What is still tolerated at the garden fence, is almost unacceptable in the apartment or in the house, because cat urine smells very unpleasant in closed rooms, if not unbearable, because the urine emitted is highly concentrated, so that it smells as long as possible. But what can you do if the cat marks at home? With us you will learn the reasons and possible solutions.
Why does a cat mark?
Behind the marking with urine is not always a territorial dispute, because in the house living cats have their territory all to themselves. Marking is also a means of communication among cats. Cat urine is a calling card for other cats: I’m fine, I’m stressed, I’m ready to reproduce, the urine of non-neutered cats can reveal. Then it contains more estrogen. In addition, the urine says: Here is my territory. Piss off. In the truest sense of the word. In nature, popular hunting grounds, feeding places and places for resting are marked by male cats and thus the claim of ownership is consolidated. In the apartment and in the house, neutered and unneutered male and female cats mark their favorite places. While some cats use only a few drops of urine to mark, others empty half their bladder. In multi-cat households, passages to the hallway or the scratching post are the favorite places to mark.
What other causes are there for marking cats?
Stress can be one cause of why a cat begins to mark in the home. Marking is used as a kind of outlet to vent. Therefore, mentally unstable and anxious cats mark more often than other cats, and male and female cats that have not been neutered also mark more often than neutered cats. Possible causes are changes in habits, a move, a new cat in the house, an unfamiliar smell, or unmet needs for freedom, attention, or quiet. Male cats often mark when there is a change or a litter box that is not clean. Cats may also mark in front of their owner out of frustration at not being noticed. Humans often feel provoked then, but the cat doesn’t want to test its limits. It just gets upset or feels helpless.
Interpreting the mark correctly
Marking does not mean that the cat is unclean. The amount of urine is less when marking and the cat continues to use the litter box. One indication is the different body posture when urinating and when marking. When urinating, the cat squats slightly. When marking, the cat first sniffs the spot, turns its hindquarters to the spot, then stands its trembling tail up and trips with its hind legs. Urine is sprayed out almost horizontally onto the vertical surface. Preference is given to marking doors, windows, walls, furniture legs and curtains. A small lake may appear on the floor, falsely indicating uncleanliness.
What can I do?
The longer the cat marks, the more the behavior becomes entrenched. See a veterinarian if the cat is marking and have a urine sample to determine if the cat is suffering from urinary tract infection or another disease. Once a disease is ruled out, you can get to the bottom of the many causes of marking. Consider when the marking first occurred. What has changed? Increase the well-being of the cat, because with punishments you achieve the opposite. Use the cat’s usual litter and don’t experiment with food. Remove strong-smelling clothes or furniture so that you lower the cat’s stress level. In a multi-cat household, make sure the cat has its own retreat. Give a different meaning to the preferred place for marking. Move an armchair to occupy the space elsewhere. Place the food bowl or a nice cat cave or scratching post in that spot after you have thoroughly cleaned it. For cleaning, soap suds and water and an odor remover, especially an enzyme remover or commercially available spray are suitable. Ammonia-based cleaners are unsuitable because they resemble the urine smell.
The role of the litter box in marking
Perfect the litter box to prevent unwanted marking. It is best to clean the litter box several times a day, as cats are extremely picky when it comes to the litter box. A clumping litter will make cleaning easier. Change the cat litter completely once a week. There should always be one more litter box than there are cats in the house. Place the litter box so that other cats cannot block the way to it for anxious cats.
What else relaxes the cat?
- Undo changes.
Try products with pheromones to relax the cat. These are also recommended by veterinarians. Pheromones provide more for more balance in cats.