How to make a cat stop marking territory

How to make a cat stop marking territory

  • Jan 14

Awesome life hacks by ANGRY ORANGE

How to make a cat stop marking territory

by Jessica Britt

Let’s be honest, what’s the one thing that you hate the most about owning a cat? I know it sounds bad to say it like this, but just as much as our furry friends can bring us joy, they can also have some annoying habits that we’d rather go without.

Marking their territory is by far the worst habit cats have, but 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.

Another thing to take into consideration is the fact that cats can pee outside of the litterbox for several reasons, not only for marking their territory. If your cat tends to be naughty and pee in appropriate places, the first thing you should do is establish if it is indeed urine marking or if it is caused by a health or environmental issue.

Urine marking, also known as spraying, is done on vertical surfaces (like sides of furniture, walls etc.). The volume of urine is less than normal urination and the smell is rather pungent, as urine marking contains other chemicals too, that cats use to communicate to other animals.

Regular urinating is usually done on horizontal surfaces, by squatting to pee on the furniture, carpet, floors etc.

The most common reasons for which cats urinate where they are not supposed to are:

Undiscovered health issues- There are some medical issues that can make your adorable kitty pee wherever they can. For example, kidney disease or diabetes increase the volume of urine to such levels that your cat simply needs to pee before reaching the litterbox. Urinary tract infection or cystitis are painful conditions that make the cat pee often, anywhere in the house. If you suspect something is wrong with your pet, take them to the vet as soon as possible.

Mating behavior- The most common cause for marking territory is your cat’s urge to announce that they are looking for a mate (especially male cats). Neutering them at an early age, preferably before they go into heat, will solve this problem for good.

Environmental changes- Just like us humans, cats are creatures of habit, but while we don’t tinkle randomly in the house when we are stressed out, your cat will do that! Bringing a new cat in the house, a baby, moving from one home to another, all these changes can stress out your cat and trigger anxiety, and the way they deal with anxiety is by marking their territory.

Source: Unsplash

Here are some easy ways to make sure your cat stops marking territory:

1. Keep the litterbox clean, in a low traffic area and not in close proximity to their food.

2. Clean thoroughly using a special pet odor eliminator or an enzymatic cleaner that will also remove the stains. Angry Orange has a range of dedicated products that will kill the pungent smells and also get rid of the urine stains, leaving a citrus scent behind.

3. Try to create new associations for your cat, by placing their toys, food or sleeping bed in the place where they sprayed in the past. Cats are tidy animals and they will avoid spraying in the same place where they play, eat or sleep.

4. Play with your cat as often as possible or just offer them some affectionate cuddle time, as this helps reduce their stress and anxiety.

5. 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.

Have you experienced problems with your cat marking territory? If so, what steps did you take to stop the behavior?

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