My Cat's Not Using the Litterbox! Is it Peeing, Spraying, or Marking?

Horizontal or Vertical Surfaces?

Cats that are peeing on a horizontal surface, like the floor, are demonstrating inappropriate elimination, or simply peeing outside the litterbox! Cats that are leaving urine on a vertical surface are spraying. Spraying can occur on walls, drapes, and the sides of furniture, among other things. Spraying is most common in cats that have not been neutered. Even though it is an undesirable behavior in a pet, spraying is a normal form of communication in cats!

Is My Cat Marking?

Marking refers to your cats motivation in depositing the urine. The cat is marking if she is using the urine as a form of communication. Spraying is almost always a marking behavior. Inappropriate elimination, or peeing out of the box, may or may not be a marking behavior. If your cat is peeing or pooping on a horizontal surface but it is consistently near doors or windows, on a large piece of furniture such as a bed, or on the owner's dirty clothes, it may be a marking behavior.

Now What?

If your cat is peeing outside the box on horizontal surfaces, please take her to a veterinarian to be examined! Then follow the advice in How to Stop a Cat From Peeing in the House.

If she doesn't improve, and no medical condition was found, consider if she's peeing in areas that suggest a marking behavior. If so, follow the advice in How to Stop a Cat From Spraying in the House.

If your cat is peeing outside the box on vertical surfaces, follow the advice in How to Stop a Cat From Spraying in the House.

Please remember that marking behaviors, like spraying, are normal cat behaviors and try to be patient with your kitty!

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