Let’s face it – kitty tinkle accidents happen. It sometimes feels like a fairly unavoidable thing, right? You think you’ve knocked out litter box training, you’ve just about tried every behavioral trick you can find online, but the cat marking territory phase of your kitty’s life is terrorizing your house.
Sure, Bruce and Skipper are sweet kitties, but they’re also primitive and instinctual felines. Just because they don’t chat through WhatsApp, they do communicate through cat urine marking, and sometimes it’s through chemicals called pheromones in their urine.
Marking their territory is by far the worst habit cats have. Unfortunately, it’s also an instinct they have, as well as a form of communication with other cats. Through urine, cats can communicate to others that a place is their property. They claim it as their own territory, warding off intruders. They can also announce through urine marking when they are looking for a mate (or a date).
If your cat tends to be naughty and pee in inappropriate places, the first thing you should do is establish if it is indeed urine marking or if it is something else.
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How do cats mark their territory?
Cat spraying (or marking) happens on vertical surfaces like sides of furniture and walls. The volume of urine is less than normal urination and the smell is rather pungent, as urine marking contains other chemicals too. Regular urinating is usually done on horizontal surfaces, by squatting to pee on the furniture, carpet, floors, etc. Does it smell great? Nope. But marking their territory can often be their way of saying, “Nope, I’m boss. This is my home, my yard, and my wall. Did you hear me?”
Why do cats mark their territory?
Here are a few reasons why your cat may be sprinkling their tinkle:
1. Cat Marking Can Be From Environmental Changes
When you get anxious, maybe you stress eat or binge Netflix for comfort. Cats? They deal with anxiety by marking their territory.
Take a close look at what’s changed around the house. Did you add a new pet to the house? Did you move to a new location or change your job? Cats are creatures of habit and space. Any change can cause even the most chill cat to change its behavior.
How do you stop a neutered cat from spraying?
In almost 90 percent of cases, fixing your cat will eliminate this behavior. But if you neuter your kitty, and they keep spraying, this is what’s called reactional spraying. Reactionary cat spraying is often caused by a new stressor. Yeah, cats get stressed, just like us.
2. Your Kitty Might Have Health Issues
Some medical issues can make your adorable kitty pee more frequently. For example, kidney disease or diabetes increase the volume of urine to such levels that your cat simply needs to pee before reaching the litter box. Urinary tract infection or cystitis are painful conditions that make the cat pee often and anywhere in the house. It can also seem a lot like cat spraying. If you suspect something is wrong with your pet’s health, take them to the vet as soon as possible.
3. Your Cat May Be Trying To Get Kitty Tinder Dates
The most common cause for marking territory is your cat’s urge to announce that they are looking for a mate (especially male cats). Again, neutering them at an early age can help solve this problem. But what about older, more mature kitties? Will neutering make a cat stop marking?
Maybe, maybe not, but there are a lot of things you can do around the house to help remedy your kitty’s accidents.
7 Ways on How to Stop Cats From Marking Territory
Spraying is pretty gross and leaves your house smelling more like a kennel and less like a home. So how do you stop a cat from marking in the house? There are a few things you can do to stop cats in their tracks.
1. Keep the Litter box clean
Keep your kitty’s litter box as pristine as you keep your own bathroom. And you wouldn't want to pee in a flophouse wash closet so why would your cat? Place it in a low-traffic area and not in close proximity to their food.
2. Check the Kitty Drama
Are you a two-cat household? There might be some kitty drama going down. Sometimes your window-curious indoor cat can even get stressed out by outside cats walking by or crashing in your back patio.
3. Clean Anywhere You Catch Your Cat Spraying
The best thing you can do with cat pee is to clean it as quickly as possible. When it sits too long, the uric acid leaves a gross odor and spot your cat will likely come back to and mark over and over.
4. Use a Pet Odor Eliminator to Stop Cat Marking Territory
Do a thorough scrub with a pet odor eliminator or an enzymatic cleaner that will also remove the stains. What Cleaner gets rid of cat urine? Angry Orange has a range of dedicated products that will kill the pungent smells and also get rid of the urine marking stains, leaving a fresh scent behind. Enzyme cleaners work on all surfaces including hardwood floors, carpets, mattresses, furniture, and much more.
5. Perform Kitty Psychology
Create new associations for your cat by placing their toys, food, or bed near the place where they sprayed in the past. Cats are very tidy animals and will avoid spraying in the same place where they play, eat, or sleep.
6. Play, Play, Play
Fun time matters. Play with your cat as often as possible or just offer them some affectionate cuddle time, as this helps reduce their stress and anxiety and decrease cat marking.
7. Visit Your Vet
If everything else fails, behavioral medication is another way to get your kitty to stop marking territory, but it should only be administered if your vet recommends it. Consult with your veterinarian first, to make sure that a behavior treatment plan is needed.
The Bottom Line About Cats Marking Territory
We love our four-legged friends, and we always want to keep them happy. Knowing the ins and outs of why your kitty marks its territory can help save both you and your kitty stress. Angry Orange can definitely help to make your fur babies have a clean, fresh home you and your kitty can stay comfortable in for a long time.
Contributing Writer: Britney Jackson