Evaluation of the role of lower urinary tract disease in cats with urine-marking behavior

Valarie V. Tynes, Benjamin Hart, Patricia A. Pryor, Melissa Bain, Locksley L McV Messam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


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 conditions. Procedure - Urine was collected by cystocentesis from all cats. Findings of urinalyses of cats with urine-marking behavior were analyzed statistically for sex-related 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)457-461
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 15 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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