Cats are considered territorial pets and therefore use various ways to mark their territory. In communication with humans, cats use their meow to “tell” a person what they want. In communication with other cats, they rely on smells and body posture.
There are different ways in which a cat marks its territory, and this behavior is instinctive in cats. Below we have singled out the most common ways:
Marking the territory by rubbing
Marking the territory by rubbing is considered to be the most common way of marking the territory in cats. Cats have glands in their paws, cheeks, and on the sides of their bodies that leave a mark on the things they rub against. In this way, they leave their scents on the furniture, doors, things of the household. In that way, they mark everything they consider their own. This trace is mostly invisible to people and we cannot feel it with our sense of smell. Our cat and members of its species can do it. In addition to various objects, cats in this way mark other cats, dogs, and of course people to leave their “personal stamp” on everything.
Cats marking the territory by scratching
Scratching the territory has a dual role. The first is practical and hygienic. In this way, cats do a “manicure” or remove a layer of old claws. It’s necessary to provide them with scrapers that they can use for this purpose. The second is the stimulation of the work of the olfactory glands that are located in their paws, which mark the territory. If your cat is scratching you, this is mostly not a show of aggression. It’s just a way to mark you as his “property”. In case the cat marks furniture and similar things too much, it should be directed to do so on the scraper so that the things you own would not suffer too much.
Cats marking the territory with urine
Marking the territory with urine is the biggest problem for cat owners. This type of marking, in addition to damaging furniture and things, leaves an extremely unpleasant smell in the home. What we should keep in mind is that this so-called spraying is normal behavior in cats and that in this way they mark their territory, but also attract individuals of the opposite sex during the mating season. This behavior can additionally occur if another cat suddenly appears, which does not have to be in the apartment, but its smell that comes from outside can be a signal to your pet who is in the apartment to start marking his area.
How to prevent unwanted marking of space – recommendations
To prevent spraying, veterinarians recommend sterilizing pets, although this way of marking the environment does not have to have anything to do with it. Also, it is recommended that you keep your pet away from other neighboring cats so that he does not see or hear them because that way he will not get the desire to mark the space. Use household chemicals that can neutralize unpleasant odors. We assume that you will use household chemicals that have been tested and are not harmful to pets.
It is important to note that there is a difference between spraying and urinating on flat surfaces, which in most cases indicates a disease such as inflammation of the urinary tract or some kind of dissatisfaction such as moving to another space. This type of urination often happens when you go to the vet because of fear and discomfort. If you notice that anything is wrong with your pet’s urination or notice any other change in habits, consult a veterinarian to avoid a possible more serious health problem.