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Cat marking boundaries using their own urine is common and normal behavior. Regardless, there is no way you are comfortable living in a house smelling of cat pee. Therefore, you will have to come up with a way to stop your cats marking with urine.
In most cases, cats will mark on the bed, items and even furniture at home. This is not only embarrassing but also destructive. I mean, cat pee will stain your items and furniture leaving them in a found condition. However, do not panic as you can be able to make it all stop.
However, one thing I keep putting emphasis on is the importance of understanding your cats. Assuming you are running a multi-cat home, there is a lot going on. You may not get to spend every minute of every day with your cats. Nevertheless, you should be able to tell when your cat is misbehaving. In this article, we are going to focus on how to stop your cats marking with urine.
The easy ways to stop your cats from marking with urine
Even as disappointing as this habit might turn out to be, the truth is, every cat owner has had to deal with this problem at some point in their cat’s lives. It is important to observe your cats and identify the ones that are marking. Thereafter, you should be able to tell why they are doing so, which will, in turn, help you stop the behavior. Below are ten methods that you can use to stop your cats from marking with boundaries;
Running a multi-cat home is not exactly an easy move to pull off. This is because each cat will have different behaviors, both acceptable and unacceptable. You must be able to spend a lot of time with your kitties in order to study each cat’s behaviors. This way, you can be able to identify any changes. Spending time with your cats individually also gives you some time to bond with each one.
Cats living in a multi-cat home are actually at a higher risk of developing stress. This could be as a result of several factors that include;
Causes of stress in cats
Lack of enough resources – Having several cats means providing more resources. These resources may include space, food, water, litter boxes, and even toys. You should, therefore, make sure that each cat has access to enough of these resources. Place all the litter boxes in calm and quiet places in the house, and a lot of them. Also, provide several spots where your kitties can comfortably be able to relieve themselves.
Noisy neighborhood – Noisy neighborhood is certainly not good for your kitties. Cats have very strong senses of hearing, more than humans do. This means that they hear even the slightest noise even on the outside. Having a neighbor who likes to have a party could be problematic. You should avoid living in noisy neighborhoods.
Change in routine – cats will find it difficult to adjust to any changes in their lifestyles. Whenever there is a change of things in the household, be it the routine, or diet or feeding schedule, your cats may react to it. In order to communicate their stress, they will pee all over the house.
To reduce stress and the need for marking boundaries, you should, therefore, ensure that your cat is free of stress. Check on the cat regularly.
How to reduce stress in cats
We have identified some of the factors that may contribute to your cat developing stress. Now, how exactly do you reduce stress levels among the cats? There are several ways in which you can be able to do so but it all comes to one thing in particular; you should identify the reason for cat stress and eliminate the motivation.
This simply means that you will have to find the core reason why your cats are stressing. If you have recently made changes in the household, go back to the way things were. If this is impossible due to various reasons, the only thing that will help us to keep them calm. Spend enough time engaging with your cats and they are going to adjust.
In addition to this, make sure that all the cats have access to all the resources. Separate the cats that seem to have an issue with each other, especially if they fight. This will help you stop your cats from marking your house with urine.
Neuter/spay intact cats
If your cat has reached reproductive maturity, it is likely that you are dealing with the terrible habit of marking with urine. This is especially when your cat is in heat when they want to mate. The behavior can be hard to control in intact cats. This is because it is a natural behavior in felines that we ought to understand.
Unless your goal is to breed your cats, then you should have them neutered or spayed. In fact, this should be done when your cat reaches the reproductive maturity age. This will not only reduce hostility but also the tendency of your cats from spraying urine to mark territories.
Your vet will advise you on how to go about the whole process of neutering/spaying cats. Understand that in order to stop your cats from marking everywhere with urine, this is a necessary thing to do when your cat is of a young age, 4-6 months.
Block the outside view
Cats absolutely love to sit by the window, watching the outside happening. As much as they do so, it does not mean that they should. It is actually a very unhealthy behavior that will leave your cat with anxiety. And due to your cats’ nature to protect the household, do not be surprised when you come home to window and curtains smelling of cat pee.
The reasons for urine marking are usually related to anxiety and protectiveness. When your cat watches people and the happenings on the outside, she might be triggered to anxiety. In cases, she notices a local/stray cat in your lawn, or on the street, then her territorial nature will show.
Therefore, to get rid of the anxiety-causing your cat to urine marking, leave all the curtains down. This will definitely help you stop marking with urine.
Provide perching places
Like human beings, our cats will also need somewhere to vent out, their own space. Well, if you have spent a few minutes in a multi-cat house, then you definitely know how fiercely cats can fight. In order to be left alone, your cat will communicate by marking places he already deems as his to vent.
However, this should not always be the case. You should provide several perching places for when your cat needs some space. This way, your cats will not feel the need to mark in efforts to request space by other people.
In addition to this, identify the cats that fight the most. This will help you identify the reasons why they are fighting and therefore remove the motivation. Once you identify the motivation behind the fighting, withdraw it and all the fighting should stop. And if not, consider separating the fighting cats from each other.
Keep other cats away
As mentioned earlier, cats have a strong sense of smell. This enables them to pick smells from afar, even the scent of other cats. Once your cats feel the presence of other cats in the household, they are going to be territorial. This will be in form or urine spraying to send a message to the intruder. Your cats are trying to warn the other cats about accessing your property.
Do not give your cats any reasons to protect your home. They all need to be assured of safety and comfort in their own homes. You should, therefore, come up with a plan to keep all these stray cats away from your home.
How to keep stray cats out of your homestead
Having stray cats accessing your house has never been a good idea. It is actually problematic for both you and your cats. If you are looking at how to stop your cats from urine marking, keeping stray cats off your property should be a priority. Below are some of the quick methods you can use to drive away stray cats;
Home remedies to keep stray cats away
Use Essential Oils – keeping cats off your house should not be as complicated. Most essential oils will help drive them away and ensure a safe environment for your cats. For instance, spraying your house with eucalyptus, peppermint, citronella, and lavender oils will help. To apply this homemade solution to urine marking, add a few drops of the oil to a spray bottle with water. Then spray the place in which the stray cat is accessing your home.
Citrus peels – cats are generally repelled to the smell of citrus. This makes it an absolute solution to keeping cats away. It can be as simple as leaving lemon/orange peels by your front door, or cat flap. Identify where the stray cat is getting into your home from. Place a few peels and leave. Since cats hate the smell of the latter, it will help keep the other cats away from your home.
Motion-activated devices – These devices usually work well to chase the cats away. For instance, you can install a motion-activated sprinkler on your lawn. Whenever the cats approach your home, the sprinkler will usually go off and burst water towards the direction of the motion. This will scare the stray cats away as felines do not like to get wet. For cats that will come to mark as far as your front door, you may as well get a beeping mat. The alarming the mat will produce a sound that will scare the cats away as soon as they step on it.
Play with your kitties
It is important for every cat owner to ensure that each cat gets enough playtime. This is not only going to help you bond with your cat but they will also bond with each other. Playing has uncountable advantages when it comes down to keeping cats happy.
In fact, you will be able to engage all the cats in play and thus encourage socialization. This will help reduce fear and anxiety amongst your cats. Additionally, your cats are going to finally have a place to associate with each other.
Encourage games that stimulate your cats both physically and emotionally. This will not only help you with cat stress but also strengthen your bond. Provide enough toys to play with, especially when you are away from home. This way, your cats will be occupied and entertained until you get home.
It also helps when you leave soothing music on. This will keep your cats calm and also prevent outside distractions. Leaving the TV on can also help occupy your cats all day. The goal is to keep the cats as busy as your cat. This will keep them from indulging in urine marking. Furthermore, they won’t have any reason to spray in order to mark territories.
Once your cats have started marking with urine, you are definitely going to realize. This is because the urine used to mark will usually have a pungent smell. No matter where they have been spraying, the smell will be so strong and unmistakable.
The smell is not only disgusting but may prompt the cat to go back and repeat. This is why removing the smell is an important step when you are trying to stop cats from marking with urine. Unfortunately, water only is not going to do it. You will need to use enzymatic cleaners to ensure that the smell is all gone.
Wash off the stains from the surfaces thoroughly. Avoid soaking the fabrics in water as the urine will crystallize. This makes it hard to get rid of the smell. Alternatively, you can also use a mixture of water and vinegar to clean the spots. Besides being a cleaning agent, vinegar is also a strong cat repellent which means that you will be able to keep the cats away from the sprayed spot.
Redirect your cats
We had already mentioned that when a cat has sprayed a spot with the intention of marking it, there is a likelihood that he will come back to repeat. Eliminating the smell of the urine is a great step toward solving this mystery. However, your cat might still remember the place and be tempted to mark again. In this scenario, you are going to need a way to redirect your cat’s attention.
And since we do not have the entire day to stop a cat from urine marking, you might be unable to catch him in the act. To redirect his attention, you may leave his favorite treat on the spot. Once he comes with the intention of marking, the treat is definitely going to distract him. In order to avoid your cat developing obesity, it is advisable to use toys in the place of treats.
The feline family is quite prone to developing urinary tract problems. This is especially if you are dealing with a female cat. You will have to identify the cat that is marking everywhere. It will help you monitor her closely for any symptoms of illnesses that are causing your cat to mark.
Consult with your vet, if you have a multi-cat home, for methods to identify the spraying cat. Your vet may administer a harmless dye that makes cats pee colored urine. From this point, you will be able to notice the cat that is marking with urine and thereby stop them.
If your cat appears sickly and in pain, especially when urinating, consider taking her to a vet. It could be that your cat is suffering from a uti or even kidney problems. In this case, you are likely to have small amounts of urine marks in the house. Sometimes your cat may not be able to pass urine at all, which will need emergency medical attention.
In other cases, your cat may be unable to make it to the litter box and thus empties her bladder from wherever she is. It might, therefore, be wise to also get her checked for other conditions like kidney infection or diabetes.
The above-discussed methods are going to help you stop cats from marking with urine. However, you should first of all be able to identify which one of your cats is engaging in the behavior of marking. This is not always easy, especially for cat owners running more than five cats. Understand that they will be more prone to behavioral issues than a single cat in the household. This could be a result of stress, competition for resources or even having dirty litter boxes.
Upon identifying which one of the cats is engaging in urine marking, it is time to figure out why. You should definitely take her to the vet if you suspect any illnesses. Your vet should be able to help you correct this behavior immediately.
Spending time with all your cats is also helpful to curb urine marking. It provides you with a chance to bond with the cats and at the same time reduce stress. Understand that cats depend on our affection and attention in order to feel safe in our homes. Therefore, it is your duty to make sure that your cats are well taken care of, both emotionally and physically.
PS: Under no circumstances should you consider punishing your cat.