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A. Didiano, DVM
A. Didiano, DVM,
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 357
Experience:  Expert
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We have tried everything to get him to go outside and

Customer Question

We have tried everything to get him to go outside and toilet, however he still uses the litter tray inside and continues to go on the floor numerous times.
JA: I'll do all I can to help. Can you tell me a little more about the cat's situation? How long has this been a concern?
Customer: it’s been a concern for 4 months. The cat was a stray which we rescued at 4 weeks old. He goes outside to play when we are home, but when we are not, he stays inside. He’s never been to the toilet outside and when his litter tray is out there he will use it, but then forgets after a few days and goes on the floor inside.
JA: The Expert will know how to help with this behavior. What's the cat's name?
Customer: Narlo
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know about Narlo?
Customer: no
Submitted: 17 days ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  A. Didiano, DVM replied 16 days ago.
Hello, this is Alessandro, a UK based vet. I am sorry this has happened, poor Narlo.

Is he always going on the same spot on the floor, when he goes inside?

Thanks

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
He used to, but now he’s started to go in different places. We’ve tried putting down foil to deter him from the area and then he just went elsewhere inside
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
I would call, but I am abroad currently and it’ll charge
Expert:  A. Didiano, DVM replied 16 days ago.

Thank you for your reply. Just one more information, how old is he?

When he goes inside, does he have a litter tray inside ready to be used or not?

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
He is 10 months old, and he was recused from outside at 4 weeks old. Yeah he has a litter tray ready to be used, which he uses once and then goes on the floor.
Expert:  A. Didiano, DVM replied 16 days ago.

Thank you for your reply.

There are several causes for inappropriate elimination on the floor, and they can be classified in 2 main groups: medical problems and behavioural problems.

Medical problems would include for example a cystitis (a bladder inflammation), for which the cat is unable to hold the bladder long enough to reach the litter tray. Other conditions, such as metabolic disease which make the cat drinking more (and therefore urinating more) or arthritis (which makes the cat too painful to climb the litter tray) seem very unlikely, given the young age.

Behavioural problem would include mainly anxiety, fear, stress or inappropriate training.

Given the long list of differential diagnosis to potentially explain the clinical signs I would advise, first of all, a complete physical examination performed by a vet, in order to rule out any medical problems.

Once this is done, I would advise to work on the behavioural aspect. Feliway plugs tend to minimise the stress of the animal, as well as plenty of cuddles and play time. Having several litter trays (initially, not indefinitely) both inside and outside will make elimination on the floor less likely.

Also, I cannot highlight enough the importance of cleaning deeply the places where he urinates/defecates outside the litter box, as if even a minimal smell is left on the floor, he will think that’s an appropriate place to toilette.

Usually, with these measures, time and patience we achieve a resolution of the problem.

Does this make sense?

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
That all makes sense - thank you! I’ll give that a go and see what we can do - thanks so much
Expert:  A. Didiano, DVM replied 16 days ago.

You are most welcome. Do you have any further questions for me?

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
If none of the above works which you have suggested as we have tried some already, what would you then advise?
Expert:  A. Didiano, DVM replied 16 days ago.

In my experience, with time and patience, once you implement all the strategies I listed above w achieve the results.

However, if this doesn’t happen then the only way would be to contact a behavioural specialist. The come to your home, study the dynamics of the house and come up with a long-term plan. But, in my experience, this is rarely needed.

Does this make sense?

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
All makes sense, thank you! Have a lovely day
Expert:  A. Didiano, DVM replied 16 days ago.

You are most welcome. Please, don’t hesitate to contact me at all times if you have any further questions or if you want to keep me updated. Take care :)