Urine Marking in Cats

Urine Marking in Cats

The most common behavioral problem reported, by a long shot, is urine marking in cats! Or unacceptable elimination, to be exact. It can stain, and even worse- leave a terrible smell! But why do cats urinate on certain things or more at certain times?


  • An estimated 10% of domestic cats will urinate outside their litter-boxes at some point!

What is My Cat Urine Marking?

Believe it or not, unusual urine marking behavior in cats is usually a pretty strong sign your little bundle of fur is stressed. Sometimes your cat might have an issue with his litter box. In most cases, something in his environment has changed, and he isn’t happy about it.


Cat Scent Marking

This type of behavioral response is a very natural instinct past down over thousands of years! Cats will mark their scent, or urinate, as a way to send messages to other animals. Unfortunately, cat urine both smells very strong and can become nearly impossible to clean!


Cats will, of course, want to claim certain areas of their environment for themselves (which can be another problem). When a cat urine marks, he’s letting other cats know he is there. This is where he lives.


Urine ‘Spraying’

Marking on vertical or standing surfaces is called spraying, and is the way uring marks are normally deposited. Cats will spray onto the standing surface in order to cover the most surface area with scent chemicals.


Why Does Cat Urine Smell so Strong?

Cat urine isn’t just urine; it contains a mixture of chemicals. These chemicals smell bad to people or smell so strong because other cats need to be able to receive messages from that cat urine. Unfortunately, a cat’s sense of smell is nowhere near as powerful as a dog’s.

How to Treat Urine Marking in Cats

Wash the area thoroughly right away, before ammonia has a chance to set in, blotting (not rubbing) as much as possible. Don’t use detergents with ammonia. Your local pet store will offer a wide variety of cleaners for your pleasure!


Neutering your male will help with hormone regulation, and likely eliminate much of that urination.


Giving your cat space will help him feel more secure while lowering the chances of stressful encounters. The more cats in a house, the more likely your cat is to urine mark!


Any sort of household change, like a new baby or another pet, can cause enough stress for your cat to begin marking.


Prevent your indoor cat from noticing other outdoor cats by closing blinds, curtains, and shutting doors.


Keep your kitty litter box clean! It’s also a good idea to provide a box for each cat in the house.

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