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Why do cats marks?

Já jsem chtěl jenom nechat vzkaz, člověče... Nezlob se.

Did you come home and the smell of pussy (cat pee) hit your nose? After searching for a while, you probably discovered a dark spot or puddle outside the cat's litter box, but your cat had a clean litter box and no reason to urinate outside the litter box.. or did he? In this article, we explain why your feline has started marking, whether it could indicate a health problem and how to avoid marking in cats.


Marking vs. urination

The first thing you should determine is whether it is actually "marking" or whether it is urination.


Both cat and cat usually urinate in a squatting position, so if the furry one doesn't make it to the toilet in time or tries to urinate to draw attention to something, the puddle will be on a flat surface, sometimes even buried by whatever the cat has found within reach. This could be a carpet, a mat, a couch, or even a bed - but you definitely shouldn't punish your cat for this. There are several reasons why a cat urinates outside the litter box - poor choice of litter box, stress, but also health problems (see our article Help! My cat is peeing in my bed).


Cat markings are usually found on vertical surfaces - walls, furniture or curtains - and the droplets can reach up to a metre high. The urine is dispersed as if from a spray bottle. But don't punish your cat for marking either, and we'll explain why in a moment.

Poodles, history and cat marking

The ancestors of our bedding pets usually lived alone in the wild, or shared their territories with a few other felines, with whom they did not come into contact. But so do today's wild littermates (or cats with permanent access to the outdoors). The cat always hunts the territory at different times and avoids its feline neighbor as much as it can.

This is because cats, unlike dogs, for example, have no system for communicating and getting along with other felines in a face-to-face situation (in a confrontation, both cats expect danger and will fight rather than retreat and "surrender" their territory to a neighbor).

To avoid frequent disputes, both cats and cats communicate with each other indirectly - leaving messages in the form of markings. By marking, cats convey information to others, such as: this is my territory, I have stayed here for a long time, or I will be back soon. By marking, they can even inquire about a potential mate!

As you can see, cat tagging has a deeper meaning for our furry darlings than you may have previously thought, but....

... what about the cats that live in the apartment?

Although indoor cats don't have to hunt for food or guard their territory, they still view the world like outdoor cats - they have to fend for themselves to survive. Unfortunately, cats can't explain their problems (stress, fear) and desires (for a mate) other than with the communication skills that nature has given them. Therefore, if a cat feels uncomfortable at home, sooner or later you will find a smelly marker at home.

Have you had an accident at home and can't get rid of the smell? Use vinegar or baking soda!

How to avoid tagging?

Cats don't need to mark at your home as long as they have access to the outdoors (e.g. a secure garden) and there is nothing at home that would disturb them (other unneutered cats, noise, strangers, etc.)

However, an unneutered cat may have a tendency to roam. It will find a hole in the garden and run off after the cats - this can not only cause overpopulation and death of the cats, but can also cause accidents (the cat may fight with a sick cat and get infected by it, get hit by a car, or simply get lost). We therefore recommend that you wait until the cat is sexually mature and book it in for neutering.

Editor's note: Neutering your tomcat is a safe procedure that will help your cat lose territorial behaviour, become calmer and get along better with other cats. In addition, the procedure will prevent the risk of testicular cancer.


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