Cats Health Cards N°21. Urinary Impairment Related to Developmental Disorder



Urinary dirt in the cat is sometimes the result of an event that occurred during its first months of life, an event that did not allow it to follow a normal development.

This type of uncleanliness most often concerns kittens adopted very young (kittens whose mothers have died and are bottle-fed, weaned kittens and separated from their mothers too quickly and who have not been able to complete their education with her ...)

It may result from a simple learning disability but may also be associated with a more troublesome developmental disorder such as in "hypersensitive-hyperactive" cat syndrome. Other symptoms revealing this disorder are then systematically present in addition to the uncleanliness.

Learning Disorder

¤ A kitten is generally clean from the age of three weeks.

He becomes it by imitation of his mother: he naturally learns how to do his needs far from his resting-place and the place where he takes his meals.

¤ This learning by imitation can not take place if the kitten:

- Was raised in a very restricted or very dirty space or without litter which did not allow him to define very distinct places for the sleep, the food, to do one's needs ...

- Was separated very young from his mother for some reason

- Was raised by a mother who presented herself with uncleanliness

It is then quite difficult, afterwards, to teach these kittens to do their needs in litter.

¤ The prevention of these learning disabilities can be done by adopting kittens of two months minimum, bred by a clean cat own.

¤ When it is a young orphan cat or raised in an inadequate environment:

- The distribution of rewards (food, caresses) when the cat has agreed to do in the litter box can motivate him to always do at this place

- A clean and perfectly balanced adult cat placed in his company will be able to ensure the imitation learning that could not take place with the mum (this adult cat can just as well be a male or a female)

Hypersensitivity / Hyperactivity Syndrome

¤ Definition

The threshold of reaction to a stimulus is established during the development of the animal in the first three months of its life. This reaction threshold depends directly on the conditions in which the kitten is raised:

A cat educated in ideal conditions learns from his mother to respond "normally" to a given stimulus and to control himself (especially during games or during contacts ...)

When the kitten:

- was not raised in contact with his mother (kitten adopted before 2 months, baby bottle ...)

- grew up in a very stimulating or hyperstimulating environment during his first weeks

- had a mother who had behavioral problems;

It can develop a syndrome called "hypersensitivity / hyperactivity"

¤ Symptoms

The "Hs / Ha" syndrome is characterized by numerous symptoms and the lack of cleanliness is far from being the only behavioral abnormality encountered in an animal that suffers from it.

This kitten is excessive in all.

It is an animal:


Its motor behavior is exacerbated.

- He moves all the time, climbs everywhere, knocks over all the objects placed on the furniture, in the shelves, sleeps badly at night ... His excitement is very often even more marked in the evening when it seems taken real "crises of madness".

- He is unable to control himself in the game: he can not play without scratching or biting. The injuries he inflicts are not in any way voluntary but result from his inability to control himself when he rises in excitement ...

- He tolerates very badly any constraint: he can not bear to be taken by hand, to be brushed or to be given medication ...

He pulls out his claws, screams, and tries to bite as soon as he is manipulated.

- It may also suffer from a lack of food control: it then steals food regularly and can swallow foreign bodies.


- It jumps at the slightest noise

- He needs a presence to reassure himself and follows his master everywhere, all the time.


It is a particularly anxious animal: this anxiety can be highlighted by:

- unclean (the cat urinates elsewhere than in its litter at the slightest annoyance),

- incessant mewings

- or excessive grooming, with the cat constantly licking.

In response to these abnormal behaviors (especially in the face of the aggressiveness of these cats and the dirt that they frequently present), these animals are very often poorly integrated into the family, rejected ...

This rejection increases their anxiety and a veritable vicious circle ensues: the cat urinates because it is anxious, it is punished, these punishments increase its anxiety and therefore the filthiness ...

¤ Treatment

Treatment involves significant changes to soothe the animal

- Any punishment must be absolutely forbidden: it only increases the stress of the cat and therefore the unclean (avoid screaming, catching the cat by the neck or forcing it into the litter box, which will not For the sole effect of disgusting it from this place)

- The animal's environment will be enriched to the maximum: various games of hunting and exploration (cat tree, mouse, ball, mobiles, clusters of boxes or other hiding places ...) will be proposed to him. These games will be regularly changed by rolling to prevent the cat from getting tired.

- Food should be available throughout the day to avoid any additional stress related to food.

If the cat is overweight, games that gradually release kibble will be offered (these allow him to eat slowly his daily ration and constitute a playful activity that allows him to have access to food all day)

- Controlled play therapy: any phase of play must be interrupted when the cat rises in excitement (jerking of the tail, marked dilation of the pupils of the cat ...)

- In addition to environmental changes, the use of pheromones and dietary supplements with soothing properties can help reduce hypersensitive / hyperactive cat anxiety

- Finally, your veterinarian can add to these environmental changes a medical treatment to reduce the anxiety of the cat, to help him to gain some control in the game and to calm the aggressions.


A cat that has not been educated by a balanced adult cat during its first 2 months of life may have significant behavioral problems afterwards. These disorders (aggressiveness, contact intolerance, uncleanliness, scratches and bites during games ...) are all the more difficult to understand and accept by the owners as they are especially cats bred to bottle feeding, "little beings Fragile "to whom they devoted a lot of their time ...

It is not "normal" for a cat to scratch or bite you violently when he plays, refuses to be touched, or urinates everywhere permanently. These disorders should be promptly reported to your veterinarian to work with you to find solutions and try to avoid a rapid deterioration in your relationship with your pet.