the accepted categories which include marking, litter and location aversions, and substrate aversions and preferences. Drug therapy alone is rarely curative and is best used in conjunction with behavior therapy. Behaviors caused by stress, territorial stimuli, or anxiety are more likely to have some response to medication. I recommend Buspirone which does not have sedative effects and works well in these situations.Elimination outside of the litter box due to litter or location aversions, litter cleanliness problems, location or substrate preferences, are rarely affected by drug therapy. The most commonly used drugs are selective serotonin re uptake inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants, buspirone, benzodiazepines, and progestins.Fluoxetine can take 2–4 weeks to show some effect on behaviour. The most common side effects are gastrointestinal such as anorexia, nausea and diarrhea but may also include sedation, irritability and anxiety.Clomipramine is a tricyclic antidepressant, and the side effects of urinary retention, tachycardias, depression and inappetence are possible. Effects may not be noted for 2–4 weeks after initiation of therapy.Animals treated with fluoxetine longer than 8 weeks showed increased efficacy in reduction of urine marking. However, some cats needed to be treated for 32 weeks to reach ≥ 90% reduction in urine marking. When fluoxetine was abruptly withdrawn, most cats reverted to urine marking behaviors; however, those that responded to the first treatment regimen responded again to reinstatement of the medication. Medicating cats can be a challenge and the interest in administering medication via a transdermal route has increased. Although an attractive alternative, recent studies have unfortunately not been able to demonstrate good absorption of this medication.This is a lot of information. Some is from a veterinary conference in Australia led by Debra F. Horwitz.Here are a couple more product ideas:**Avoid using steam cleaners to clean urine odors from carpet or upholstery. The heat will permanently set the stain and the odor by bonding the protein into any man-made fibers.**Avoid using cleaning chemicals, especially those with strong odors such as ammonia or vinegar. From your pet's perspective, these don't effectively eliminate or cover the urine odor and may actually encourage your pet to reinforce the urine scent mark in that area.**Neutralizing cleaners won't work until you've rinsed every trace of the old cleaner from the carpet if you've previously used cleaners or chemicals of any kind on the area. Even if you haven't used chemicals recently, any trace of a non-protein-based substance will weaken the effect of the enzymatic cleaner. The cleaner will use up its "energy" on the old cleaners, instead of on the protein stains you want removed. While a surface may look clean, there are still traces in the carpet that may entice your pet to use the same spot again. Using an enzymatic eliminator will break down the odor compounds, minimizing your pet's attraction to that spot. Another idea for stains NOT cleaning, try a basic vinegar solution. Fill a small spray bottle with white vinegar. Spray the affected area and then work in with a scrub brush. Let stand. Once the solution has penetrated the affected area, go over with a steam cleaner or wet vac. Never start with vinegar. Vinegar, although effective as a cleaner, will "set" the stain like it sets the color of dyes on Easter eggs. Try vinegar after exhausting other options, and especially if you're only trying to neutralize smell, not stains.
Expert:  Dr. Emily replied 2 years ago.
Pooping out of the boxMost veterinarians agree that defecation outside of the box is a medical condition instead of a behavioral condition (as opposed to urinating outside the box). The hard part is finding the link between the defecation behavior and the medical condition. Unfortunately, the underlying problem can be completed unrelated to anything GI related. With a younger cat, the basic place to start is with a fecal float for parasite defecation. There are also fecal tests that can be do for more rare organisms as well, such as giardia, whipworms, stomach worms, and toxoplasma. During a thorough physical exam, it would also be good to have his anal glands checked and expressed if necessary. The next step would be a general health profile which would include a cbc, serum chemistry and a T4 (thyroid test). If all this is normal, the next diagnostic step is an xray of the abdomen. Another option to try empirically is a stool softener, such as canned pumpkin. Do you ever see him strain? You can also check your food label and see what the fiber content is. In pets that defecate a lot, they may actually be taking in too much fiber. Not that fiber is harmful, but it can upset the bowels! Canned food also seems to make them defecate more. I have also wondered with the cat litters now becoming more dusty that some cats may react to this and not want to be around it. Confinement in a small area with the litter box is not likely to be very helpful unless you can do what I call "selective confinement". This means confining only during a small block of time when the cat is likely to eliminate (this worked great with a cat that I treated who had been defecating daily on the owner's bed for 7 years). Medication used for inappropriate urination tends to not be helpful in inappropriate defecation cases (unfortunately) Since this is not usually a marking behavior (social behavior, a form of communication) drugs are rarely needed and rarely helpful.I hope some of this information is helpful to you! At least give some new ideas to ponder over. Let me know still if you have further questions or need clarification on any of the above.
Expert:  Dr. Emily replied 2 years ago.
I see that you have a chance to review the above information. Do you have any questions about any of it?