Cats in the Carpet

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Dear Home-Ec 101,
Our cat marks all areas of our house by peeing especially when another animal comes to visit or where she last marked. We are at our wit’s end…. is there any solution to this problem?
Kitty Mama in Kalamazoo

deal with cat marking territory

retrochick.JPGIvy says:

I know way more about cat behavior than any normal person should. You name a strange cat behavior and I’ve had a cat that has done it. Go figure.

Female cats who mark indoors is indeed a strange cat behavior. My vet told me less than 10% of spayed female cats mark indoors. Outside, it is a way for a cat to attract a mate. Inside, it is generally a behavioral problem caused by stress and frustration.

I’m assuming your cat is spayed. If she’s not, that is the very first thing you need to do. Please comment and let me know if you need a link for low-cost spay and neuter service- I have the link around here somewhere.

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Clean the area thoroughly with an enzymatic cleaner that does NOT contain ammonia in it. Ammonia one of the primary ingredients in cat urine, so any cleaners with ammonia will cause them to come back in the area over and over. Spray some Feliway in the area, that will change the scent from the marking scent to the cheek gland scent (You know how cats rub their cheeks on everything? It’s not because they’re showing they love that item, they’re showing they OWN the item.) and calm your kitty down.

Make sure the cat is as unstressed as possible. Try not to have a bunch of other animals traipsing in and out of your house, and if you do have a reason for having a lot of unfamiliar animals coming in and out, make sure there are lots of places where she can get up and out of the area. My cats like the tall bookshelves I have.

Try moving her food and water bowls near the area of the spraying. Sometimes this will stop it.

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Click the picture for lots more tips!

If none of that works, you’ll probably need to take her to the vet for some kitty valium. I had a girl cat once that sprayed and NOTHING we did stopped it. I took her to the vet, and the vet prescribed a mild tranquilizer for her, after awhile we were able to wean her off of it, and she never marked again.

Good luck, I hope one of these suggestions work, I know how frustrating it is!

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5 thoughts on “Cats in the Carpet”

  1. I second the Feliway and kitty valium suggestions. For about the first year I had my girl, she sporadically peed on my BED. Once she even peed on ME. Let me tell you, much as I loved this little girl, my patience was wearing thin fast. But between two stints on kitty buspar and the Feliway diffuser, as well as religious litterbox maintenance and TONS of face rubs, we seem to have resolved the issue. I actually think the face rubs have a lot to do with it. She’s a junkie for them.

    Also helpful was a little book called the Fastidious Feline, which I found on Amazon. It offers lots of possibilities to consider and provides good insight into the feline psyche.

  2. Feliway, Feliway, Feliway.

    The only thing that kept our cat from spraying was to use a Feliway diffuser. It’s cat phermones that calm them considerably. We got the diffuser when we moved the cats into a house where a dog already lived, and then our vet gave us a bottle of Feliway spray to use on our furniture. You can spray it on targeted areas (any fabric, I think) and it keeps the cat from marking there.

    It’s available, among other places, at

  3. Our cat had an incident where she was doing that. Once, when we moved into an apartment and more recently on a piece of carpet that we had in the basement. I ripped up the carpet and bleached the heck out of the floors. I think she knew she was going to meet her maker if she didn’t knock it off. No surprise that it stopped as I was making the call over to the shelter. 🙂


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