Some delay in seeing your pet may occur depending on our appointment schedule.
Avondale
Animal Hospital   Cat Hospital Rehabilitation Center   Pet Resort
HOURS OF OPERATION Monday 7:00 am - 10:00 pm Tuesday 7:00 am - 10:00 pm Wednesday 7:00 am - 10:00 pm Thursday 7:00 am - 10:00 pm Friday 7:00 am -   7:00 pm Saturday 8:00 am -   7:00 pm Sunday        10:00 am -   7:00 pm Telephone (515) 262-6111
Veterinary Chiropractic & Acupuncture Available on Tuesdays by Appointment
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Litter Box Solutions

The number one behavior complaint from cat owners is that their cats miss the litter box or are urinating or defecating in inappropriate places around the house. Understanding why your cat is misbehaving is the key to correcting the problem. Most often, the cause of this misbehavior is an environmental factor. Here are some of the most common causes:  Aggression between cats or invasion of your cat's home turf by a roaming cat; The number of cats that have to share the "same bathroom", i.e., the litter box; One litter pan per kitty is typical; Social changes in the household, like new family members, roommates or new pets; Location - location - location: cats like a nice, quiet, private place to "go"; Type and amount of litter used; Cats can be fussy, so you may have to experiment with different kinds of litter; And don't be stingy! Make sure you provide enough litter for digging and covering. It's best to use an enzymatic cleanser specifically designed to neutralize odor. Ammonia-based products may entice your cat to urinate in the same spot again! If the cause isn't environmental, it might be medical. There could be a few common medical reasons why your cat is missing the box. They include: Urinary obstruction Urinary tract infection Kidney or bladder problems Diabetes Diarrhea How do you control the problem once it starts?  First and foremost, contact your veterinarian if your cat is having accidents outside the box. They will help you determine the proper next steps. In a multiple-cat household, it can be difficult to determine which cat has the problem. Your veterinarian may be able to suggest some tips on how to identify the culprit. LITTER BOX 101:  Eventually, every cat owner will have a feline friend decide that the litter box is actually NOT the best place to do business. All too often, a cat will decide that it's actually far better to use a discreet corner in your house, or perhaps your favorite shoe, or even the bathroom sink. It might seem like this is a random and meaningless change in behavior, but generally, you'll probably be able to figure out the cause and get your cat back on track in no time. A common cause is the instinct to spray or mark, and this is most common among un-neutered males, though it is also something that can happen in females and neutered males. Cats usually mark to lay claim to their territory - especially if there is a female in heat in the area - or as a reaction to stress. In the case of marking, if your cat isn't neutered, get him neutered. It will often quickly stop inappropriate urination, but also, it leads to a healthier and longer-lived cat. Neutered males can't develop certain kinds of cancer, are less likely to stray, and are often just calmer and easier to live with. If your cat is neutered or spayed and marking anyway, look around to see if there might be something causing your cat to feel stressed or uncomfortable: New furniture or other large objects Cats coming into your yard or "visiting" Frequent or long-term guests or visitors You can use non-toxic anti-cat spray to discourage marking or even use essential oils like peppermint, citrus and eucalyptus to repel your cat and discourage marking in a particular area. There are also some man-made and synthetic sprays and pheromones you can spray in areas your cat is eliminating that will help reduce stress. Your veterinarian can recommend products of this nature. Cats will choose to stop using a litter box for a variety of other reasons, some obvious and some not. Some of the most common causes include:  Dirty litter boxes - Cats hate a dirty bathroom as much as we do. You should scoop the box every day, at least once a day, removing any solid waste. If you use clumping litter, remove those clumps of urine every day as well. Change the box as often as required to keep it clean and to ensure that cat litter can do its job of absorbing moisture and bad odors. Litter box over-crowding - Cats don't like to share their boxes with too many other cats. Ideally, each cat in your house should have their own litter box. While they may not exclusively use their personal box, it is a good rule to follow to ensure that every cat feels like they have ample space to do business. Bad Litter Box Feng Shui - Yes, believe it or not, cats do care about where their litter boxes are located. Because the act of using the litter box leaves a cat temporarily vulnerable, they don't like to feel as though they can be cornered when they are relieving themselves. Also, cats like a little privacy, so having their box in the middle of a busy space in your house isn't a good idea. Cats can be picky about what kind of litter they like. They might think one kind is too rough on their feet or not like the smell of another. Experiment with different types of litter if you think that might be the problem. When a particular kind of litter works, don't switch! If you have to switch, do it gradually. Cats are generally wary of anything new and might boycott the box just because of that.  Cats have incredibly strong powers of smell (not as strong as a dog, but many times are more powerful than humans). Normal household cleaners will not remove the smell of urine or feces. You will need to use a special enzymatic cleaners to get the (awful) odor out of carpet, upholstery, wood floors, and anything else that your cat's waste might touch. The odor from the urine of an un-neutered male is particularly difficult to get out of many materials - another reason to get your kitty neutered! Your veterinarian can recommend the best product for you to use. Stay Calm and Patient and Show Lots of Love!  While it's easy to let a problem like this get you really frustrated with your kitty, don't let it get to you. If you get stressed or angry, it will cause your cat to feel the same way. Cats don't do this to be bad, they just react to something that makes them break rules that they are normally happy to follow.  And remember, your veterinarian is always your best partner in helping you with your pet's behavior issues.
Main Hospital - 515-262-6111 Cat Hospital - 515-262-9222 For Pet Resort | Grooming | Doggie Daycare Phone 515-262-7297 Toll Free - 800-339-4873
Veterinary Healthcare Complex 4318 E Army Post Rd   Des Moines, IA 50320
DES MOINES VETERINARIANS FULL SERVICE ANIMAL HOSPITAL SERVING DES MOINES & SURROUNDING COMMUNTIES
Veterinarians Serving Des Moines | Animal Hospital | Cat Hospital Veterinary Hospital Websites, Ltd.  © 201All Rights Reserved   All Images & Text Subject  to Copyright  IE #542539 Animal Hospital Website Design by Vet Web Designers Kendra Ryan Camp Christian Veterinary Fellowship
The number one behavior complaint from cat owners is that their cats miss the litter box or are urinating or defecating in inappropriate places around the house. Understanding why your cat is misbehaving is the key to correcting the problem. Most often, the cause of this misbehavior is an environmental factor. Here are some of the most common causes:  Aggression between cats or invasion of your cat's home turf by a roaming cat; The number of cats that have to share the "same bathroom", i.e., the litter box; One litter pan per kitty is typical; Social changes in the household, like new family members, roommates or new pets; Location - location - location: cats like a nice, quiet, private place to "go"; Type and amount of litter used; Cats can be fussy, so you may have to experiment with different kinds of litter; And don't be stingy! Make sure you provide enough litter for digging and covering. It's best to use an enzymatic cleanser specifically designed to neutralize odor. Ammonia-based products may entice your cat to urinate in the same spot again! If the cause isn't environmental, it might be medical. There could be a few common medical reasons why your cat is missing the box. They include: Urinary obstruction Urinary tract infection Kidney or bladder problems Diabetes Diarrhea How do you control the problem once it starts?  First and foremost, contact your veterinarian if your cat is having accidents outside the box. They will help you determine the proper next steps. In a multiple-cat household, it can be difficult to determine which cat has the problem. Your veterinarian may be able to suggest some tips on how to identify the culprit. LITTER BOX 101:  Eventually, every cat owner will have a feline friend decide that the litter box is actually NOT the best place to do business. All too often, a cat will decide that it's actually far better to use a discreet corner in your house, or perhaps your favorite shoe, or even the bathroom sink. It might seem like this is a random and meaningless change in behavior, but generally, you'll probably be able to figure out the cause and get your cat back on track in no time. A common cause is the instinct to spray or mark, and this is most common among un- neutered males, though it is also something that can happen in females and neutered males. Cats usually mark to lay claim to their territory - especially if there is a female in heat in the area - or as a reaction to stress. In the case of marking, if your cat isn't neutered, get him neutered. It will often quickly stop inappropriate urination, but also, it leads to a healthier and longer-lived cat. Neutered males can't develop certain kinds of cancer, are less likely to stray, and are often just calmer and easier to live with. If your cat is neutered or spayed and marking anyway, look around to see if there might be something causing your cat to feel stressed or uncomfortable: New furniture or other large objects Cats coming into your yard or "visiting" Frequent or long-term guests or visitors You can use non-toxic anti-cat spray to discourage marking or even use essential oils like peppermint, citrus and eucalyptus to repel your cat and discourage marking in a particular area. There are also some man-made and synthetic sprays and pheromones you can spray in areas your cat is eliminating that will help reduce stress. Your veterinarian can recommend products of this nature. Cats will choose to stop using a litter box for a variety of other reasons, some obvious and some not. Some of the most common causes include:  Dirty litter boxes - Cats hate a dirty bathroom as much as we do. You should scoop the box every day, at least once a day, removing any solid waste. If you use clumping litter, remove those clumps of urine every day as well. Change the box as often as required to keep it clean and to ensure that cat litter can do its job of absorbing moisture and bad odors. Litter box over-crowding - Cats don't like to share their boxes with too many other cats. Ideally, each cat in your house should have their own litter box. While they may not exclusively use their personal box, it is a good rule to follow to ensure that every cat feels like they have ample space to do business. Bad Litter Box Feng Shui - Yes, believe it or not, cats do care about where their litter boxes are located. Because the act of using the litter box leaves a cat temporarily vulnerable, they don't like to feel as though they can be cornered when they are relieving themselves. Also, cats like a little privacy, so having their box in the middle of a busy space in your house isn't a good idea. Cats can be picky about what kind of litter they like. They might think one kind is too rough on their feet or not like the smell of another. Experiment with different types of litter if you think that might be the problem. When a particular kind of litter works, don't switch! If you have to switch, do it gradually. Cats are generally wary of anything new and might boycott the box just because of that.  Cats have incredibly strong powers of smell (not as strong as a dog, but many times are more powerful than humans). Normal household cleaners will not remove the smell of urine or feces. You will need to use a special enzymatic cleaners to get the (awful) odor out of carpet, upholstery, wood floors, and anything else that your cat's waste might touch. The odor from the urine of an un-neutered male is particularly difficult to get out of many materials - another reason to get your kitty neutered! Your veterinarian can recommend the best product for you to use. Stay Calm and Patient and Show Lots of Love!  While it's easy to let a problem like this get you really frustrated with your kitty, don't let it get to you. If you get stressed or angry, it will cause your cat to feel the same way. Cats don't do this to be bad, they just react to something that makes them break rules that they are normally happy to follow.  And remember, your veterinarian is always your best partner in helping you with your pet's behavior issues.
Veterinary Healthcare Complex 4318 E Army Post Rd   Des Moines, IA 50320
Main Hospital - 515-262-6111 Cat Hospital - 515-262-9222 For Pet Resort | Grooming | Doggie  Daycare Phone 515-262-7297 Toll Free - 800-339-4873