Inappropriate elimination is a big problem! If your dog is urinating in the house or your cat is urinating outside the litter box, we will get to the bottom of it. There could be a number of explanations, either medical or behavioral.
Common medical causes include urinary tract infection, kidney disease, diabetes, kidney or bladder stones, Cushing’s disease in dogs, and hyperthyroidism in cats.
Many problems can be ruled out—or in—with a full physical examination, blood work, and urinalysis. We can certainly treat anything we discover with medications, diet, and/or other procedures. Medical causes of inappropriate elimination are so common we must always rule them out first. Call us at (919) 544-2226 to schedule a visit.
Inappropriate elimination is different from urinary incontinence, although both may be caused by medical problems. Urinary incontinence is involuntary peeing; read all about it in a separate blog.
If your dog or cat is still peeing around the house and medical issues have been completely ruled out, we can dig deeper.
House Training Issues
Perhaps your puppy was not completely housebroken? Or perhaps he had some housebreaking training but has reverted a bit. Occasional accidents often signal a need to go back to Housebreaking 101. See our blog on crate training for amazing tips.
If you have an older dog, he may simply need to go out more often.
Litter Box Problems
Cats have to like and feel safe in their litter boxes to use them! House cats think like their wild relatives; elimination is a compromising position. Cats prefer to be able to see around themselves, which means they usually prefer an uncovered litter box. Bigger cats prefer the extra space, too. But some cats like the privacy of a covered box. You know your cat best.
It is essential to keep the litter box clean! Cats who have to step on or around urine and feces in the box may simply refuse to use it. Scoop your litter box at least once a day.
Did you know cats hate anything scented? You may love lavender, but your cat will avoid it at all costs! Make sure your litter is unscented. Change the litter and wash the box (with plain dish soap and water) as needed but not too often, depending on how many cats use it.
If you have more than one cat, do you know how many litter boxes you need? One of the most common causes of litter box problems is simply not having enough. Some cats are easy-going about sharing litter box space. But many cats are not.
A good rule is to have a litter box per cat, plus one. So if you have two cats, you should have three litter boxes. Make sure the litter boxes are in different locations, with at least one per floor. Cats can be picky! Give your feline fur babies their preferred quiet, safe places to do their business.
A Note About Anxiety
Anxiety can strike dogs in many forms…
- Dogs with separation anxiety are nervous when you leave and overly excited when you return.
- Any environmental change can cause anxiety that results in house soiling.
- Thunderstorms, fireworks, and even loud noises are common stressors.
Remember: Dogs do not get angry or punitive; they get scared and act out. We can treat your dog’s anxiety with further training, medication, and supplements. And environmental enrichment is key!
Anxiety in cats often stems from change, territorial disputes or dominance issues with other cats, and even boredom. New family members—including new pets—as well as company, holidays, and loud noises can all lead to anxiety and aggression.
Again: Your cat is not mad. He just needs some special care and attention. Read our Q&A blog on aggression in cats for great ideas on how to help your fur baby.
Our vets are experts in a range of behavioral issues and are always happy to have a behavioral consultation with you and your pet. Call us at (919) 544-2226.