Cats are one of the most popular pets in the UK. And one of the biggest problems they now face is popularity! They’re easy right? They don’t need walking, training, and are already house trained. A consequence of this though is a rise in lots more cats! And it follows that sadly we’re also seeing a lot more “accidents”. But why right in front of doors or windows?
Whilst cats are social creatures they don’t interact in the same way dogs do
They much prefer their own space and a low risk of competition when it comes to resources such as food and bedding. And whilst I’m sure at one time or another, we’ve all heard cats screeching in the middle of the night, they are generally flight before fight animals.
Cats’ main way of reasserting confidence and avoiding confrontation is to scent mark
This involves the cat lifting its tail in the air and wiggling its tail whilst spraying some urine on certain areas. These areas are commonly windows; but also include doors, cat flaps, curtains, and even electrical equipment, and unfortunately, it does smell of pee.
You’ll find they like to scent mark windows to show neighbouring cats “this area is taken, please stop coming around”. It’s nearly impossible for you to restrict other people’s cats from coming near your house within sight of your beloved pet… So immediate action needs to be taken to help make your cat feel more confident within their own environment.
Firstly, get your pet’s health checked by your vet
It’s most likely a behavioural issue, but let’s rule out any medical issues. There is a possibility in overweight male cats, they may be struggling to urinate and are blocked, so let’s rule this out. A consideration your vet may also mention is neutering. By neutering your cat, you’re taking away hormones that can increase their stress levels to maintain territory in order to reproduce. If the desire to reproduce has gone, the anxiety can be massively reduced.
Second, make sure it’s properly cleaned up
Once you’ve ruled any health issues out, you’ll then need to make sure that any areas your cat has sprayed is cleaned with the correct products. DO NOT USE BLEACH, the ammonia smell will only encourage them to pee there more. There are some great commercial products available. Make sure you read the labels closely and get one that will not only clean it, but safely remove the smell for the cat. This will discourage the behaviour happening again.
If your worst affected spot is your window, try to restrict your cat’s view out
Frosted glass is a great way of restricting the view but maintaining light entering the room. But before you go and call the glazier, try a sticky back version on the lower half of the window. This can be bought from many household shops and is fairly easy to apply.
Next, let’s build their confidence
Try and add more areas for them to urinate, more feeding bowls in different rooms, if there’s a possibility of creating elevated hiding spaces and walkways this can help reduce their anxiety and stress levels. Cats consider territory as not only horizontal space, but vertical too.
The use of pheromones in the form of plug-ins can also make your cat feel a little more chilled in their homes. These can be a valuable tool and provide a continuous release of pheromones. Pheromones are scents the cat can pick up but are odourless to us. They contain smells that naturally make your cat feel less stressed and encourage them to feel more confident in their environment. Try using them in rooms your cat is in the most.
Whilst all this information may hopefully help prevent your cat from peeing up your windows, if the behaviour persists, I recommend researching for a good feline behaviourist. They can visit your home and make personalised recommendations to help you and your feline friend.