do cats mark their territory

They let other people and animals know about their territory by marking it with a variety of methods and at many levels of intensity. For example, a cat may mark a valued object by rubbing it with her face. However some cats may go to the extreme of urinating or defecating to mark a particular area as their own.

I am finding small amounts of urine in multiple locations. What does that mean?

The majority of cats that mark indoors do so by sprinkling urine in numerous spots, but this may also be the case if you notice several tiny puddles on horizontal surfaces. Horizontal urine stains can be seen on clothing piles, windows, doorways, and recently acquired items.

When your cat consistently urinates or defecates outside of the litter box, it’s time to have your veterinarian check them out. Lab work may be needed, including a urine test. Cats that suffer from illnesses like infections, gastrointestinal disorders, or arthritis may urinate or defecate outside of their litter box.

In addition to marking, some behavioral disorders can also cause avoidance of the litter box and/or a preference for a different area for elimination. It is crucial to speak with a veterinary behaviorist for an accurate assessment and a successful treatment plan if there is no physical explanation for the behavior.

What is urine marking or spraying?

Urine marking refers to the deposition of urine for the purpose of communication. The term urine spraying is used when the urine is deposited onto vertical surfaces. In most cases, the quantity of urine is small. A spraying cat postures by backing up to the surface, usually quivering his tail, and then, with little or no crouching, sprays urine onto the surface.

While most cats mark with urine by spraying, some cats mark by urinating on horizontal surfaces. Cats can also leave marks on surfaces by rubbing their faces against them, depositing stool, and scratching objects.

How Can I Tell If My Cat Has a Litter Box Problem or a Communication Problem?

Determining whether your cat is urine marking or has a litter box issue requires some detective work. Urine in the litter box does not exclude cats from marking outside the box because they use their boxes for voiding as well. However, urine marking deposits typically differ qualitatively from inappropriate outside-the-box eliminations.

The qualities listed below are indicative of urine marking:

  • Urine marks are usually deposited on vertical surfaces. Marking on a vertical surface is known as spraying. A cat will typically back up to a vertical surface, such as the side of a chair, wall, or stereo speaker, stand with his body straight and his tail erect, and spray urine onto it. When he’s spraying, his tail and occasionally his entire body twitch.
  • Urine mark deposits often have less volume than voided deposits. A cat typically spits out less urine during urine marking than he would during routine bowel movements in his box.
  • The urine smells pungent. Because a urine mark is more than just urine, cats can learn a great deal from the urine mark of another cat. It also contains extra communication chemicals. Those chemicals smell pungent to people.

Urine marking can also be caused by a few traits of a cat or a household, including:

  • The cat is an unneutered male. While female cats and cats who have been neutered or spayed can also leave urine marks, unneutered male cats are more likely to do so. Urine marking can serve as a means for unneutered males to signal to females that they are available for reproduction.
  • There are multiple cats in the household. The likelihood that at least one cat will leave a urine mark increases with the number of cats living in a house. More than ten cats in a home almost always means that there will be urine marking.
  • The household has undergone some sort of change. Cats don’t like change. When things change, cats can become stressed. Urine marking behavior can be brought on by a variety of events, such as moving in or out, getting a dog, cat, or other animal, remodeling a room, altering work schedules, being admitted to the hospital, becoming a parent, purchasing a new coat, or bringing groceries home in an oversized paper bag. Cats mark their territory as a coping mechanism for this tension. They could leave a note indicating that this is their property to avoid any issues later on, or they could do it to soothe themselves with their own unique scent.
  • There is conflict between cats. The fight may be between the housecat and other cats he observes outside, or it may be between the cats inside the house. For the same reasons that they mark in reaction to changes in the home, cats mark when they argue with other cats. One of the most frequent causes of urine marking is cat-to-cat conflict, which is typically anxiety-based rather than intolerance-based. If another cat dares to enter his territory, a cat doesn’t always become enraged. Instead, he becomes agitated because he lacks the social abilities to handle the interference. A cat will grow more anxious and likely to mark if he is unable to avoid the other cat.


How do I know if my cat is marking his territory?

Urine-marking takes two forms: Spraying is when a cat backs up to a vertical surface with their tail erect and squirts urine. Their tail often quivers while they’re spray- ing. Regular urinating is when they squat to pee on the furniture, the floor, things lying on the floor or any other horizontal surface.

What is the difference between cat pee and spray?

If the surface where you find the urine is horizontal (the floor, the bed, or your cat’s blanket), then it is probably pee. On the other hand, cats spray by standing up and backing up to a vertical surface they want to mark.

Do cats need to mark their territory?

Cats mark their territory to feel calm and safe. They do this by leaving their scent in lots of ways. Cats will be seen rubbing against things, peeing around the home and sometimes pooping, or scratching furniture and carpets. This is a natural behaviour called scent-marking.