By: Paula Plummer, LVT, VTS (ECC, SAIM) and Leigh-Anne McGarel, DVM

Why is my cat soiling the house?

Spoiler alert: it’s not out of spite.

Inappropriate elimination can cause problems between you and your beloved cat. Frequently, inappropriate urination is the problem, however, defecation outside of the litterbox does occur. The cause of either should always be investigated. Inappropriate elimination is one of the most common reasons cats are relinquished to animal shelters. ¹

House soiling can be especially frustrating
because outwardly it appears that there is
nothing wrong with your cat. Their actions are often misconstrued as acting out when in fact they may have medical, social, or behavioral problems that need to be addressed by a veterinarian.

We often think that our finicky felines are acting out or trying to tell us something, or
that they are trying to prove a point. And, in a way, they are. They’re telling us that
something is wrong.

Studies have shown that an increased possibility of inappropriate house soiling is in
association with an undiagnosed medical problem. ² Medical issues are divided into
two categories: disease and behavioral. Medical conditions include urinary tract
infections, inflammation, pain, neoplasia, obstruction, kidney disease, and certain
endocrine diseases.

Behavioral problems should be thoroughly investigated after medical conditions are ruled out. From substrate aversion to social anxiety, we work with you to determine what the problem is and how to go forward from there.

What now?

Timely veterinary care is paramount to
determining the cause of your pet’s
inappropriate elimination.
Blue Ridge Feline Veterinary Services provides high
quality, cat-centered patient care in the
comfort of your home. We have full lab
work capabilities for ruling out medical
conditions, and our convenient online
pharmacy is always open for
prescriptions and refills.

Is the problem more likely behavioral? In-home examination and consultation allows our veterinarians to observe your cat in its own territory, allowing us to make the most informed diagnosis we can. Follow-up behavior and environment consults can be scheduled as telemedicine appointments for your convenience.

Regardless of the cause, improper house soiling is a challenging situation. We are here to help you and your family navigate the process of getting your beloved pet back to normal.