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Some causes of Stress Marking in Cats
By: Alfred

Sometimes marking, an instinct driven habit of depositing
urine on various parts of the environment, in cats is
brought on by stress or illness. If you just moved into a
new place your cat may mark the house because it is new,
since marking is a territorial instinct. Cats do not like
change and will not appreciate the new house at first. In
order to make the new house feel more like home to the cat,
it may mark different areas in the new house to re-establish
its territory. Wild cats and many other animals do the same.

If your cat has started marking when previously it didn't
have the habit, you may want to look for a stray cat hanging
around outside. Your cat may be concerned about defending
its territory because it can smell a strange cat about.

And sometimes a cat will spray if you bring a new person
into the house, especially if you are paying more attention
to the person than your cat. A new baby or another pet can
trigger spraying behavior. If you think this is the cause,
try to get the cat familiar with the household addition and
it should stop the spraying behavior.

If not of these causes apply, you may want to look for signs
of illness that may be affecting your cat. If the cat
doesn't feel well it may spray simply because it doesn't
know what else to do.

This habit isn't good for your home and the urine sprayed
has a very distinct smell that is very hard to clean out of
fabrics. Using pet deodorizing cleaners and citrus spray
afterward sometimes helps.

Clean well all the areas that the cat has sprayed. Wash
every possibly sprayed surface with a mixture of water and a
laundry detergent containing enzymes. Then make a mixture of
half vinegar and half water and spray the area well with the
vinegar solution to help kill the scent and discourage the
cat's spraying urine in the same place again because of the
scent marker.

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