Territorial “marking” may be considered part of normal behaviour and can be triggered by the presence or odour of another cat. However, some cats will also “mark” their environment in response to stress or anxiety. Cats may also change their urinating patterns if they have issues with their litter tray.
“Cats like their smell and our smell to be melded. They want to be on the same plane when it comes to scent interaction.” It’s their version of having everyone wear the same sweater for the annual Christmas photo (though that indignation is probably worse than getting peed on).
Some female cats will urinate more frequently or may even spray urine on vertical objects (marking) when they are in heat. The urine contains both pheromones and hormones, both of which act as signals of her reproductive status to other cats. This is the reason that queens in heat attract Tomcats (intact male cats).
Both male and female cats can mark with urine. Urine marking is most common in intact (non-neutered) male cats. When an intact male sprays urine, it will have the characteristic “tom cat” odor that is strong and pungent.
Your Cat May Feel a Need to Mix His Scent with Yours
Sometimes peeing on the bed has something to do with your cat wanting to mix his scent with yours (or with someone who shares your bed). If this is the case, it isn’t out of anger or spite. Instead, it’s about marking you all as part of the same community.
The most common symptoms of urinary tract infections in cats include straining to urinate, reduced amounts of urine, not urinating at all, pain or discomfort when urinating, passing urine tinged with blood and urinating around the house, outside of the litter box.
Spraying is usually caused because your cat feels threatened or stressed. Marking their territory makes them feel more secure. Common causes include: new cats in the home or neighbourhood.
Cat urine contains uric acid, which can last in carpets, fabrics and wood for years! Although baking soda, vinegar, soap, and hydrogen peroxide may neutralize the odors temporarily, a humid day can cause the uric acid to recrystallize, and the infamous “cat odor” will return.
Both male and female cats can spray. Unneutered male cats are the most likely to mark. They also have the strongest smelling urine. About 5% of neutered females and 10% of neutered males continue urine marking after they’ve been fixed.
Simple dominance will be exhibited by a cat by marking or spraying urine on territory, stealing and hoarding toys, rubbing its face on items it wants to claim as its own, claiming specific areas to sleep, pushing other cats away from the food bowl, and/or starting at or physically intimidating other cats.
Whether they’re happy or sad, in pain, or particularly when they’re a little ticked off, they want you, their favorite human, to know it. Your cat may make angry cat noises, seemingly purposefully knock something over, or pee on your new bedspread. Instead of instantly reacting, play detective, says Kavanaugh.
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.
It is not uncommon for unspayed female cats to spray when in heat. Spraying is a way of letting any male cats nearby know that she is around and available for mating. Spaying your cat is the best way to stop mating behaviors like spraying.
Typically, whole (unfixed) male and female cats will spray. Whole males are more likely to spray for territorial reasons and because it lets the receptive queens know they are available for a little hanky panky.
Cats will generally spray against walls, car tires, doors, table, and chair legs, or even couches or beds. The smell can easily be identified as spraying rather than typical urination due to its sweet and musty smell.
The simple solution. The easiest and most effective way to stop your cat from spraying is to spay her. If left intact, your cat will experience a heat cycle every spring and fall. This translates into multiple opportunities for her to drive you crazy with her marking, howling, and repeated escape attempts.
This usually happens if the cat is not fixed, or if they’ve had a significant change to their surroundings (new cat, dog, move, etc.) most often a cat has a strong, instinctual desire to go inside a litter box and “cover up.” If your female cat is not spayed, this could be the reason.
If your cat is peeing outside of the litter box anywhere at all, a trip to your veterinarian is in order first. Diseases, such as diabetes, feline interstitial cystitis, feline urinary track disease (FLUTD), or even a urinary tract infection, can cause this behavior.
Urinary Tract Infections
When a litter box does not get cleaned properly, they risk squatting over and stepping in old excretions. Bacteria from festering waste can travel up the urethra, causing a urinary tract infection (UTI).
Prevention Tips. With proper treatment, a urinary tract infection will usually resolve itself within a week. However, it can recur, so it’s good to watch out for the symptoms and take some steps to help prevent another bout: Add more canned food to your cat’s diet to help increase water intake.