Martin is such a lovable and playful cat with his quirky meow. He can be so funny sometimes but he has baggage! He will sometimes pee in places other than his litter box. His reasons for peeing can’t be blamed on a bladder infection or a diet. The reality is that he doesn’t like little kids who are loud and run around. It stresses him out!
Environmental stress for cats is a real thing in feline medicine. Growing up with pets and now being in the veterinary profession, I never experienced this until I had a family of my own.
We know what Martin’s triggers are and changing the dynamic of our household to create a friendly and more appealing environment for him has been the key to his overall happiness and ours too. We have multiple litter boxes in a quiet protected location free from toddler chaos. His bedding and feeding areas are elevated so he feels safe. These are a few simple modifications we’ve made for him to be happy in our family and we haven’t had an accident in 8 months. With small children it’s hard for them to understand and consistently help Martin but in a small way they do the best they can to help him.
Inappropriate urination in cats results in one of the top reasons cats are surrendered to shelters or very sadly euthanized when owners get frustrated. Cats are very unique creatures and depending on a cat’s personality, sometimes little things can seem like big issues in a cat’s world. If your cat is showing signs of inappropriate urination or acting out of character, this new behaviour should be investigated. When we meet a cat at our practice who has had a history of inappropriately urinating, we will complete a physical exam, recommend a urinalysis and blood work. This will give us a lot of insight about their bladder and organ health. Having that information helps us rule out medical factors that might cause the behaviour and focus on what potential stressors may be the culprit.
CATS DON’T LIKE SURPRISES
There are a lot of tools now that improve the life of cat who suffers from stress in their environment in addition to prescribed medication. Ohio State University has long been involved in research for feline medicine and has created the Indoor Cat Initiative. www.indoorpet.osu.edu/cats. They’ve made easy recommendations for basic indoor cat needs. Cat Healthy www.cathealthy.ca is also a great reference tool for understanding cat behaviour. Veterinary exclusive diets can help too!
If you are dealing with a pet now who inappropriately urinates, be patient and seek help. If you are a cat owner and haven’t dealt with this before, just know that we can help resolve this. There are lots of solutions to make cats feel secure.
– Allison Rosa-Gastaldo, Registered Veterinary Technician