My 10-year-old male cat George enjoys sitting in front of the sliding-door window that gives access to the backyard. He always enjoys looking at the birds and butterflies. One day, I heard a scratching sound, and noticed that at the other side of the sliding door there was another cat. The two felines were profusely staring at each other, and after about 10 minutes, the outdoor cat left. A few days later, I was unpleasantly welcomed by the strong scent of cat urine. Turns out George, who I adopted at the age of 8 weeks, had used the living room beanbag chair as his potty. I went into overdrive mode, did extensive research and took quick action to stop this undesired behavior.
The beanbag, as you can imagine, is history. It’s now somewhere in a landfill far away from my cat. The scent of a cat’s urine will make him want to keep going potty in the same area, so it’s important to eliminate all traces of urine. I cleaned the carpet below the beanbag chair with a cat stain remover from the pet store. I drenched the carpet thoroughly, scrubbed it and let it dry. I then covered the area with a large trash bag that I sprayed with a citrus-scented cleanser. Cat’s dislike the scent of citrus and won’t go anywhere near it. You can also use a commercial spray geared toward deterring cats from areas you don’t want them in. The next day I used the stain cleanser again and covered it up again.
Meanwhile, I cleaned my cat’s litter box profusely, making sure it was clean and inviting with his favorite litter that he’s been using since he was little. I then sat and watched George like a hawk, and each time he’d go near the area where the bean bag used to be, I’d make a loud noise to startle him. I was consistent with this and wouldn’t let him in the living room without supervision. This made him think twice about going near the area. I also lavishly rewarded him after using his litter box.
I came to the conclusion that the outdoor cat that visited my cat triggered him to want to spray. Cats naturally do this to mark their territory, and although they spray only a little bit at a time, the strong scent is unmistakable. Just the sight of another cat can set off this instinctive, hard-to-stop behavior. My cat is neutered, which is said to reduce urine spraying, but it doesn’t necessarily stop the behavior completely. I still allow George to look out of the window, but keep a real close eye on what’s going on, just in case he falls off the wagon.