Female Cat Marking Her Territory??

Updated on October 06, 2010
V.S. asks from Bellflower, CA
18 answers

Hello moms. I am in desperate need of some advice. I have a female cat who is about a year and a half old. She pees on things in the house and it is driving me absolutely crazy! She pees on things like comforters, clothes, pillows, she even peed on my curtains (which hang on the floor slightly)! I rescued this cat when she was a newborn kitty, thought I was doing the right thing, but am really at the point where I want to take her for a drive and drop her off somewhere, but my conscience won't let me. I have to use ammonia in every load of wash because I don't know what she has peed on, but there is always at least one item for every load. This is getting expensive and tiring. I am at my wits end and desperately need some advice. Has anyone else gone through this? It's been going on for a while now. We also have a male cat in the house (who has never marked his territory and is "fixed"). Please share any advice or similar stories with me. Thanks in advance!!!

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So What Happened?

Thank you all so much for your help!!! I have not taken her to the vet, as I can not afford it at this time. I will try some of the awesome advice listed in the forum! If that doesn't work, I guess I'll have to find her another home. :( This has been going on longer than the baby situation, so I'm pretty sure it doesn't have anything to do with that. Also, I should mention that she does pee in her litter box, she just ALSO pees on things. Yes, the cats share a liter box, but I have a very small condo and there isn't anywhere else in my house to put a separate box. Regarding the use of ammonia, it's the only thing that completely gets the smell out of the clothes, couch cushions, etc, plus, the best thing about it is.. once the item has been washed, it only smells like detergent and softener :) smells clean!! One thing that was mentioned by a cat lover is that female cats do this when they are in heat, which I didn't know.

Featured Answers



answers from Honolulu on

Has SHE been fixed? If not, I can almost guarantee you that will take care of the problem. Good luck! :)

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answers from Los Angeles on

Hi V.!

You have enough on your plate as it already is, I say get rid of the cat. You don't need any issues in your life such as pee in places you don't know, when you have your kids to worry about. That is the reason why I would never get any pet/animal. Life is hard as it is. So sorry if you take offense to what I am saying. Have a great day, good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

Take her to the vet and have some test run or at least talk to the vet about some options. Find a cat vet, there are just cat vets out there. I have grown up with cats throughout my life, although my family has no cats now. My mom had female cat who was spayed who did this type of stuff and my mom took her to the vet. They ran some tests and she was in kidney failure! She was able to live out her life with dietary changes and regular check ups. I also had a male cat who was doing this even though he was neutered, I took him in to the vet only to find out he had bladder stones and needed surgery! Once we got the stones out and he was on meds for infection he was better. So sometimes it can be a health issue like a UTI, Kidneys, Bladder stones, or even diabetes can cause things like this in cats. So please have her checked.
Also each cat should have their own litter box. And if you decide not to keep her, please find an rescue organization who will take her and let them know of the problem please. All the organizations will be full but alot of times if you can make a donation to them to help with cost of caring for the animal they will try to take that animal in.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

Do you have her spayed? I would bring her to the vet to make sure there are not bladder or kidney problems. Also, there is a cat litter called Cat Attract that is wonderful. It helps the cat find the right place to go to the potty. (There are herbs in it to attract the cat to the litter box.) It works wonderfully for my cats and is usually available at Ralph's Grocery stores (sells for about $13 per bag, but is a larger bag and definitely well worth the price...my cat used to have a problem with pooping in the right place and would go anywhere but the litter box and after that cat litter was recommended to me it is not a problem anymore.

Also, please follow the advice of the others about re-homing the cat if you can't take care of it. It is hard right now for animal lovers who can't take care of their pets due to the tough economy.

Hopefully some advice you find here will work and you can keep the cat.

Best of luck,

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Hi, you may want to check with your vet to make sure she doesn't have a urinary tract infection. When cats have this, they will pee on anything and everything just to try and get relief. Just a thought...we went through it. Hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I'm an "outside pet" person. Put the damn thing outside. Lots of people have outdoor cats. I say the same to people who have dogs that chew things up in the house or make messes. Your cat is not in control, you are.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

First take her to the vet and make sure it's not a urinary tract issue, and if she's not spayed then do that. It might clear up.

While you're doing that, you need to start closing doors to places where she pees. Start keeping the laundry in rooms that she's not allowed into.

When did the peeing start? If it started with the baby you may have a jealousy issue (mine did). Try to pay the cat extra attention (hard when you're so baby-focused, I know).

Make sure the box is pristine. She may be complaining about that (mine did that too, since when we were so very tired with the new baby we let the box go a little :-\ ). Now is not the time to try a new litter that she doesn't like -- we tried a new environmentally friendly litter and she hated it so she started going in other places (this after she'd been box-trained for 15 years!).

If she's peeing in any corners or in places that are fairly flat, I have a good trick (read to the end, sounds scary but isn't): get some old-fashioned mousetraps, set them, place them UPSIDE DOWN (business end down), and put a single sheet of newspaper over it to hide it. When she steps on them, they'll spring up and scare her. Later you'll be able to just put down newspaper where you don't want her to go and she'll think there's scary stuff there.

Also, get a squirt bottle (with water). When you see her heading to places she's not allowed, squirt her from across the room.

Create a no-no can: aluminum can with marbles. When she goes into a restricted zone, you shake the can for the loud noise.

Eventually she'll associate these places with unpleasant things (water, springy traps, loud noises) and stop going into those places.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

This is a strange phenomenon that seems to happen with rescue cats.
Try changing her litter, she may not like the smell-try several different types until she pees there a majority of the time.

If not: My mom raises rescues and has heard that this works, never tried it personally. It seems a little hard but is supposed to work.

Put the cat in the bathroom (or a hard floor room which she can't get out of) with nothing fabric on the floor or where the cat can pee on it, just food, water, and a litter box for a whole day.

Next day put in a towel folded on the floor and put her food on top of it. She shouldn't pee where she eats/ sleeps. If she does then you may want to give her up as she may never have it trained out of her.

Day three add another towel and split her food half on one towel half on the other. If she doesn't pee on it, move on.

Day four put all of her food on one towel. If she pees you have to start over, if not then move on.

Day five, let her out in the house but make sure that there is not anything fabric touching the floor, hide anything fabric that isn't essential (pillows, blankets, for curtains tie them in a knot so they are high off the floor) and close the doors to the bedrooms. Put food on top of anything fabric (couch-in several places, chairs, beanbag, etc.) Put food if there is a spot where she normally pees on things ie:a pile of towels in the laundryroom-move the towels and put food there. Leave it this way for a couple of days. If she does well then remove the food slowly one spot each day-start with the couch. Once all the food is gone you can add back each fabric item-one at a time.

Then move on to the bedrooms, one at a time, again nothing on the floor, close closet doors, put a couple bowls of food on each bed during the day. As long as she progresses then keep allowing her more access to the house, but if she regresses you have to start over.

Make sure everything is thoroughly cleaned-carpets, flooring, couch, comforters, everything because if she smells her smell on it she will return to it.

It's really a two week commitment to get this cat straightened out. There may still be times when she returns to this due to stress. We as people revert to our deepest instincts when stressed and cats do too. Just start over and she will be reminded of how to act and it shouldn't take as long IF there is a next time.

Good Luck!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

if it's peeing and not spray then usually it's not marking territory at all, it's an unclean litterbox issue. Cats like a clean toilet so if the litterbox isn't clean, they won't use it. And once they pee elsewhere, they will keep going back to the spot of spots due to scent.
You should have enough littetboxes (number of cats plus 1) in various locations and clean them daily. There should be about two inches of litter, enough to cover poo/pee and add a thin layer at least weekly. If that doesn't work, try a different litter. It might take some time because the habit of peeing elsewhere is established, but you should see results. Cats want to go in litter and keep it clean and scent free
If all else fails, check with your vet if it's a medical issue, but rule out litterbox issues first; it will save you money!



answers from Honolulu on

Maybe you should have her spayed.
I have had cats, and that is what I did, and I didn't have spraying problems.
But I know each cat has different issues.
But start with spaying.

I would also contact your Vet, and ask him/her about what you can do.... and what they advise.


answers from San Diego on

It looks like a number of things have already been said but..
How long has the peeing been going on? Is it a new thing or has it been going on for a long time?
You mention that your male is fixed, is your female? If not I would start there. We took in a rescue cat and her 2 kittens in Aug. We had to wait until she fully weaned her kittens before we could get her fixed, we almost had her go into heat it was so short a window. When we brought her in she was in pre-heat and was starting to pee on everything. She's not peed on a thing since.
I see you said you wash things in amonia. Don't. Use vinegar. Amonia is close to a cat pee scent and you're only encouraging it. Vinegar neutralizes the pee and breaks it down. This removes the temptation to go back to something.
Are you using a scented cat litter? Very few cats actually like the scented kind. It is only made to please the humans who are using it. It masks their natural scent in the cat box working against the instinct to go there. Switch to an unscented litter if you are not using one.
Various medical conditions can cause peeing in undesired places. Something as simple as a urinary tract infection which needs nothing more than anti-biotics is common. I would bring her to the vet for a check up to rule out anything medical.
Some cats can get picky about how dirty their box is or having to share one with another cat. If they are unhappy they will find somewhere else to go.
You might want to consider getting one of those plug in pheremone things and see if that helps any. She may be reacting to the new baby and feeling stressed. Not knowing when she started though makes this hard to tell though.
A cats natural instinct is not to go anywhere but it's box. When it stops using the box there is a reason, it just takes some sleuthing to find out what the solution is. I've had a several cats throughout my life that I've gone through this with. It does work itself out in the end.



answers from Honolulu on

Try & see if you can get her Neutured? Try calling a pet store to ask for advice? Does the cats have their own litter box? if not get them their own. I once adopted a female cat with the same problem as you & ended up taking her back to the Humane Society I know this not an option for you being that this your pet. Pet store advice I think would be your best bet. OMG Good Luck




answers from Los Angeles on

We had a cat before we had our daughter. She was fine up till then. After my daughter came come she started peeing everywhere too. It drove me crazy and I got rid of her. My daughters health and safety came first. All I needed was for her to pee in my daughters bed or toys. So I would suggest get rid of her, try to find her a home where they will give her all the attention. You have your baby to take care of and give all your attention to. Or take Michelle's advice and put her outside if getting rid of her is not an option.



answers from Los Angeles on

What may have started as a medical problem might now be a bad habit. I didn't see in your email if you had taken the kitty to the vet to be assesed. She may have a bladder infection, or worse, feline luekemia which can lead to poor bladder control and is common in rescue cats.

If there isn't anything medically wrong with her (it may be something as simple as a change in food or a round or anti-biotics) then you need to work on correcting the habit. Cat's don't like lemon juice and I used that very successfully on areas of the floor that wouldn't be harmed by the acid of the lemon. Where ever I wiped it - the cat did not go.

Some cats will only use their litter box if it is spotlessly clean. My cat only likes to "go" outside on grass. Start at the vets first....if that doesn't help I would ask Gary over at Pet Supply on Brookhurst and Ellis in Fountain Valley - if there is a product on the market that helps - Gary will know about it. Good luck!



answers from San Diego on

Hi V.,

How long has your cat been doing this? If she has only been doing this for a few months or less, I'm inclined to think it has to do with the changes in your house revolving around the new baby. If it has been going since you rescued her, then I'm at a loss for a reason or solution...




answers from Los Angeles on

You have a younger infant that the cat is not used to.If at all possible, let the cat go outside (if she is fixed!).
If you live in an apartment, that'd be hard ofcourse. Try to define an area just for the cat, the female one. Like others suggested, get them their individual litter boxes. Some cats just hate to share. I also have a rescue kitty, about a year old now, and she peed on my comforter about 3 times. every time I rubbed her nose in it, made sure she understood that I was really NOT happy with it (repeatedly told her NO!) and then I showed her the litter box.
She has not done it since. She however goes outside as well.
You also need to keep her litter box neat, if it's peed in some cats wont go again.
Good Luck - and please try to keep her, there are enough strays as is.
Low cost Veterinary Hospital: (for care - or to spay if she is not)

Golden State Humane Society
555 E Artesia Blvd
Long Beach, CA 90805

I got my kitty spayed for very low cost, I think under 40 dollars! Well worth it.



answers from Los Angeles on

Not sure if this will help, but I myself have a cat and she is about 3 yrs old now. I found that my female cat would pee on my clothes when her litter box was not cleaned. After cleaning litter box she would stop.



answers from Nashville on

Don't USE AMONIA! It smells like Cat PEE and will Make her spray MORE!!!!!!!!! If there is a Male Cat...she will be doing this to attract the Male cat. Is she fixed? I have one that does this even fixed..because my male cat isn't fixed..She is marking the territory. Put the FOOD where the spraying is happening. If you watch her do this.. She will actually back up in a standing position and PEE at Length..its amazing to watch! And HORRIBLE SMELL..but Amonia ..again attracts her to do this MORE! This actually shows a photo of how the cat is Spraying/Peeing to Mark things... The Baby is also an issue.. and I agree with the other person..Rescue cats seems to have this problem... I have 7 Rescue cats..I have one that does this..she is fixed... and it is an issue.. Good luck! http://www.usask.ca/wcvm/herdmed/applied-ethology/behavio...

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