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Troubled by Territorial Cat Marking?


Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Halt Unpleasant Scent Marking Halt Unpleasant Scent Marking
oes your cat think of you and your home as his property? Cats often mark areas or people by brushing their cheeks or tops of their tails on them – both of which contain scent glands. This is done to establish their territory within a household and to create familiar scents of comfort throughout.

Scent marking at its worst
Scent marking can take a destructive turn when the mark is made by scratching furniture or spraying household objects. A cat that uses his claws to mark will usually scratch large vertical objects like chairs or couches to scent mark with the glands of his paw pads. Your cat may also spray urine on vertical surfaces like drapes, walls, or furniture to identify his property or cover the scent of other cats. Both can cause damage to your property.

Get a handle on scent marking
The most effective way to keep cats from spraying is to have them altered before the age of 6 months. More than 90% of cats will never start to spray if neutered or spayed before the behavior begins. For cats that have already started to spray, try a calming pheromone spray or plug-in like Feliway to help reduce stress-induced spraying. Always clean up any urine with an enzyme cleaner such as CleanAway. Also, talk to your veterinarian about behavior modification methods.

For cats with claws, use a cat nail trimmer on a regular basis to trim claws. Also, offer a catnip-scented scratching post like our economical Swiss Mountain Scratcher. This will attract him to scratch where it is appropriate.

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