Update on elimination outside the litter box

June 8, 2018
John Ciribassi, DVM, DACVB

Dr. John J. Cirribassi is retired from practice and lives in Carol Stream, Illinois.

Marking behavior isn't the problem it once was, says veterinary specialist.

The constant forward progress of veterinary medicine shows itself in every area of the discipline. As Fetch dvm360 conference speaker John Ciribassi, DVM, DACVB, told Sarah Wooten, DVM, feline behavior has benefited from updates in identification and medication.

Elimination outside the litter box, for example, is now met with different responses than in times past. While this can be related to cats' issues with substrate or location, Dr. Ciribassi says marking behavior has historically been the most problematic.

Environment, enrichment and elimination

Veterinary Medicine Essentials: Feline inappropriate elimination.

Pet enrichment: More than just distractions.

And a little love for the dogs.

"When I was first in practice ... a diagnosis of marking was for the most part a death sentence," Dr. Ciribassi says.

Now, with proper diagnosis and medications, this behavior can be controlled.

Dr. Ciribassi says most practitioners use fluoxetine and clomipramine as treatment in cases of improper elimination. However, of course, medication is not indicated in instances where the elimination problem is not related to marking, such as issues with substrate or location of the litter box.

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