Iowa State University Veterinarian

Document Type



Clinical animal behavior is a 'field rapidly growing in interest to the veterinary practitioner. As the popularity of cats increases and the human population becomes more urbanized, companion animal veterinarians must familiarize themselves with feline behavioral problems. The most common behavioral problem reported by cat owners is elimination outside the Iitterbox. Any cat, regardless of age, sex, breed or neuter status may develop a problem with inappropriate elimination at some time in its life. The local veterinarian is often the first person the public consults for advice on behavioral problems. Clients expect their veterinarian to provide accurate information both on prevention and treatment of behavioral problems. The local practioner is in the ideal position to determine whether a problem has a primarily behavioral or medical basis. Behavioral cases require the same level of care and treatment as any medical or surgical case. Whether or not the practitioner personally treats the animal or refers it to an appropriate referral practice, he or she should be prepared to make the initial differential diagnosis. This presentation will explore the types of inappropriate feline elimination, some of the inciting motivational factors involved and provide an organized approach to treatment.