Vertical scratching and possibly urine marking.

I've had my four cats - 3 litter mates and the mama cat - for about a year. In the past few months I've noticed they're doing a LOT of vertical scratching on couches and chairs - 2 chairs and 2 couch, in particular. When I started noticing it, I bought more vertical scratching posts and placed them near the areas they like to scratch. I also put up the double-sided tape to try to deter them. I've used Feliway on all of them regularly and also plugged in the diffusers, and not only has it not gotten any better, but now I'm pretty sure they're also urinating/marking behind the 2 chairs that they scratch. (They already have 2 litter boxes, which they use.) I'm not sure what else to try at this point.

I've read that vertical scratching and marking is usually related to stress, but I can't identify a stressor in the home. Any suggestions on what to try? I'm about to just tear up the carpeting and let them scratch at the furniture until it's time to buy new stuff.

Asked by Member 1140346 on Aug 5th 2013 in Behavior & Training
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Izadore (Izzie)

You don't say whether your cats are all spayed or neutered, but that could contribute to the need to mark their territories. Altering won't cure the problem, especially if they smell their scent or other's in the house, but it sure will cut down on their need to mark. With cats, it's recommended that you have one litter box per cat plus one. I have 3 cats and 3 boxes, but they are very large boxes and it works for us. In my house, I notice the cats urine mark when the cat next door is roaming around and that's purely territorial. Delilah also scratches on my chair, but that's just her. The other 2 use a very large carpeted cat 'condo' that I bought and placed in front of the patio door. It's shredded b/c they absolutely love to use it as a perch and large scratching post. Available at pet stores in many elevations and prices. You may consider having the furniture professionally cleaned. And make sure all your cats are current on their vet visits to rule out health issues.

Izadore (Izzie) answered on 8/6/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer