My cat George recently went on a marking spree after seeing a neighborhood cat in the backyard. Needless to say, I was not a happy camper. After getting down on all fours and sniffing the carpet to locate the area where the stench was coming from, I managed to clean the area thoroughly with an enzymatic cleanser. I knew that I would have to take drastic steps to keep my finicky pal from re-soiling the area again. Crossing my fingers in the hopes that the stain and stench would completely be gone, I started taking steps to correct my cat’s marking habit. Here are some of the things I did. Hopefully they’ll be as effective for you as they were for me.
Act Like a Hawk
I watched my cat like a hawk from this point on. Each time, I would catch him going near the “scene of the crime,” I would loudly yell at him from a distance. I would make sure that he didn’t see me making the noise, because I didn’t want him to be scared of me. I wanted him to associate the startling sound with going near the soiled area of the carpet. Instead of slowly walking past the area or sniffing it, the startling sound triggered George to eventually swiftly jog past it.
Of course I wasn’t able to watch my cat all day, so for the times I wasn’t able to watch him, I would block his access to the area to the best of my ability. Unfortunately, the area didn’t have a door to block his access, but I managed to cover the spot with a heavy-duty trash bag. I placed large, empty 5-gallon water bottles around it to block his access even more. This seemed to work, because I didn’t come home to the smell of cat urine.
Scare the Cat
Seeing another cat in the backyard was what triggered my cat to start marking. To prevent this from happening again, I started shutting the blinds. During times the blinds were open, I’d watch carefully for the uninvited cat visitor. I’ve come across him several times now, and run outside to chase him away each time, in the hopes to startle him so much that he’ll stay away. I’m hoping to find out who his owner is so I can have a nice little chat with them.
Whenever George uses his litter box, I make a big deal out of it. I pet him, praise him and sometimes even give him teats. I want him to know that using his litter box is a good thing, and I hope that my lavish attention is motivating him to continue to use it. I also make sure to scoop clumps and feces from his box daily and to wash it regularly. By doing this, I’m hoping that he won’t do his business elsewhere just because his litter box is dirty. So far, we’re on the right track.