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Dodging the Cat Urine Wrench

From: Coolest Kate
Coolest Cat Care Editor
Cat spray



Cat urine AGAIN!  Add this clean up and deodorizing to your to-do list for today.  What's another chore when you have sooo much free time?  Right.

Not only is cat pee a giant wrench in your daily agenda, but it’s a head scratcher: “Why, why, WHY is he peeing on the carpet, on the back of the couch, on the the shoe?”

There are two basic reasons why your carpet(brand new) has been graced with eau de cat urine:

1) your cat is marking his/her territory; or

2) your cat has a medical issue that’s causing him discomfort, and he’s trying to alert you. The first is behavioral, and the second is physiological.

Cat Urine Problems

Instinctive Cat Marking Behavior

First and foremost, it is important to understand that leaving cat urine on the carpet or walls is not Tuffy’s way of misbehaving, of being spiteful, or of showing jealousy.

These, rather, are the reasons why you are faced with dealing with cat pee on your walls or carpet:  

Not being spayed or neutered

Cats who are not fixed are more likely to spray urine than those who are.  Also, Prissy Miss is just as likely to spray the walls as is Mr. Boy.  If you have several cats and some of them aren’t fixed, those who are fixed may spray in response to those who aren’t. 

Conflicts with other cats in the home

If you have several cats, they have their own system of establishing a hierarchy. Every now and then, they may try to change pecking order. A cat may spray cat urine on vertical or horizontal surfaces to establish dominance. The flip side of this cat potty coin is that the cat who is bullied may spray as a way to alleviate his anxiety. He may even be simply relieving his bladder if the dominant cat is aggressively defending the litter box as his territory!

Encounters with outdoor animal

If your cat has encountered another cat while venturing outdoors, he may instinctively mark his indoor territory with cat urine when comes back in.  Even if your cat never ventures outdoors, just seeing another cat near your home can trigger him to mark indoors.  And other animals may not be limited to cats!  Trickster the Raccoon may likewise stimulate Tuffy’s marking behavior.                

New objects in the environment

When Tuffy graces your new boyfriend’s shoes with his pee, he’s not trying to tell you that this guy is yet another Toad, he’s simply marking some more territory.  This is especially true if Prince Charming’s shoes smell like another animal. 

Potential Medical Problems Signified by Marking

Oftentimes your cat is leaving cat urine outside the litter box and seemingly right under your nose because he’s trying to tell you that something’s wrong.  “Hey you, I can’t talk, so I’m going to leave my cat wee on the carpet right in front of you because I'm hurting!" 

Medical reasons why cats soil outside the litter box include:

*      Urinary tract infection.  This is the most common ailment. 

*      Clogged anal glands.  Dogs aren’t the only ones with anal glands!  Just be glad that humans don’t have them, and that we don’t have to get to know one another by sniffing each other’s butts!  Your cat’s anal glands may become plugged over time, and he may need them expressed at the vet’s.  And yes, it’s just as disgusting as it sounds.

Both ailments require a trip to the vet, your cat’s very favorite pastime, and quite possibly antibiotics. 

Why Punishing Cat Marking Behavior is Ineffective

It’s important not to punish your cat after he deposits cat urine. It’s highly ineffective, because he doesn’t understand why he’s being punished, even if it takes place immediately after the incident. He’s simply engaging in quite normal territorial behavior or trying to relieve pain.

But it’s perfectly fine to interrupt him if he’s sniffing around an area previously marked like he’s going to do it again. That’s what squirt bottles are for! Fill your Feline Behavior Modification Device with tap water, stand behind the cat so he can’t see you, then let ‘er rip! He will associate the desire to leave cat urine with something unpleasant—and since he can’t see you, that something unpleasant won’t be you.


If your struggling with cat marking and the smelly mess it leaves behind you may be interested in reading the article on "The Most Effective Cat Urine Removers."

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