A Cry for Help

Learn what possible medical conditions can cause your cat to avoid the litterbox.

By Dusty Rainbolt

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Cat Fancy- Litterbox and Medical Issues- August 2011

It happened again: Your cat peed on the carpet. Up until recently, he'd been the perfect gentleman when it came to using his litterbox. It's time for a trip to your veterinarian's office. Drew D. Weigner, DVM, board-certified feline specialist and owner of the Atlanta-area clinic The Cat Doctor, says more than half his patients with litterbox avoidance issues have an underlying medical problem.

Cecile Moore, a cat artist from Athens, Ga., kept finding little pools of bloody cat urine in the bathtub and on the countertop. She had multiple cats, so it took Moore a while to pinpoint the culprit. Fortunately she caught Rana, her 11-year-old tabby, in the act of peeing in the bathtub. Rather than getting upset, Moore made a veterinary appointment. The veterinarian found that Rana suffered from interstitial cystitis and crystals. She received immediate treatment for her cystitis, and Moore and the veterinarian are now addressing the crystals. No wonder the poor kitty couldn't make it to her litterbox.

"Sometimes cats will go in the tub or a sink," says Diane Levitan, VMD, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine diplomate, and owner of Mobile Veterinary Ultrasound & Endoscopy in Long Island, N.Y. "If they go in a strange spot, it's like they're trying to tell us something." She adds that if they go higher up against a vertical surface, they're marking.

**Get the August 2011 issue of CAT FANCY to read the full article or click here to purchase a PDF version.**
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