Cat Soiling

Inappropriate Urinating–Two possible causes of cat soiling

It's an emergency

by Becky E. Marks, D.V.M.

Doc, I am going to get rid of this cat if he doesn’t stop peeing everywhere!

I have heard this complaint so very often. The leading reason for

people getting rid of their cats is due to marking or urination in

the wrong places. The problem must be diagnosed to determine whether

it is medical or behavioral.

Medical problems affecting the urinary tract in cats will force them

to change their habits. Cats that are normally litter trained may

urinate on the floor right before your eyes or in other obvious places

such as your shoe or pillow. This is their cry for help. Rather

brilliant on their part to bring the problem to your attention. A

urinalysis (urine tests) will diagnose a bladder infection or feline

lower urinary tract disease (F.L.U.T.D.). Medical treatment resolves

the problem. If the urinalysis is normal than you have behavioral

urination problems.


Behavioral urination provokes cats to mark. Most cats mark with the

tail straight up and a horizontal spray of small amounts of urine

out the back end will leave their scent. Male and female cats mark.

Unneutered males mark the most but females in the peak of their breeding

cycle mark as well. Reasons for marking include sexual, territorial

and competitive interactions between cats. If your cat is totally

an indoor pet they will still know if a new tom cat or a breeding

female is prowling outside the window. This is even more frustrating

for an indoor cat. Indoor marking of doorways, windows, furniture

and clothing are acceptable items for your cat. Of course, this is

not acceptable to humans because the odor is so offensive.


Aggressive behavior in cats I believe is the most offensive. This

is a situation you will take personally. Your cat is unhappy and

is selecting the individual in the household who is making him/her

unhappy. Perhaps the threat is a new partner, newborn baby or another

cat in the household. This is not a common behavioral problem. An

analysis of the urine and the environmental conditions are of utmost

importance to make an accurate diagnosis.


Treatments for marking include cleaning with a neutralizing product

and usually use of oral medications to control anxiety. A wonderful

 product contains pheromones that cats release when they are happy.

If sprayed where previous urinating has occurred the cats will not

mark. They don’t want to spray in happy places. It also works with

aggression problems. Additionally, retraining your cat to use the litter box

is neccessary. Having a very clean box for each cat and additives that attract

your cat back to the box are basic steps.  Sometimes antianxiety drugs are added

to the list.

Whether medical or behavioral most problems can be resolved. There

is a reason for their complex actions. Give your feline friend a

second chance.

Best Veterinarians in Portland. Husband and Wife Team