Spraying Feline

Ever since another cat was adopted, our first cat has taken to marking everywhere on the walls and carpet. Is there any way to correct this problem?

Feline behaviorist Pam Johnson-Bennett says:
Every time you add a cat, all the cats in the family have to renegotiate territorial rights. Since cats are very territorial, it can get to be stressful because the cat numbers increase but the size of the house doesn't.

Your cat feels as if he doesn't have a space of his own. Perhaps the recently added cat has taken over some of his favorite spaces.

Make sure that there are enough litter boxes in various locations. Ideally, there should be as many litter boxes as cats.

There is a spray available from your vet that helps with urine-marking behavior. When sprayed on prominent objects in the house, it helps cats feel as if they have already identified it as theirs. It can have quite a calming effect on cats.

Use interactive playtime (fishing-pole-type toy) to play with your cat in the areas where he has sprayed. This will help change his mindset about those spots. Cats don't eat, sleep or play in the areas where they eliminate. You can also put a couple of food bowls over the spots where he has gone. Be sure to clean and neutralize the areas first, using an enzymatic cleaner. Using an ordinary household cleaner will only cover the odor. A cat's sensitive nose will still be able to detect a trace of urine, which will trigger him to return to that spot.

Behavior modification is crucial here. You have to help the cats feel as if everyone has enough territory.

More cat care and behavior solutions:

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