How to Stop a Cat From Marking

Is your feline friend spraying or excessively scratching? Learn why cats mark their territory and how to stop a cat from marking in your home.

While you may be a happy cat owner, dealing with territorial marking is one task you could happily live without. So, why do cats mark their territory, and what can you do about it? Is it just the price you pay for cat ownership?

Cats establish their territories in a variety of ways, from pawing and nuzzling to scratching and urine marking. If you’re interested in reducing the more destructive types of feline marking, keep reading to learn how to stop a cat from marking in your home.

First, Why Do Cats Mark Their Territory?

Cats mark as a way of communicating with other cats. Often, the marking takes place when they feel anxious or threatened.

How Do Cats Mark Their Territory?

Some mark by spraying or releasing a small amount of urine on a horizontal or vertical surface; others leave their scent by scratching or rubbing against surfaces, people or other cats. Most cat-loving homeowners aren’t going to complain about a little pawing or nuzzling, but destructive scratching and spraying? That’s another story!

The good news is that there are steps you can take to protect your home’s carpet and furnishings and keep your home from smelling like a litter box.

Tips to Prevent Scratch or Urine Marking

For cats, scratching is a normal and instinctive behavior, so there’s no need to stop it altogether. The goal is to redirect them to exercise their claws on acceptable surfaces – not your leather couch or shag carpet.

Providing a scratching post or pad for cats will keep many cats satisfied. Look for scratching posts and pads that feature coarse, nubby or textured covering, and horizontal or vertical scratching structures, depending on your cat’s preferences.

When it comes to spraying, there are several steps you can take to prevent this destructive marking behavior, including:

  • Spaying and neutering cats before five months of age, or as soon as possible for newly adopted adult cats.
  • Paying attention to behavioral signs of stress and providing extra support and care when necessary.
  • Keeping objects that can lead to marking out of view – cats may become territorial when they see guests’ belongings or new purchases out in the open.
  • Seeking medical attention if you think there may be a health-related issue such as a urinary tract problem, which can be deadly for cats.
  • Cleaning any previously marked areas thoroughly with appropriate cleaning solutions.

Addressing a cat spraying problem not only keeps your home from smelling bad, it helps you avoid potential lung irritation or respiratory issues that can result from indoor pet accidents.

Take Back Control of Your Home Environment

With help from the professional team at Rainbow International, you can help put a stop to cat marking. Our cleaning and deodorizing services will let you breathe easier, and your local Rainbow International experts can provide carpet and upholstery cleaning that effectively neutralizes previously urine-marked areas, reducing the likelihood of repeated marking. Connect with us now by calling (855) 724-6269 or scheduling an appointment online.

Deep-set pet stains? Learn how to use oil-based paint to neutralize pet urine in your subfloor, with help from our friends at Molly Maid. Like Rainbow International, Molly Maid is a part of the Neighborly® community of trusted home services brands.