One of the most common problems people have with their cats is urine marking in the house.
Urine marking is not to be confused with the cat urinating naturally in the litter tray. It’s when your cat backs up to a horizontal surface with its tail up straight and squirts out urine to mark the wall or furniture. The tail and body shudder as they are doing it.
Why do they do this?
Your domestic cat is not far removed from the cats in the wild, and they use scent to mark out their territory and leave a message. This is normal behavior. Your cat has glands in his cheeks and on his flanks which leave behind his scent; spraying is another way of leaving their scent. This is how cats send a message to other cats to communicate their territory, or, to sign that they are ready to mate. Both male and female cats can spray.
Why is your cat doing this?
There are a number of reasons why your cat could be spraying.
The urge to spray is strongest in an intact cat; so, if your cat has not been neutered or spayed then this could be one of the main reasons for their actions.
Urine marking can also be stress related. Perhaps something is different about the home you share; maybe you have moved to a new location, or someone new has moved in – a new baby or a dog, for example.
Medical reasons such as urinary tract problems, blockage or infection are also potential causes that should not be ruled out.
How can you discourage urinary marking?
A lot can be done to discourage your cat from marking. Cats can be very fastidious about their toilet behavior, so good litter tray management is important. Make sure the litter tray is cleaned frequently and is left in a suitable place for your cat to use.
If you have a few cats, make sure there are enough litter trays for them all to use as some don’t like to share with other cats.
Clean the areas that have been urine marked with an odor eradicating non-ammonia based cleaner. Placing the litter tray where the cat has been marking could help discourage your cat, and then eventually move it back to where you want it. Stopping the cat from getting to where it has been marking could also help, space permitting.
Using strong smelling room deodorizers the offending spot can help to deter your cat from going there again.
If your cat is marking because it is stressed from seeing cats outside, try closing the blinds or curtains.
Try incorporating these methods at home to deter your cat from this unpleasant behavior.