Avoiding urine marking by cats

Avoiding urine marking by cats

There are some practical steps that you can take to help stop your cat urine marking in your house.


Arrange for all cats in the home to be neutered.

Reduce conflict or stress

  • In multi-cat households, resources such as feeding stations, water sources, litter trays and resting perches should be plentiful and distributed throughout the environment. There should always be as many resource stations as there are cats, plus one additional resource station.
  • If intercat aggression/tension seems to be contributing to the marking behaviour, periodic (4–6 hours per day) or full segregation/separation of the cats may be helpful. Alternatively, a bell collar on one or more cats may allow the cats to separate themselves within the environment and decrease antagonistic encounters.
  • Discourage free-roaming cats from spending time on your property by removing any attractants such as food sources or bird feeders.
  • Block visualization of free-roaming outdoor cats by closing blinds or creating visual barriers.

Reduce the attractiveness of marked areas

  • Tactics include placing aluminium foil, upside-down carpet runners, double-sided sticky tape or citrus scents at previously targeted spots.
  • However, this often fails as cats tend just to relocate, especially if the underlying motivation is not addressed.

Create an acceptable spraying spot

  • Allow the cat to express this normal feline behaviour.
  • Lean an empty plastic box up against target spots to create a cat urinal that allows for easy clean-up.

Encourage other forms of marking

  • Provide scratching posts/pads and apply pheromone products, such as Feliway.

Maintain litterbox hygiene

  • Scoop waste from litterboxes daily.
  • Change litterboxes weekly.


  • Clean soiled areas with an enzymatic cleanser.
  • Rinse thoroughly and dry if applying a pheromone product afterwards.


  • Drug therapy may be recommended by your veterinary surgeon to control urine marking.
  • Follow the veterinary surgeon’s treatment recommendations.

The information supplied on this page was kindly provided by the BSAVA (British Small Animal Veterinary Association).

Please Note

These factsheets are provided as guidelines only. If you are at all concerned about the wellbeing of your pet then please call Hope Veterinary Surgery immediately by using our phone number 01782 657788.

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