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The answer to that question is Yes! It is easy to mistake peeing outside the box with territorial marking. But they have quite different meanings to your cat. Until you know the difference and can determine whether your cat is urinating or marking, it will be all but impossible to get to the root of the problem. As you know, before any of us can solve a problem, we need to know what is causing the situation. A key factor that many cat owners over look is that there's a difference between your cat urinating or marking. Both urinating and marking can create a suffocating ammonia smell inside your home. However, they are quite different activities rooted in distinct motivations. Until you understand what your cat is trying to say to you, you won't be able to effectively solve your problem. Urinating Urinating is the simple act of emptying one's bladder. We use the toilets and we want our dear kitties to use their litter boxes. If you observe carefully, you'll notice that your cat stands or squats and pees onto a horizontal surface. We are pleased when that horizontal surface is the inside of the box,but when that surface is your bed spread or the dining room carpet, we're not nearly as delighted. A cat may urinate outside the box for many reasons. Urinating around the house is most common among cats who are yet to be neutered or spayed. Getting your cat "fixed" has a 90% chance of eliminating this unacceptable behavior. However, if your cat is one of the 10 you'll need to find another way to get this unacceptable behavior to stop. The most serious cause of out-of-box peeing is illness. Your cat could be sick and need medical assistance. Urinary tract disease can be quite serious, so an appropriate first response is a quick trip to the vet. Once you eliminate health issues, you can assume that your kitty is most likely expressing anxiety, anger, fear or a host of other emotions. My housemate, Carolyn, has to be careful to empty her suitcase and put it away promptly from returning from a trip, or her male cat, Tru, will take it upon himself to pee on the top of the open case, soiling her clothes. He hates it when she leaves for any extended period. He let's her know of his displeasure when she returns by peeing on her stuff. Carolyn has learned to empty her suitcase soon after her arrival and put it back in the closet before Tru has a chance to pee on the contents. She also gives him extra attention when she returns to make sure he feels loved. These two actions have helped keep her suitcase clean and Tru much happier. Getting to the root of your cat's emotional issues will help you come up with an

effective strategy. Marking Marking, in contrast to a health or emotional issue, is a territorial statement. For the thousands of years cats lived outside and on their own, they survived by marking their territories by spraying a pungent mixture of urine and chemicals from their anal glands. To the discerning nose, the aroma of regular urine is distinct from marking spray. Granted, both are equally unappealing when in the confines of your home, but I, for one, can tell the difference by smell alone. A second way to tell whether our cats are urinating or spraying is to watch them in the act. Cats pee on horizontal surfaces with their tails held parallel to the ground. Cats mark from a standing position, tail held high and target vertical surfaces, like your kitchen cabinets or the back of your sofa. Wayward urinaters may be saying, "I'm sick" or "I'm upset." Marking cats have one message: "This is mine!" They feel like their territory is threatened and are making a clear, albeit aromatic, statement. Once you've determined if your kitty is sick, upset or possessive, you can better formulate an effective strategy to help your cat meet its needs so that you can, once again, live in an ammoniafree breathing zone. Check out some of my other articles to help you come up with the best strategy for your situation.

Carmen is an avid cat lover and expert on cats...especially the naughty ones which is why she started Bad Kitty Solutions. To get download a copy of her fun and free article called A Tale of a Tail: Is Your Cat's Tail Trying to Tell You Something, go to

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Is My Cat Peeing or Marking  

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