Dr. Stacey’s Pet Health Digest
Cat pee driving you crazy? Do something now
Is your cat marking your clothes, your carpets, down your air vents or spraying the door jams? This is one of the more frustrating behaviours to live with. Oh how we love our cats!
Chances are there was a time past when we recall fresh air without the nose scrunch. Then came that first awareness of your home being taken over and now we’ll what do you do?
First we need to understand what brain event drives our cats to do this ‘normal’ behaviour. We can know what it’s like to feel peaceful. We can know what it’s like to have someone or thing in our space that makes us feel uncomfortable or even anxious. When this happens once, we can deal with it without too much upset. If this happens repeatedly, we get agitated and begin to look for ways to control our surroundings.
Your cat feels exactly the same in these situations. One-time stress events just happen without your cat acting. Repeated events stimulate their brains to do something about it. They then decide which way to go. Fight, run, or mark. Marking is one of those behaviours that keeps the peace between groups be they people or pets.
So your cat’s brain says ‘gees… the neighbour cat is in my face a lot’, or ‘oh boy the big guy is back from university for the summer there goes my bed’ and so ‘I’m gonna let him know who’s place this is in case he forgot’. And the next thing is urine on his clothes or pillow or painting his duffle bag with a colourful odour.
So what should you do? First, get your cat checked out for a bladder infection. It could be a simple fix. If the pee is normal, you’ll need to make easy changes to your cat’s home. Get help with a workable and realistic plan. Every family will need a different one.
Stacey Gastis, Veterinarian
Sunrise Veterinary Clinic