Is There a Way to Keep a Male Cat From Marking Its Territory?
- The best cure for urine marking is prevention. Most cats neutered before the age of six months will never mark their territory by spraying.
If your adult cat is unaltered and has already started to mark his territory with urine, neutering can still help. Many cats will stop spraying after their testosterone levels decrease following castration. Do not despair if your cat keeps marking immediately after being neutered--he will still have the testosterone levels of an unaltered tomcat for at least 30 days.
- Conflict between multiple cats in a household can cause marking behavior. If two or more male cats are consistently fighting, one or both may begin to urine mark on vertical surfaces. This can happen even with a neutered cat, though it is highly unusual in cats who were neutered before they reached sexual maturity.
If you have multiple cats and one or more is urine marking, the problem may be solved by addressing any existing conflicts between cats. Help your cats establish a comfortable pecking order by reinforcing the dominance of the cat who most often comes out ahead in fights. Feed the cats in order according to the hierarchy they establish.
Avoid creating any situation where cats fight over control of a resource they perceive as scarce. This means providing multiple food dishes, multiple litterboxes, multiple water sources and multiple scratching areas. Whenever you have more than one cat and they all want the same thing, fights will happen and urine marking may follow.
- Some cats urine mark due to anxiety. Moving house, rearranging furniture, a new baby or a new pet are common triggers for stress-related urine marking.
If there has been a recent major change in your cat's daily routine, coinciding with the start of the urine marking behavior, stress is a likely culprit. Help your cat relax by re-establishing a consistent routine. Feedings and playtime should happen at the same time every day.
Consider purchasing a pheromone diffuser that dispenses calming pheromones to calm your cat. These are available at most chain pet stores and can have a profoundly beneficial effect on a cat's level of anxiety.