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Unneutered male cats do most urine-marking. They spray to advertise their reproductive availability and to claim territory. Think of urine as a cat calling card that contains information about its depositor. When a cat smells the urine of another, it likely knows that individual’s sex, health status, mating status, what it recently ate, where it’s been and more.
Spayed and neutered cats can also urine-mark, but usually only under certain circumstances. Often the cat is feeling stressed or threatened, perhaps by the presence of a new cat, dog or person in the house (e.g., a new baby), or even a cat outdoors that might also be making its mark in the garden.
It’s important that you first make sure that your adult female cat is indeed urine-marking and not suffering from a health or litter box issue. According to the ASPCA, urine marks usually are made on a vertical surface, have less volume than typical bathroom movements, and smell quite pungent. The odors come from chemicals that communicate all of that previously mentioned information in the cat calling card.
If you have ruled out other causes and are certain that your cat is urine-marking, the ASPCA offers the following tips:
A clean bill of health always helps, so schedule a veterinary appointment to make sure that some underlying medical issue isn’t affecting your cat.