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.. Feline Announcements

Cats use scent as territory markers or messages for other cats about who's present & the local social hierarchy. Cats leave scents by rubbing against objects. Stronger messages are left through spraying or middening (leaving exposed faeces behind) often to warn others & reassure themselves that they belong in an area.

This behaviour can be readily witnessed in any cats day to day behaviour patterns. If a cat is brushing up against something, perhaps a human leg, scent glands leave behind a calling card. Cats will often re-visit & re-investigate a particular twig or spot, sniff it & rub their cheeks on it. Through this they will gain information about who's been around & leave behind news of their own presence. These spots are something like a message board or graffiti, signature tagging locations.

Cats may announce their presence & soil in undesirable areas of a household, an activity known as middening.

Pungeant smells can be effectively dealt with by an enzyme active cleaner such as Simple Solution

This may occur for apparently no reason perhaps on beds, sofas, discarded clothes, in hallways or by closed doors. Often what they are trying to do is reassure themselves that they belong & announce that they are present & part of the social group. New scents brought in on footwear or cycle tires, or scents drifting in from beneath doorways from other cats, can also be triggers for this insecure behaviour. Health reasons need to be ruled out first especially if the stool is not solid, has an odd colour or smells peculiar - a  veterinary check is advised. Middening can also be a message aimed at you, that something is not right.

Scolding or punishing a cat will only reinforce their insecurity & is most likely to worsen the problem. 

The most effective way to solve the problem is by working out what it is that is making your cat feel insecure.  Provide them with a familiar core area, being sure they can easily access a secure litter tray (see cat litter advice) perhaps by setting up another room they can call their own. They need to feel secure with familiar items & scents, food, water & be free from unwanted invasions from other household members. The family dog may for example be paying too much attention to their cat litter, making the activity uncomfortable for them.

There may be another cat invading their garden territory. Ever heard caterwalling in the early hours of the morning? Heard cats yeowling or experienced the results of tomcats spraying by doorways or along pathways. Perhaps a mystery animal has left an unpleasant deposit in your garden. Middening can be a reaction or response to a perceived invasion. By doing a little regular gardening outside, cleaning a car etc. you will be performing your own scent marking in the eyes of your cat. They may perceive this as you -the dominant figure - taking control of the situation. Invaders will keep their distance while you are there, & this may help in redirecting their interest when you are not.

For more information on the reasons behind feline announcements of this nature please see...

How cats can develop toileting problems

Why neuter & Spay?

Entire Tomcats & Queens

For feline announcements occurring within the home (middening) please see... 

Cat Litter Advice

Litter tray positioning

What type of litter & Tray to use

Mess & litter-bugs

Starvin Marvin

Starvin Marvin

Morris, Monty & Matilda

Morris, Monty & Matilda

Monty caught on camera, asleep by the window

Monty caught on camera, asleep by the window

Grateful for food, but keeping a wary watch

Grateful for food, but keeping a wary watch

Cat carriers split into two halves, straw scattered inside (available as rabbit bedding in pet shops) makes great bedding. Ensure nests are sheltered from rain

Cat carriers split into two halves, straw scattered inside (available as rabbit bedding in pet shops) makes great bedding. Ensure nests are sheltered from rain

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