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Evaluation of physical, behavioural and environmental aspects of inappropriate urination in domestic cats (felis catus)

Abstract

Feline inappropriate urination is a common behavioural problem that carries clearly direct implications for both the cat and the owner welfare. It is also one of the main reasons for surrender of cats to animal rescues or abandonment. Despite several previous published scientific studies on feline inappropriate urination there are still many aspects of the problem to be explored and what is currently recommended in terms of behavioral treatment for such cases is much more based on practical observations rather than scientific findings. Thus, even considering the available treatment protocols and the good prognosis in most cases, the success in these cases still means only a control of the problem as opposed to its complete elimination. Furthermore, atypical as well as refractory cases are very common. The present research aims at exploring the problem of inappropriate urination under a pluralistic view. This will include a deep exploration of several physical, behavioural and environmental aspects not yet investigated scientifically and their influence on the type of inappropriate urination (i.e. "toileting" versus "spraying") shown by the cat. It will be also investigated the occurrence of idiopathic cystitis (bladder inflammation of unknown cause) in patients considered to be "behavioural" (i.e. showing inappropriate urination only). Finally, we will verify possible differences, regarding the individual, the environment and the pattern of elimination, between "behavioural" patients and patients considered to be "medical-behavioural" (i.e. showing inappropriate urination and symptoms of idiopathic cystitis). (AU)

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