Inappropriate Urinating–Two possible causes of cat soiling
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
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