Wednesday, April 17, 2013


One of the most common complaints that people have with their pets is the issue of inappropriate urinating in the house.  Well, guess what?  I have never met an animal that perceives that as an issue.

To begin with, urinating in their immediate environment is much like putting in a security system.  It identifies the area as their own and protects them from intrusion by other animals.  So, it is basic for them and, therefore I need to explain to them why it is such an issue for humans. 

When I explain that the odor is offensive to humans, they often don’t believe me.  Really?  How can that be? Well, it just does!  I then explain that their urine is destructive to rugs, beds, clothes, etc.   I remind them that they chose to return to this earth as a house pet, and there are rules connected with that choice. 

After I point out that it makes their human unhappy, I don’t usually need to go any further.  Our animal companions want to please and usually feel badly with this realization.  Some are humiliated and promise that it will never happen again.  Others need time to think it all over.

I had a client with a neutered male cat that marked the entire house almost every day after he turned 4 years old.  The client had 2 sons, and it turns out that her cat felt challenged by their scent once they reached puberty.  I was able to convince him that he could mark his territory on the outside of the house and it would acceptable.  Interestingly enough, when  the boys went off to college, the cat mellowed out and was not seen spraying at all.  She called me the first time her sons returned home on break to tell me that the cat was very busy marking outside the house once again.

Before you become overly concerned about your animal urinating in the house, please visit your veterinarian to rule out a urinary infection or other physical problem.  And keep in mind that animals do not willingly urinate where they eat and sleep, so please place litter boxes and puppy pads in a separate area.  If the problem still exists, do not hesitate to explain how this affects you and your family.  And please, do not yell or punish after the fact.  I often hear…”So, that’s why she/he was so upset with me…I didn’t know”.

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