How to Stop a Cat from Urinating in the House: 11 Steps

Table of contents:

How to Stop a Cat from Urinating in the House: 11 Steps
How to Stop a Cat from Urinating in the House: 11 Steps

Marking territory is a behavior that male cats tend to have for a variety of reasons. As this urine gives off a strong odor and can stain furniture and carpets, this can become a nuisance for the pet owner. If your cat is marking territory, there are several ways to solve the problem.


Part 1 of 3: Finding out why the cat is marking territory

Stop a Male Cat from Spraying Step 1

Step 1. Know the difference between marking territory and urinating

Territory marking is a cat's behavioral process with a communicative connotation that can be caused by a number of factors. However, normal urine is a physiological need that can only be solved with the use of a litter box.

  • Territory marking urine is found on vertical surfaces, as the cat pees with its back to objects. The volume is also smaller.
  • Urine released in the territory tag has a stronger smell, as it releases certain chemicals that serve to send a message to other cats.
  • Territory marking is more common in male cats that have not been neutered, in a house where there is more than one cat and where a recent move has occurred.
Stop a Male Cat from Spraying Step 2

Step 2. Understand the reason for marking territory

To make this behavior stop, you need to understand why it exists. Since this is a cat's way of communicating with others, knowing what he's trying to inform you is the key to eliminating the problem.

  • Cats are territorial and like to claim certain objects and places. Urine is the feline's way of making its presence felt and telling which parts of the house belong to it. If you have several house cats, urine probably has this cause.
  • The phenomenon can also be part of a mating ritual. Territory marking is very common at the time of heat, as urine pheromones serve to inform that the cat is available to breed. If he hasn't been neutered, that might be the reason.
Stop a Male Cat from Spraying Step 3

Step 3. Find out why

Now that you know the possible causes of the behavior, ask a series of questions about your home. This may shed light on why he's marking territory.

  • Is there a new baby or pet? The cat can feel threatened and mark territory.
  • Are there any neighborhood cats that come to walk in your yard, leaving your feline stressed?
  • Has there been any change in his routine? Pussies don't like change and sometimes act like that if the routine is changed.
  • Do you raise a lot of cats at home? If the answer is yes, does each of them have their own space?
  • Have there been any recent changes to the sandbox?

Part 2 of 3: Fixing Stress Related Issues

Stop a Male Cat from Spraying Step 4

Step 1. Keep a routine

Changes in the house can stress the cat and trigger insecurities, causing it to urinate to take over the space. If he has, establishing a routine can ease the animal's stress and help it stop urinating on things.

  • Feed him at the same times every day and keep the litter box and toys in the same place.
  • If you have a guest, put the cat in another room. This measure is even more important if the visitor has a cat and can bring the animal's scent on the clothes. This odor can trigger stress in the cat, causing it to start marking territory.
  • There are certain pheromone sprays available at many pet stores designed to calm your pet. If you know a big change is about to happen, like the birth of a new family member or the arrival of another pet, buy one of these to help your cat go through that transition.
Stop a Male Cat from Spraying Step 5

Step 2. Make sure the cat has enough space

If he lives with several cats in the same house, the marking of territory is inevitable. By ensuring that everyone has their own space, you can contain the problem.

  • Install multiple niches. Cats love to be up high watching everything. You can find a place on a windowsill or even make a space between books on the shelf. Another option is to purchase a feline structure at a pet store.
  • Place several bowls of feed, water, scratching posts, and toys available around the house.
  • Offer more than one sandbox. Territory marking is different from regular urine, but the cat can become territorial if there is little space in the litter box. Buy more than one and clean them every day.
Stop a Male Cat from Spraying Step 6

Step 3. Clean the urine well

Constant territory marking can be a reaction to the smell of urine from another animal, particularly other cats. Odors need to be neutralized to stop this behavior.

  • Wash everything you can in the machine with an ordinary soap.
  • You can also prepare a solution of 50% water and 50% white vinegar and spray it on surfaces where the animal has urinated. This solution neutralizes odors and discourages the cat from urinating again on the spot.
  • Pet shops, some department stores, and even supermarkets sell cleaning products with synthetic pheromones and odor-killing enzymes that encourage such behavior.
Stop a Male Cat from Spraying Step 7

Step 4. Reduce your pet's contact with the street

Sometimes, the conflict between cats in the neighborhood causes the marking of territory. Even if your cat can't leave the house, if he sees another pussy or smells it through the window, he can start marking territory.

  • Remove the furniture the cat climbs from near the window. Think about investing in a structure for the cat to climb and have an alternative resting place.
  • Close windows, blinds or doors.
  • If you like, put a sensor device and a sprinkler to spray the cat with water every time he goes to the window.
Stop a Male Cat from Spraying Step 8

Step 5. Help the cat adapt to new family members

The presence of a newborn baby can lead to territory marking, as the cat will want to ensure that no one invades its space. You need to help him through this transition to stop the behavior.

  • Keep a schedule, even if it's difficult. With the baby in the house, your schedule will likely change drastically. Try to do your best to maintain a consistent schedule of eating, sleeping, and litter box cleaning.
  • Don't pay too much attention to the cat before the baby is born, as it will get used to the pampering. When your child arrives, the feline will become frustrated and act to get your attention.
  • Introduce the cat to the cat's new toys and utensils for him to smell and examine as soon as he buys them. Anything with a strange odor can cause the pussy to start marking territory.

Part 3 of 3: Seeking help from the veterinarian

Stop a Male Cat from Spraying Step 9

Step 1. Take the cat to the vet for a checkup

Marking territory is often a behavioral problem, but if no adjustment or measure resolves the issue, the cat must be taken to the vet. A basic test can identify and treat any health problems that can cause urination. Urinary incontinence, especially if the cat is elderly, can be a sign of more serious illnesses, such as organ failure.

Stop a Male Cat from Spraying Step 10

Step 2. Neuter the cat

If he is not neutered, urine is a way to attract females. Marking territory is an indication that the cat has reached sexual maturity, so neutering may do the trick.

  • If possible, take him to castrate before he is six months old. More than 90% of cats do not even mark territory if they are neutered during this period.
  • In the case of older cats, approximately 87% of them stop the behavior after neutering. Although most stop immediately, there are some that take a few months, but this is less than 10%.
Stop a Male Cat from Spraying Step 11

Step 3. Treat it with medicine

Territory marking, even when triggered by stress or anxiety, can be treated with some medications prescribed by a veterinarian.

  • Antidepressant and anxiolytic medications administered orally can be obtained from the veterinary consultation. They can alleviate tension caused by having multiple cats in the house or anxiety caused by a wrong schedule.
  • Always consult a veterinarian and know your pet's health history. Certain medications can affect some health problems.
  • All medications have side effects. Ask your veterinarian what effects should be noted and how strong they are before you start medicating your cat.


  • Never scold the cat. Cats don't respond to positive or negative reinforcement like dogs do, so a scolding can create more stress and encourage you to continue the behavior.
  • If you have several cats, give them all enough attention. Cats are also territorial with their owners and may feel jealous if one of them is the favourite.
  • Find out if the pussy is marking territory or just urinating. Urinating outside the litter box can be a symptom of an illness. It is good to be careful not to let this pass and go untreated.

Popular by topic