Urine Marking in Cats – Why They Do it and How You Can Stop Them

Cat Spraying No More

catspray, cat

Urine marking is also known as spraying and usually involves your cat urinates in fairly small amounts on a vertical surface such as a wall. This is not actually about housebreaking; urine marking is a completely different issue.

Why do cats spray?

– Stress or anxiety

– To mark their territory

– To announce sexual maturity or availability

– When a new pet or human guest is brought into the household

– A recent move

– A major change to his environment

We have all heard that male cats that have not been fixed are prone to spraying but even neutered cats might mark. The real benefit of having your cat fixed is that the pungent odor of his urine will no longer be evident. Although I strongly recommend neutering all male cats to reduce unwanted litters, doing so is not a guarantee that your cat will not spray.

Even female cats that have been spayed can mark their territory and literally be ‘pissy cats’. (Sorry bad joke! I used it often when I encountered this problem with our previous cat who was a spayed female that objected strongly to a house guest of ours.)

How to get your cat to stop marking – There is no hard and fast sure available for this trait but there are many things that you can do to reduce or stop this undesirable behavior.

Step one is to make a trip to the vet to ensure that there are no underlying health concerns that may be causing your cat to spray.

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The next step is to get your cat fixed if you have not already done so. As mentioned above this is not 100% effective but does often work and is beneficial for a number of other reasons as well. Give this a bit of time as some cats could take up to three months to stop marking after they have been neutered.

If neither of first two steps make a difference you can try behavioral modification. This method is tried and true but will require lots of time and effort form you in order for it to be successful. Basically your cat needs to be supervised and either sprayed with water or some other form of behavior modification tool such as a shake can. Then you can set about remodeling his space. Cats do not tend to spray near where they eat or sleep so if your cat consistently marks the same spot, try moving his food dish or litter box next to it.

Throughout these trials make sure that it is very easy for your cat to do the right thing and only urinate in the litter box. You can do so by adding an additional box and making sure that there is one on every floor.


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