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Long-term outcome after treatment of feline inappropriate elimination

By A. R. Marder, J. M. Engel

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Abstract

Urination and defaecation outside the litter box is one of the most common behaviour problems reported by cat caretakers and the most common behavioural reason that results in the relinquishment of cats to shelters. A physical examination, laboratory tests, and a thorough behavioural history are necessary to differentiate between the diagnoses of disease, marking, and inappropriate elimination. This study followed up on the outcome of cats who were treated for inappropriate elimination. Fifty-eight caregivers completed a telephone questionnaire 12 to 54 months after treatment was initiated. Twenty-seven (47%) of caregivers felt their cat was cured, 15 (26%) felt their cat was much better, 8 (14%) slightly better, 6 (10%) the same, and 2 (3%) worse. Forty caregivers (67%) observed a 90% to 100% reduction in frequency. There was a significant association between the caregivers' perception of treatment outcome and percentage reduction in frequency. There was a significant association between caregivers compliance and outcome. The results of this study give caregivers a valid and promising alternative to relinquishment for inappropriate elimination problems.

Publication Title Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
Volume 5
Issue 4
Pages 299-308
ISBN/ISSN 1088-8705
Publisher Taylor & Francis
DOI 10.1207/S15327604JAWS0504_04
Language English
Author Address New England Veterinary Behavior Associates, 8A Camellia Place, Lexington, MA 02420, USA.amarder@arlboston.org
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Tags
  1. Abnormal behavior
  2. Animal behavior
  3. Animal diseases
  4. Animals
  5. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  6. Carnivores
  7. Cats
  8. Defecation
  9. Deviant behavior
  10. Mammals
  11. peer-reviewed
  12. Pet ownership
  13. Pets and companion animals
  14. urination
  15. vertebrates
Badges
  1. peer-reviewed