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 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)
Objective—To determine whether findings of urinalyses
could be used to reliably distinguish gonadectomized
cats with urine-marking behavior from those
with no problem urination.
Design—Case control study.
Animals—58 gonadectomized cats (47 males and 11
females) with urine-marking behavior (ie, marking of
vertical surfaces) and 39 (26 males and 13 females)
without problem urination or urinary tract-associated
Procedure—Urine was collected by cystocentesis
from all cats. Findings of urinalyses of cats with urinemarking
behavior were analyzed statistically for sexrelated
differences and differences between cats that
marked vertical surfaces only and those that marked
both vertical and horizontal surfaces; findings of urinalyses
of control cats were compared between
sexes. Subsequently, results of urinalyses of cats
with urine-marking behavior were compared with
those of control cats.
Results—With regard to variables measured via urinalysis,
there were no differences between male and
female cats within either group. Among cats with
urine-marking behavior, there were no differences
between those that only marked vertically and those
that marked vertically and horizontally. Analyses of
data from all cats with urine-marking behavior and
control cats revealed no differences that could be
associated with urine marking.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—These data
suggest that urine-marking behavior by gonadectomized
cats is an aspect of normal behavior. Clinicians
are advised to focus on behavioral history of house-soiling
cats to differentiate between urine-marking behavior
and inappropriate urination; for the latter, urinalysis
is appropriate to rule out lower urinary tract disorders.
(J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;223:457–461)