House Soiling in Cats: Undesirable Elimination and Marking – Causes and Management Options

Thu, 08 August, 2024 06:00 pm - 09:00 pm (Your Local Time Zone)


Small Animal

Contact Hours

3 Hours - RACE Accredited




Alternative Medicine



Internal Medicine – Endocrinology, Haematology, Infectious Diseases, Parasitology & Oncology

Toxicology & Pharmacology

Time: London 6PM / Paris 7PM / New York 1PM / Sydney 3:00AM (+1)


Melissa Bain   DVM, DACVB, MS, DACAW - UC Davis, USA
Sagi Denenberg   DVM, DACVB, DECAWBM, MACVSc (Behaviour), MRCVS - Langford Vets / University Of Bristol, UK; North Toronto Veterinary Behaviour Specialty Clinic, Canada
Daniel Mills   BVSc., PhD, CBiol, FRSB, FHEA, CCAB, DECAWBM(BM), FRCVS - University Of Lincoln, UK


Terry Curtis   DVM, MS, DACVB - University Of Florida, USA



One of the most common reasons cat owners reach out to veterinary behavior specialists is “house soiling” – of one kind or another. This umbrella label covers both urine/feces marking and urine “spraying” and not using the litter box/tray to urinate and/or defecate. 

An important fact to keep in mind about this topic is that these are normal feline behaviors. There is nothing “magic” about a typically sized litter box/tray filled with: litter, ground-up clay, walnuts, shredded paper, pine pellets, wheat, or corn… These are not substrates that cats normally eliminate in. When we, as humans, decide to share our lives, our homes, and our furniture with cats we need to remember: “These are CATS” – and they have behaviors that are innate and normal for them. As a result, we very often need to find the balance between normal feline behaviors and our desire to keep our homes urine and feces free! 

During this very topical panel discussion, our panel of world-renown experts will discuss and debate the various causes of undesirable elimination and marking. Treatment and management options include the multi-pronged approach of environmental considerations, health concerns, and pharmacological interventions – very often thinking and working “outside the box”! Questions and comments will be welcomed.

Daniel Mills is a leading academic authority on companion animal behaviour and its management. He was the UK’s first specialist in veterinary behavioural medicine to be recognised by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and received his Fellowship from the RCVS in recognition of his contributions to the field. He has published more than 100 full scientific research papers and more than 50 books and chapters for academics, professionals and the wider public. His work focuses primarily on the processes underlying individual differences in animals and effects of the human-animal bond. Recent work on cats include a particular interest on house-soiling issues, and relationships with others in the home especially other species.

Dr. Melissa Bain is a veterinarian and Professor of Clinical Animal Behavior, and is board-certified by both the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists and the American College of Animal Welfare. She received a Master’s degree in Advanced Clinical Research from the UC Davis School of Medicine in 2007. She is a past president of both the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists and the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, and is currently on the board of the American College of Animal Welfare. In 2016 she was selected as the Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year, awarded by the American Veterinary Medical Association, and in 2019 she received the Companion Animal Welfare Award from the World Small Animal Veterinary Association. 

Dr. Denenberg graduated with Excellence in Academic Achievement from the Kosice Veterinary College in Slovakia. He relocated from Israel to Canada in 2003 and passed the North American veterinary licensing examination.

Dr. Denenberg has done a number of behavioural studies including the effects of pheromones on learning and socialisation in puppies and a study of play toy preference in cats for which he was awarded the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior Excellence in Research Award. He also authored articles and book chapters. Dr. Denenbergis a consultant on the Veterinary Information Network (VIN) providing other veterinarians with advice. In addition to clinical duties, Dr. Denenberg teaches students and is a frequent speaker in veterinary conferences in Europe and North America.

Dr. Curtis grew up in Niagara Falls, New York and attended Keuka College in the heart of the Finger Lakes. After graduating with a Biology degree in 1980, she worked in a number of jobs before starting veterinary school in 1993: a lab technologist for Exxon Chemical Company in Houston, retail in a wine & cheese shop, and an environmental consultant for the state of Florida and a private company. She graduated with honors from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in 1997. 

Dr. Curtis worked as a feline-only practitioner in Florida until the summer of 2000 when she began her residency in Veterinary Behavior at the University of Georgia in Athens. Concurrently, she received a Master of Science in Psychology investigating grooming behavior in the domestic cat. After completing her residency and graduate school in June 2003, she joined the team at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine – where she taught behavior to the freshman and junior veterinary students for 17 years.

Dr. Curtis is one of approximately 100 practicing Diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists and does house calls in northeast Florida. She has been a regular contributor to the annual NAVC-VMX conference in Orlando, both as a speaker as well as the coordinator of a day-long Behavior Symposium there. She has authored a number of articles, including book chapters in Veterinary Clinics of North America, the 7th Edition of Blackwell’s Five-Minute Veterinary Consult, and Decoding Your Cat. Dr. Curtis is a former editorial member of the Journal of Feline Medicine & Surgery, and currently serves on the Advisory Boards for BluCare and Vet Candy. She was also a panel contributor to the 2014 AAFP & ISFM Guidelines for Diagnosing and Solving House Soiling Behavior in Cats. She has lectured to veterinarians and veterinary students worldwide – the first veterinarian to lecture about behavioral medicine in India.  Currently, Dr. Curtis is working on authoring a practical behavioral textbook: Principles of Canine and Feline Behavioral Medicine (Wiley Publishing) 

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Online Panel Discussion

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Online Panel Discussion

USD 75.00

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Online Panel Discussion

USD 75.00

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Online Panel Discussion

USD 40.00

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