Euthanasia Link to Litterbox Issues

 

I had this conversation in my office while seeing an appointment just yesterday….

Me:  “Hello Mrs. X. What brings you and Whiskers in today?”

Mrs. X: “Whiskers has started to pee all over the house….on our hardwood floors, carpets, and even in my purse! I just don’t understand. We keep his litter box clean and give him plenty of attention. I do love him, but I have had enough and am ready to get rid of him.”  

One of the most upsetting things to cat parents is when their cat doesn’t use the litter box for urine or feces. This problem affects even the most responsible cat parents. When a cat urinates outside of the litter box, it can put everyone in crisis mode. Veterinarians may not be aware that their feline patients have a house-soiling problem until the cat owner announces “I’m at the end of my rope.” And, sadly, the end of the rope is often too late.

Behavior problems, particularly house-soiling, are one of the most common reasons why pet owners abandon or relinquish their cats to shelters and rescue organizations nationwide. Unfortunately, cats that end up in shelters are often euthanized.

I encourage cat parents to become educated on litter box habits and hygiene, feline environmental enrichment and behavior BEFORE there is a problem.  Implementing these strategies as a way of life may prevent what could become a life threatening issue for your cat. http://catingtonpost.com/ask-the-vet-my-cat-is-urinating-outside-the-litter-box/

When you or a cat parent that you know finds themselves at wits end, explore the possible causes for these behaviors, and discuss alternatives to relinquishing to a shelter or euthanasia. These may include the following:  

  1. Make an appointment with your veterinarian to rule out medical causes for urinating outside of the litter box. There may be a medical cause for your cat’s behavioral changes.

  2. Talk to your veterinarian about whether your cat can benefit from behavioral modification with an animal behavior expert. An animal behaviorist can help you develop a treatment plan, give you advice on suitable medications and work with your veterinarian to maximize the success of your cat’s treatment program.  

  3. Consider finding a new home for your cat if environmental or social stressors cannot be removed or reduced significantly. If you decide to re-home your cat, you must provide your cat’s full behavior history to the new parents. The new pet parents must be in a safe home and be willing to avoid physical and verbal punishment if the problem persists and seek help from a veterinary behaviorist to better cope with the negative behavior.  

  4. As a last resort before relinquishing your cat or euthanasia, consider boarding your cat ‘for as long as it takes’ (and as long as you can afford it) to give you time to consider the situation and arrive at a decision that will involve no regrets. Time at home without the presence of the cat can be helpful in arriving at a good, long-term solution that avoids euthanasia.

These recommendations offer specific actions that may make relinquishment or euthanasia unnecessary and potentially enable pet parents to have a satisfying, long-term relationship with their cat. It’s important to remember that correcting house-soiling behavior often depends on thinking outside the (litter) box and giving the owner alternatives to what has proven unsuccessful in the past.

Remember, a major solution to the problem of urinating out of the litter box is ensuring that your cat’s environmental needs are being met. One way of doing this is by providing increased environmental enrichment to create constructive and positive diversions. In fact, the ASPCA suggests providing cats with a variety of toys along with regular play sessions to redirect negative behavior.

The NoBowl Feeding System is a brilliant solution for cat wellness and can do just that, and more! The revolutionary veterinarian-developed product was designed to enable cats to fulfill their natural hunting instinct. It a clean, safe and easy way to feed your cat the way nature intended. The NoBowl Feeding System engages the natural seeking circuit (comprised of arousal, hunt, catch, play, eat, groom and sleep) and completes it with the satisfaction of a food reward.   In addition, the NoBowl Skin provides the tactile sensation cats want, so that they can engage their teeth, claws and paws in the hunt.

Just imagine how many lives might be saved if cats got enough environmental enrichment in the home. Order The NoBowl Feeding System for your cat today! http://nobowlcat.com/shop

Sources

  1. http://jfm.sagepub.com/content/16/7/579.full.pdf+html  

  1. http://www.catbehaviorassociates.com/why-cats-spray/

  1. http://www.catvets.com/public/PDFs/ClientBrochures/HouseSoiling-B&W.pdf    

  1. http://www.catvets.com/public/PDFs/PositionStatements/Euthanasia-in-Cats-in-a-Clinical-Setting.pdf

  1. http://www.catvets.com/public/PDFs/PositionStatements/End-of-life-issuescropped.pdf

  1. https://vet.osu.edu/vmc/sites/default/files/import/files/documents/pdf/vmc/Behavioral%20Euthanasia%20fact%20sheet.pdf  

  1. https://www.aspca.org/sites/default/files/upload/images/ascpcaactionfall07.pdf



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