Objective—To evaluate effects of environmental
management alone on marking frequency in cats with
urine marking and to obtain demographic data on cats
with urine marking and data on owner-perceived factors
that contributed to urine marking behavior.
Animals—40 neutered male and 7 spayed female
Procedure—During a 2-week baseline phase, owners
maintained a daily record of the number of urine
marks. This phase was followed by a 2-week environmental
management phase during which owners
cleaned recently deposited urine marks daily,
scooped waste from the litter box daily, and changed
the litter and cleaned the litter box weekly while continuing
to record urine marks.
Results—Male cats and cats from multicat households
were significantly overrepresented, compared
with the general pet cat population in California. The
most commonly mentioned causative factors for
urine marking were agonistic interactions with other
cats outside or inside the home. Environmental management
procedures resulted in an overall reduction
in urine marking frequency. Among cats that marked
≥ 6 times during the baseline phase, females were
significantly more likely to respond to treatment (≥
50% reduction in marking frequency) than were
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest
that male cats and cats from multicat households
are more likely to exhibit urine marking behavior
than females and cats from single-cat households.
Results also suggest that attention to environmental
and litter box hygiene can reduce marking frequency
in cats, regardless of sex or household status of the
cats, and may come close to resolving the marking
problem in some cats. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;219:1709–1713)
Animals—17 neutered cats > 1 year old with objectionable
urine spraying behavior.
Procedure—Owners recorded urine-spraying events
for 2 weeks (baseline). Cats that vertically marked a
mean of ≥ 3 times per week were treated for 8 weeks
with fluoxetine or fish-flavored liquid placebo. If urine
spraying was not reduced by 70% by weeks 4
through 5, the dosage was increased by 50% for
weeks 7 and 8. After discontinuation of treatment at
the end of 8 weeks, owners recorded daily urine
marks for another 4 weeks.
Results—The mean (± SE) weekly rate of spraying
episodes in treated cats was 8.6 (± 2.0) at baseline,
decreased significantly by week 2 (1.7 ± 0.6), and continued
to decrease by weeks 7 and 8 (0.4 ± 0.2). The
mean weekly spraying rate of cats receiving placebo
was 7.8 (± 1.5) at baseline, decreased only slightly during
week 1 (5.5 ± 1.8), and did not decline further.
When treatment was discontinued after 8 weeks, the
spraying rate of cats that had received treatment varied.
The main adverse reaction to the drug was a
reduction in food intake, which was observed in 4 of
9 treated cats.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Administration
of fluoxetine hydrochloride for treatment of urine spraying
in cats can be expected to considerably reduce the
rate of urine marking. The frequency of spraying before
treatment is predictive of the spraying rate when the
drug is discontinued. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;219:1557–1561)
Objective—To monitor the progression of age-related
behavioral changes in dogs during a period of 6 to 18
months and to determine whether signs of dysfunction
in any of 4 behavioral categories can be used to
predict further impairment.
Design—Age-stratified cohort study.
Animals—63 spayed female and 47 castrated male
dogs 11 to 14 years of age.
Procedure—Data were collected from randomly
selected dog owners who were interviewed by telephone
twice at a 12- to 18-month interval; data were
included if the dog had lived ≥ 6 months between interviews.
The interview focused on signs of impairment
in the following behavioral categories: orientation in the
home and yard, social interactions with human family
members, house training, and the sleep-wake cycle.
Dogs were determined to have impairment in 0 behavioral
categories (on the basis of ≤ 1 sign for each category),
impairment in 1 category (≥ 2 signs of dysfunction
in that category), or impairment in ≥ 2 categories.
Results—Between interviews, 22% (16/73) of dogs
that did not have impairment in a category at the time of
the first interview developed impairment in that category
by the time of the second interview. Forty-eight percent
(13/27) of dogs that had impairment in 1 category
at the time of the first interview developed impairment
in ≥ 2categories by the time of the second interview and
were significantly more likely to develop impairment in ≥
2 categories, compared with dogs that initially had
impairment in 0 categories. Dogs with 1 sign of dysfunction
in orientation were significantly more likely to
develop impairment in that category, compared with
dogs that had 0 signs of dysfunction in orientation.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Age-related
behavioral changes in dogs are progressive. Clinicians
should consider trying to predict which dogs are most
likely to become progressively impaired during the
subsequent 6 to 18 months. (J Am Vet Med Assoc
Objective—To determine whether clomipramine differs
from fluoxetine in reducing feline urine marking;
whether reduction of marking continues in cats treated
> 8 weeks; whether recurrence of marking, after
abrupt drug withdrawal, is less in cats treated > 8
weeks; and whether cats that are successfully treated
but resume marking after drug withdrawal can be successfully
treated again with the same drug regimen.
Animals—22 neutered cats (2 females, 20 males) ≥ 1
year old with objectionable urine marking.
Procedure—Cats that marked vertically ≥ 3 times/wk
were treated with fluoxetine (1 mg/kg [0.45 mg/lb],
q 24 h, PO) or clomipramine (0.5 mg/kg [0.23 mg/lb], q
24 h, PO) for 16 weeks, and efficacy was compared.
Recurrence of marking was determined after abrupt
withdrawal of fluoxetine at 16 or 32 weeks. Reduction
in marking in cats treated with fluoxetine for 8 weeks
after returning to marking following drug withdrawal
was compared with the initial 8 weeks of successful
Results—Efficacy of fluoxetine and clomipramine
was similar. Treatment > 8 weeks revealed increasing
efficacy in reduction of marking. Return of marking
after termination of fluoxetine administration occurred
in most cats. Cats successfully treated initially with
fluoxetine responded similarly to repeated treatment.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Clomipramine
and fluoxetine were equivalent in treating urine marking.
Longer treatment increased efficacy. Most cats
return to marking after abrupt drug withdrawal. A second
course of treatment can be expected to be as
effective as the first. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;226:
Objective—To determine the prevalence of age-related
behavioral changes, namely impairment, in a randomly
chosen population of dogs.
Design—Age-stratified cohort study.
Animals—97 spayed female and 83 castrated male
dogs that were 11 to 16 years old.
Procedure—Data on possible impairment in 4 behavioral
categories (ie, orientation in the home and yard,
social interaction, house training, and sleep-wake cycle)
linked to cognitive dysfunction were obtained from dog
owners, using a structured telephone interview.
Hospital records of dogs had been screened to exclude
dogs with dysfunction in organ systems that may cause
behavioral changes. Dogs with behavioral impairment
were those with ≥ 2 signs of dysfunction within a category.
Dogs with impairment in 1 category were considered
mildly impaired and those with impairment in ≥ 2
categories were considered severely impaired.
Results—Age by sex interactions for dogs with
impairment in any category were not significant, and,
therefore, data on castrated males and spayed
females were pooled for analyses across ages. The
prevalence of age-related progressive impairment
was significant in all categories. The percentage of
11- to 12-year-old dogs with impairment in ≥ 1 category
was 28% (22/80), of which 10% (8/80) had
impairment in ≥ 2 behavioral categories. Of 15- to 16-
year-old dogs, 68% (23/34) had impairment in ≥ 1 category,
of which 35% (12/34) had impairments in ≥ 2
categories. There were no significant effects of body
weight on the prevalence of signs of dysfunction in
the behavioral categories.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Data collected
provide estimates of the prevalence of various
degrees of age-related behavioral changes associated
with cognitive dysfunction in dogs. Age-related behavioral
changes may be useful indicators for medical
intervention for dogs with signs of cognitive impairment.
(J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;218:1787–1791)