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Ask A Vet With Dr.Jeannine Berger On Cat Pee Problems

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We have a new Ask a Vet from the SF SPCA at 7×7.com.

We also have a new vet answering questions!

Meet Dr. Jeannine Berger, DVM, DACVB!

Ask a Vet describes her as a:

"[…] board certified veterinary behaviorist who counsels guardians whose pets’ issues are beyond the scope of training. Think of her as a pet shrink…at your service."

So a person with a pretty tough (and gross) pets issue wrote in and asked:

"If I leave dirty laundry around my cat will pee on it. Is she mad at me for not cleaning up or not doing my laundry?"

Dr. Jeannine responded:

Don’t worry, your cat is not making commentary on your housekeeping skills. Although it seems like a condemnation, what’s actually happening is that your cat thinks that the laundry basket is a perfectly fine litter box. If the real litter box is not just as your cat likes it, or where your cat likes it, your clothes might just be the perfect litter box alternative.

That being said, if your cat squats to relieve herself anywhere other than the litter box, your first stop should always be the vet’s office to rule out a urinary infection or other medical reasons. If that is ruled out, review some of the litter box guidelines.

- Are there enough boxes? The magic number is one box per cat in the household, plus one extra.
- Offer different types of litter to find your cats preferred litter: Clumping, non-clumping, sand, clay, etc. If your cat is using soft surfaces such as laundry, chances are your litter is too coarse or too shallow. Use a fine granulated type of litter to the surface is soft and deep, similar to laundry.
- Always keep the litter box clean- the box might be dirty and the laundry basket is the only “clean alternative”….scoop daily.
- Use mild dishwashing liquid to wash the box weekly.
- Place the litter box in the same room where your cat is eliminating outside the box.
- If you have a multi-story house, have litter boxes on each level.
- And please don’t place litter box next to food and water.

Troubleshooting Litter Box Problems
1. Always begin by consulting your veterinarian to rule out medical causes.
2. Check all the above guidelines.
3. VERY IMPORTANT: Do not punish your cat for going outside the litter box as this will most definitely not solve the problem.

So follow this easy and simple tips if you've got a kitty with pee pee problems!

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