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Cat Behavior: Inappropriate Elimination vs. Urine Marking

Inappropriate elimination and urine marking are separate issues with different solutions. It is therefore important to be able to identify which problem you are dealing with. In order to distinguish between these two problems, it is important to pay close attention to your cat’s behavior as well as the locations in which your cat is eliminating.

Signs of a cat who is exhibiting inappropriate elimination include:

• The litter box is used infrequently, if at all

• The litter box is used only for defecation but not urination or vice-versa

• Large amounts of urine are deposited in the inappropriate area

• Your cat exhibits a definitive urinating posture (squatting to eliminate)

• Carpets and rugs are often targeted

• Only two to three locations are used

Signs of a cat who is urine marking include:

• Fairly normal litter box use, along with the strategic location of urine marks

• Urination is mostly on vertical surfaces (though cats that are urine marking may sometimes
   mark horizontal surfaces as well)

• Only small amounts of urine are deposited in the inappropriate area

• Your cat displays a typical posture while marking, which includes backing up to the object,
   lifting and often quivering the tail, and treading with the back feet

• The locations of urination are many and varied

For more information on inappropriate elimination and how to address the issue, please see:Inappropriate Elimination in Cats

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