A cat-marking territory is not unheard of. In fact, at some point in your cat’s life, she will want to mark parts. Usually, your cat will use urine to keep territories, whereas she will sometimes rub on the item or against you. This way, she is sure she is in the right place and with the right person. There are various reasons why your cat may want to mark territories. These will vary from one cat to another, depending on her environment.
10 Reasons for cat marking territory
Cats are protective
Cats are protective, which means protecting their own is in their DNA. However, the domestication of cats does not always allow the cat to grow up with their original families. This does not affect their protective nature as we become their family when we adopt them. Therefore, a cat will want to mark whoever she lives whoever she is living with.
Therefore, by marking you, she ensures that she ‘owns’ you. She will even go ahead to keep your items. The problem with a cat marking territory is that it mainly involves urine. This can turn out to be an irritating thing for you. You will not like having your house smell of cat pee every time.
It can worsen when your cat sprays urine all over your bed, walls, and carpets. Usually, cat pee will have a strong odor, one that is hard to get rid of. If your cat has started marking territory suddenly, you should try tocat has started marking territory all of a sudden; you should try to find out why. Is there something that makes your cat insecure in your home? Are you spending enough time with your kitty?
These are some of the questions you should be asking yourself.
Competition for resources
No matter how much we want, we cannot be able to adopt all the cats in the world. However, some people opt to run a multi-cat home, which is good. Before adding another cat, you should have already determined your first cat’s behaviors. These include how she spends time, her eating habits, and her litter box schedules. This way, when bringing another cat to your house, you will be sure what to provide.
Sadly, most cat parents do not even realize when to add more food or not. Therefore, by bringing in another cat, we are only stressing the first kitty and probably even the new one. You should always make sure that all your cats have enough resources to go by.
Competition for resources and even space is a possible cause for your cat to want to mark territories. For instance, your older cat may feel like the new one is invading her space. You can separate the two to attain harmony in your home. Furthermore, it would help if you never introduced another cat abruptly. Instead, consider engaging them gradually until they learn to live harmoniously.
Stress in cats
Are you wondering why your cat is acting strangely and leaving a trail of urine everywhere? It could mean that your cat is marking territories due to stress. Unfortunately, cats are pretty fragile, especially emotionally. They are triggered to stress quite easily. For instance, having a new cat in your home could stress your cat. Not only will this result from your cat’s inability to embrace change, but also the anxiety that comes with meeting new cats or strangers.
Initially, he might be trying to warn the other cat about invading her space. She wants to stamp authority that she owns the place and is unwilling to share it. These behaviors should go away as soon as the cats get to bond. However, you should monitor your cat closely as there are several causes of stress in cats.
Once again, exposure to a new environment can also trigger your cat to develop stress. This is probably the most common reason for cat stress. If you are moving to a new place, the whole process will be a nightmare for you and your cat. She will find adjusting hard and most definitely want to mark the site again.
We have already mentioned that changing your cat’s lifestyle may make your cat mark territories. This is especially when you make considerable changes in the house—for instance, buying a new coach. This might be a fun idea to have all your home changed for the better. However, this will bother your cat so much wonder where the old couch is. To eliminate the feeling of change, your cat will mark the sofa to feel secure around the latter.
This, however, is not the only change that can bring about the habit of marking territories. Remodeling your house may also have your kitty all mixed up. And because she cannot adapt to the changes, she will go on keeping everything and everywhere. This way, she feels like she belongs as she can smell her scent in the house.
As much as this might benefit your kitty, you should not keep up with the habit. If you plan to change, be prepared to deal with urine marking. Deterring your cat from the place she has previously marked will help you control this behavior. In addition, make sure you get rid of the foul smell of cat urine.
Like humans, cats may develop anxiety, especially when left alone. We must understand that cats cling to us because they depend on our love and affection. It is how they feel secure by ensuring that we are always there to protect them from whatever harm may come their way.
However, due to our busy schedules with life and work, sometimes we are forced to leave our kitties alone. If this goes for longer than usual, your cat will start missing you. With time, she will start wondering where you are and when you are coming back. This is separation anxiety, whereby your cat may mark your clothes or favorite items. Some cats will keep your bed to reach out to you.
The longer it takes, the more likely it is to get worse; your cat may feel like the bond you shared is gone. And to get rid of this feeling and feel secure, your cat will mark to mix your scents.
Fear is also a contributing factor to your cat marking territories. It is the driving force towards a cat wanting to keep boundaries. She wants to chase away the element that is causing fear. For instance, a cat with access to the outside world may be used by strangers and other cats.
However, an indoor cat used to be all alone. Any person or cat/dog approaching or passing by your house will be a threat to your cat.
To defend her space, she will often tend to mark territories. This will keep other cats from accessing your home, or so your cat thinks. It can get worse if you have a strange cat invading your house.
Getting a new cat can also cause fear for your first cat. Ironically, the new cat might also tend to mark territories because she fears the other cat, especially if the other cat is more significant.
If you notice that your cat is afraid of the enormous cat, separate the two until they finally socialize. This should help reduce the marking for a while. Eliminating the cause of fear will be the ultimate solution to this problem.
You do not have to live near a construction site for your cat to be distracted. Noisy neighborhoods that may make your cat mark territories include loud music, burrowing animals in the yard, or even human footsteps.
For instance, if you live in an apartment with a neighbor who likes to party, you might have a problem with your cat marking the front door or even the wall. Due to their strong sense of hearing, loud music will irritate your cat. To send a message, your cat will mark, hoping it stops.
Another example is when you are living in an apartment whereby people pass by your door. Even though your cat does not have a view of the outside, the noise will be motivating enough. She might think a stranger is coming to your house and marking territories in the place.
In addition to this, the noise in the backyard can also be a motivator for your cat to spray. Therefore, you should always ensure that your yard is free from these animals. Use harmless methods to get rid of burrowing animals.
Your cat is in heat
This is another common reason your cat might be marking in the house or yard. When in heat, your cat is the most vulnerable to marking territory and especially using urine. This is especially when your cat is looking for ways she can attract a mate.
This is an actual genetic thing about the feline family. A cat’s urine, in this case, will contain her details, including sex, age, and intentions. Usually, a cat will spray your door and windows, hoping to get a mate from it. A male cat is supposed to pick her scent and know he is welcome in your home. Outdoor cats may even try to escape home, searching for a potential mate.
It would help to eliminate this habit by having your cat spayed/neutered. Well, in case you are looking to breed your kitty, then you cannot fix or neuter your kitty. However, you should have a strategy to have her mate for reproducing purposes.
In addition, if you have no plans of getting a litter of kitties, neuter/spay your cat before she starts her reproductive phase.
You have a kitty with kittens.
We had already mentioned that cat tends to be very protective of their space. Now, a cat who has recently given birth will be extraterritorial. She is going to mark territory to protect their young ones.
The worst-case scenario is where your cat is triggered to mark by the obvious things. For instance, a slight noise in the house can make your kitty want to protect her offspring. You will have to deal with this when the kittens are young.
By marking the territory, only the kittens are allowed in the area. It is only natural to want to protect her kids and thus need you to provide comfortable living conditions for your cat. This means that you minimize the noise in the house. Consider placing their beds in the most serene areas of the house.
Provide enough resources for all the cats to minimize the competition that may lead to a cat marking territory. In addition, monitor your cats to ensure they are safe and comfortable now and then.
Having a stranger in your home
Having people visit you is not uncommon behavior among the human race. However, it is strange for your cat to encounter new people in the house. This will bring about jealous and protective instincts in your cat.
This happens especially if your cat feels a bit threatened. It could be that you are spending so much time with the new person. In addition, your cat will need to mark territory to warn the stranger about her boundaries.
Your cat may also mark your house, especially clothing and bed, as she tries to comfort herself. If someone is staying at your home, you should gradually introduce them to your cat. This way, your cat will feel secure when around the person.
This will also help stop marking territories since the kitty will have accepted the other person. If you have different people coming to your house, consider taking your kitty to another room. Keep her busy with toys or even a treat. Remove the doorbell that may alarm your kitty. This way, your cat will not have to be afraid of strangers and thus eliminate the need to mark boundaries.
Is your cat spraying or eliminating inappropriately?
As mentioned earlier in this article, cats have different ways of marking territories. However, the most noticeable one is by use of urine. This is because it has been a common problem among cat parents, with some even surrendering their kitties. You will be disappointed when your cat starts marking because your house may smell cat urine.
Marking is usually characterized by small sprays of urine in different parts of the house. Sometimes, your cat may choose a specific place to spray repeatedly. However, do not be tempted to hit or use other means to punish the kitty.
Often, we fail to understand that cat-marking territories are normal behavior for felines. However, following the studies on cat behavior, we can comfortably discourage this behavior. Eliminating fear and anxiety should be your primary focus when you want to curb marking.
Observe your kitty correctly to determine if your cat is spraying to mark territories. The above points on why cats mark territory will help you choose the perpetrator of this habit. However, do not ignore the possibility of your cat having a urinary tract infection.
Urine marking is usually in the form of spraying. Cats suffering from feline urinary infections will also spray. This is the fact indicator of a possible illness. If she appears sickly and urinates more than usual, have your vet look at her. The vet is going to examine your kitty before giving a conclusive diagnosis.
However, it would help if you did not always rush your kitty to the vet. This is because too many vet visits could increase stress levels in cats. And as we mentioned, stress can lead to a cat marking territory.
In conclusion, marking territories is normal behavior. However, it would help if you observed your cat for a while. Determine why she feels the need to keep it in the house. Eliminate all the elements that are encouraging her to go about the behavior. If she is having difficulty adjusting to the changes you have recently made, spend enough time with her. This will recover the bond that she thought was gone.
Get some exciting toys to keep her from getting anxious when you are away from home. She will spend time playing with it and trying to figure it out. This way, she will not notice how long you are gone. In addition, provide other forms of entertainment to keep her calm all day.
It is also essential to refrain from random changes in your lifestyle. This is because change brings about anxiety and confusion for your cat. Maintaining a routine will eliminate the motivation to mark territory all over your house.
Lastly, figuring out a cat-marking territory will always be your job. Understand whatever she is trying to tell you and provide comfort for her.