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Healthy Cats

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Urine Marking in Cats

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Treating Urine Marking Caused by Conflict with Outdoor Cats

You can try the following recommendations to remedy urine marking behavior caused by conflict with an outdoor cat:

  • Close windows, blinds and doors Prevent your indoor cat from seeing other neighborhood cats.
  • Attach a motion-detection device to your lawn sprinkler Set the sprinkler by windows to deter the presence of neighborhood cats.
  • If your cat is intact, neuter him or spay her
  • Use Feliway®, a synthetic cat pheromone Products such as this deliver a synthetic pheromone that has been shown to have some effect in relieving stress in cats. Deliver the Feliway® through a diffuser plugged in close to where your cat has seen the outdoor cats. Feliway® is available as a spray or through a diffuser, and it can be found in many pet stores and online.

Use medications Because marking is often a sign of stress or anxiety, medication might provide additional treatment help. See our Behavioral Medications for Cats article for explanations regarding the different medicine choices available for your pet. Always consult with your veterinarian, a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB or ACAAB) or a veterinary behaviorist (Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behavior, Dip ACVB) before giving your cat any type of medication for a behavior problem.

What NOT to Do

Here are a few things to avoid when treating urine marking:

  • Do not rub your cat’s nose in his urine.
  • Do not throw things at your cat.
  • Do not clean up accidents with an ammonia-based cleanser. Urine contains ammonia, so cleaning with ammonia can attract your cat that same spot to urinate again.

WebMD Veterinary Reference from ASPCA Virtual Pet Behaviorist

The ASPCA Virtual Pet Behaviorist specializes in the resolution and management of pet behavior problems only. Please do not submit questions about medical problems here. Only licensed veterinarians can diagnose medical conditions. If you think that your pet is sick, injured or experiencing any kind of physical distress, please contact his veterinarian immediately. A delay in seeking proper veterinary care may worsen your pet's condition and put his life at risk. If you are concerned about the cost of veterinary care, please read our resources on finding financial help.
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