HILLSBOROUGH, NJ (July 25, 2014) – Owners of house-soiling cats frequently abandon or relinquish these pets to shelters where many are euthanized as unadoptable. Veterinarians can significantly decrease this number by preventing house soiling or effectively treating it. To provide practice guidelines for veterinary professionals, the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) and the International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM), have released the AAFP/ISFM Guidelines for Diagnosing and Solving House-Soiling Behavior in Cats, which has also been endorsed by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). Click here to access the guidelines.
The AAFP/ISFM Guidelines for Diagnosing and Solving House-Soiling Behavior in Cats contain scientifically documented information when available and provide practical insight that reflects the accumulated clinical experiences of the authors. The document emphasizes that this unwanted behavior is not due to spite or anger toward the owner, but because the cat's physical, social, or medical needs are not being met. The guidelines replace the term "inappropriate urination" with the term "house soiling" because "house soiling" implies no misconduct by the cat and thus, may encourage owners to better follow veterinary recommendations.
These guidelines help clinicians identify the causative factors of house soiling and include a cat owner questionnaire which is customizable for clinic use. Within the document is an algorithm for the diagnosis and treatment of the four basic categories of house soiling. The guidelines propose and explain two universal suggestions for the management of all cases of house soiling: (1) optimizing the litter box/tray and (2) meeting the "five pillars" of feline environmental needs. They also include specific treatment suggestions for each diagnostic category, take-home instructions for cat owners, and what steps practitioners can take if the frustrated client is considering euthanasia. "Our hope is that by using these guidelines, veterinary practices will be able to more effectively and confidently address cases of feline house soiling," said Hazel Carney, DVM, MS, DABVP, and AAFP Advisory Panel Co-Chair. "Success with these cases will improve the veterinary–client–patient relationships and overall feline welfare, while keeping cats in their homes with a good quality of life."
To access an audio podcast of an interview with Dr. Carney, visit: http://jfm.sagepub.com/site/Podcast/podcast_dir.xhtml
For more information on the AAFP visit: http://www.catvets.com.
About the American Association of Feline Practitioners
The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) improves the health and welfare of cats by supporting high standards of practice, continuing education and scientific investigation. The AAFP has a long-standing reputation and track record in the veterinary community for facilitating high standards of practice and publishes guidelines for practice excellence which are available to veterinarians at the AAFP website. Over the years, the AAFP has encouraged veterinarians to continuously re-evaluate preconceived notions of practice strategies in an effort to advance the quality of feline medicine practiced. The Cat Friendly Practice program is the newest effort created to improve the treatment, handling and overall healthcare provided to cats. Its purpose is to equip veterinary practices with the tools, resources and information to elevate the standard of care provided to cats. Find more information at http://www.catvets.com.
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