Cat Veterinary

Have Cat Questions? Ask a Cat Vet Online.

Ask a Cat Veterinarian,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Cat Veterinary

We have a 9 year old tabby cat, male,

Customer Question
.we have a 9 year...
.we have a 9 year old tabby cat, male, neutered, and declawed in the front.
He has always had minor litter box issues, however over the course of the last year it has become almost unbearable. He has been checked frequently for UTI, etc, and the results have always been negative, and we determined long ago it is behavioral.
We have done many things our bet has suggested, using a spray to calm him, seclusion him with just food, water, and litter box, even as far as putting him in diapers. Nothing has works. For the last 3-6 months he has been confined to a small area with just a litter box and food and water. He continues his bad behavior no matter how many times we clean his boxes. He literally will only use the box once and then urinate and deficate on the floor multiple times, to the point where he needs bathed daily.
He is a very skidish cat who has had multiple middle ear infections causing him to have poor balance and poor coordination. He cannot jump on
Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Cat Veterinary
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Cat Veterinary Question
Answered in 10 hours by:
5/31/2015
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 2 years ago
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30,779
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
Verified
Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. It sounds as if you've already tried most of the recommended methods for correcting Buster's inappropriate eliminative behavior and I'm not convinced that he is correctable if only because of his pre-existing medical condition and the chronicity of his behavior. I'm going to provide you with a synopsis of marking behavior in cats which should be considered the most likely cause of his behavior. Much of what you've read you'll have already tried but perhaps there will be a pearl of wisdom for you. Please pay particular attention to the mention of psychotherapeutic drugs.
I have advanced training in feline behavior and am pleased to discuss Buster's behavior with you. I must admit that retraining him is going to be a challenge but perhaps after reviewing my notes that I use when lecturing about his behavior you'll have a better idea of how to address it.
Buster may be exhibiting marking behavior. Please note that marking on a horizontal surface (the floors) is marking behavior (a communicative function) caused by the same stimuli that causes spraying. We’re not sure what cats are trying to communicate to us but we do know that wild cats will mark to announce their presence. It’s reasonable to assume then, that Buster is doing so as well. The most common cause is increased cat density - in the home or nearby. Emotional problems, such as a stressful relationship with a family member, separation anxiety, anxiety over his status in the existing hierarchy, fear, owner absence, moving, new furniture, inappropriate punishment, teasing, household changes and remodeling in the home are examples of stimuli that can induce anxiety in our cats. The etiology can be difficult to diagnose, especially if the behavior is only manifested intermittently and because the stimuli for his inappropriate eliminative behavior may be imperceptible to you but readily so to him - another cat roaming outside, e.g. If emotional factors are influencing the housesoiling, you might notice other changes such as avoidance, aggression or an alteration in his general temperament. You did report that he's skittish.
Treatment involves two major considerations: 1) Remove the cause - easier said than done. You might have to be quite the detective to discern the stimuli for his inappropriate eliminative behavior 2) Prevent Buster from returning to previously soiled areas by confining him to a very small area with the box and only allowed out when she can be supervised 100% of the time - as you've already done. When confined to a relatively small area, most cats seem to prefer to eliminate in the box rather than soiling the floor. It’s then a matter of confining him long enough for a consistent habit to become established. As a rule of thumb, one week of confinement is usually recommended for every month of soiling. He should be removed from the confinement area as much as possible for socialization and play, but never allowed out of sight. Food rewards may help when given after he uses his box. If he refuses to use the litterbox when confined to a small area, the confinement area should be changed to a large cage. The floor should be covered with litter, forcing him to use it for elimination. The litter is gradually removed and replaced with a litterbox. Once he has used the litterbox in a confined area for an appropriate amount of time, he can be allowed to have more freedom in the home. Previously soiled areas can be safeguarded by changing the behavioral function of the area by placing food bowls, cat bedding or toys in the area. The area can also be made unacceptable for him by placing a motion-activated alarm or lemon-scented room deodorant in the area. Plastic carpet runners can be placed upside down with the "feet" facing up. Plastic, foil, or double-stick carpet tape can be used to protect specific areas. Removing urine and stool odor is important. Products such as Nature's Miracle which are specifically formulated to work on these types of odors are recommended.
Some cats are extremely sensitive to changes in their environment. They may mark in response to the most minor of alterations. You must strive to keep the home environment as constant as possible. When situations exist that are likely to upset Buster, you might want to consider confinement, closer supervision and the use of anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) medication such as paroxetine (Paxil) and fluoxetine (Prozac). In fact, most behaviorists feel that without the use of psychotherapeutic drugs our chance of correcting inappropriate marking behavior is near nil. (Personal note: My two cats began marking as kittens. After 6 months of fruitless treatment they became outdoor cats - for 12 years.)
Nobody wants to confine their pet as I've described but his behavior requires desperate measures. My male urinated on my pillow while I slept - an obvious behavior designed to make sure that his sister and I knew who's bed it really was. He apparently was anxious about his status in the hierarchy of my home.
Success in management with psychotherapeutic drugs is measured by a 70% reduction in adverse events. In other words, if my cat urinated on my pillow 10 times monthly prior to drug administration but only 3 times monthly after drug administration, success in treatment is acknowledged. Needless to say, that didn't please me and I certainly hope that you have better "success" than I. Perhaps you will not having another cat in the house.
Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Ask Your Own Cat Veterinary Question
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 2 years ago
Hi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. Michael Salkin
Ask Your Own Cat Veterinary Question
Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30,779
30,779 Satisfied Customers
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.

Dr. Michael Salkin is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found "JustAnswer" on my Google search -- you are now in my "Favorites" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete!

Bev & GeorgeBoca Raton, FL

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!!

AlexLos Angeles, CA

Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult.

GPHesperia, CA

I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion.

JustinKernersville, NC

Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around.

EstherWoodstock, NY

Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know.

RobinElkton, Maryland

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Dr. Gary

Dr. Gary

Cat Veterinarian

3,924 satisfied customers

DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)

Dr. Andy

Dr. Andy

Medical Director

4,739 satisfied customers

UC Davis graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management

Dr. Bruce

Dr. Bruce

Veterinarian

4,343 satisfied customers

15 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian

Dr. Scott

Dr. Scott

Veterinarian

3,998 satisfied customers

15 years of small animal, equine and pocket pet experience in medicine and surgery.

Rebecca

Rebecca

Cat Veterinarian

3,330 satisfied customers

More than 30 years of companion animal practice.

Dr. Drew

Dr. Drew

Cat Veterinarian

3,070 satisfied customers

Small Animal Medicine and Surgery

Dr. Deb

Dr. Deb

Cat Veterinarian

2,834 satisfied customers

I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.

< Previous | Next >

Related Cat Veterinary Questions
My two kittens really like sea-food, and they're not really
My two kittens really like sea-food, and they're not really into chicken/beef. Is it healthy to keep them on a sea-food only diet?I feed them Whiskas Perfect Portions Cuts & Gravy. They always finish … read more
DocPaul
DocPaul
Doctoral Degree
663 satisfied customers
Our cat snores and has frequent ear infections. Our vet
Our cat snores and has frequent ear infections. Our vet thinks he may have a polyp in his airway somewhere. … read more
divealot1
divealot1
DVM
6 satisfied customers
My cat has been trying to get over an ear infection. I
My cat has been trying to get over an ear infection. I didn't know anything was wrong until I saw her have a seizure. I took her in right away after she had two of them in the morning(August 9). She h… read more
Dr Rachel
Dr Rachel
Doctoral Degree
173 satisfied customers
I have a question regarding my cats ear infection. I took my
I have a question regarding my cats ear infection. I took my 13 year old female asthmatic spayed cat to the vet today. She was treated 6 weeks ago for ear mites with milbemite and a round of revolutio… read more
Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce
Veterinarian
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
4,343 satisfied customers
Lethargy and not interested in food. Went to vet five days
Lethargy and not interested in food. Went to vet five days in a row, can't figure out reason. Normal blood work, lab urinalysis was normal, home urinalysis showed slight hematocrit, positive nitrates,… read more
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Veterinarian
30,779 satisfied customers
She has really strong smelling urine and an ear infection.
She has really strong smelling urine and an ear infection. She wouldn't take her antibiotic. What else can I do? … read more
Dr. Nicole
Dr. Nicole
Veterinarian
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
221 satisfied customers
Milo had an ear infection and conjunctivitis. He had meds
Milo had an ear infection and conjunctivitis. He had meds which we were giving him. The other day (Saturday) he started sneezing. The vet said to put some of his eye drops in his nose. He stopped snee… read more
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse
Associate Degree
8,564 satisfied customers
He's suffering from what we think is a middle ear infection.
He's suffering from what we think is a middle ear infection. He is receiving Tresaderm drops 2x a day and as of today is also receiving Orbax. He is very unsteady on his feet due to balance issues, an… read more
Samuel Peck
Samuel Peck
Associate Veterinarian
Doctorate Veterinary Medicine
324 satisfied customers
I belive our cat has an ear infection. He cant walk
I belive our cat has an ear infection . He cant walk straight. Anyway we are off limited means. We was given some Bactracillin G for cattle. Thought we were going to loose him (Sandy the cat), so I re… read more
Terri
Terri
Healthcare/behavior specialist
Private
21,709 satisfied customers
My cat has an inner ear infection and I can't afford the vet
My cat has an inner ear infection and I can't afford the vet bill right now. Is there anything I can do to help her? … read more
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse
Associate Degree
8,564 satisfied customers
Typical dosage for cats on amoxicillin, ear infection, buddy
typical dosage for cats on amoxicillin JA: I'll do all I can to help. What is wrong with the cat? Customer: ear infection JA: There are all sorts of infestations cats can pick up. I'll have you talk t… read more
Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb
Cat Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
2,834 satisfied customers
My cat Mic has ear infection with hematoma. Canal basically
My cat Mic has ear infection with hematoma. Canal basically occluded from the weight of the hematoma. Vet put him on Tresaderma 8 drops twice a day each ear. We cannot afford a big surgery. How can I … read more
Dr. Peter
Dr. Peter
Doctors Degree
14,315 satisfied customers
I think she has an ear infection, has been in a fight an now
I think she has an ear infection, has been in a fight an now smelly an she is falling over like losing balance. We live in the country an I can not get to a vet, just seeing if I can treat at home … read more
Rebecca
Rebecca
Cat Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
3,330 satisfied customers
My cat has a really stubborn ear infection on the Right ear.
Hello. My cat has a really stubborn ear infection on the Right ear. She was a rescue from a shelter. She's around 10-14yrs old. There is a foul odor and is draining. Vet claims there is no tumor. She … read more
Kelly Hill
Kelly Hill
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
540 satisfied customers
Hairless rat that has had an ear infection for about two
Hairless rat that has had an ear infection for about two weeks. Today she has a huge area around her left eye. The ear infection is located in the left ear. The area around her eye is very hard and ap… read more
Dr Scott Nimmo
Dr Scott Nimmo
337 satisfied customers
My cat has an inner ear infection. She was prescribed
My cat has an inner ear infection. She was prescribed antibiotic and antifungal pills. I am having the hardest time giving her the medication. I have tried pinching the jaw and dropping the pill in, u… read more
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse
Associate Degree
8,564 satisfied customers
He has had 3 ear infections in 9 months. The first two
He has had 3 ear infections in 9 months. The first two cleared up with antibiotics. This time he has had severe head tilt and falls over a lot. My vet tried two antibiotics and steroids along with ver… read more
Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo
Veterinarian
BA
1 satisfied customers
Have treated an ear infection with Tresaderm for three
Have treated an ear infection with Tresaderm for three rounds of ten days and after a couple of days the smell and head shaking return. He is now afraid of us for putting med in ears and now is scream… read more
Carole Cocagne
Carole Cocagne
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
318 satisfied customers
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x