Environmental Enrichment Strategies to Correct Stress-induced Behaviors

December 9, 2016
American Veterinarian Editorial Staff

Meri Hall, RVT, CVT, LVT, LATG, VTS (SAM), veterinary technician of internal medicine, from Veterinary Specialty Hospital of Palm Beach Gardens, discusses environmental enrichment strategies for managing interstitial cystitis and hyper-grooming.

Meri Hall, RVT, CVT, LVT, LATG, VTS (SAM), veterinary technician of internal medicine, from Veterinary Specialty Hospital of Palm Beach Gardens, discusses environmental enrichment strategies for managing interstitial cystitis and hyper-grooming.

Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability)

“Once you’ve determined that there is no underlying cause, that there are no external parasites [causing] hyper-grooming, that there is no urinary tract infection or metabolic reason as to why the animal is not urinating or defecating into the litterbox, the success rate is pretty good if you’re able to get that animal’s stress reduced. For some animals that includes not having them be confined into a home; some of those animals do need to have the roaming time outside, where they’re able to fully become relaxed.

Environmental enrichment for both [interstitial] cystitis and for hyper-grooming [is] the same, because what you’re doing is you’re trying to give the cat an outlet that’s a natural behavior. If you’re able to redirect the cat with toys, give them toys to hunt, things to look at out the window, perches, those are all things that are going to reduce the stress and in that case will then prevent that behavior from occurring.”