Many cats who spray urine on walls and curtains come by their bad habits quite naturally. Beyond the unmet needs of some indoor kitties the smell of urine from outside cats can be a major motivator.

Urine spraying is a normal part of feline communication. Most people wisely reduce the risk by having their cats spayed or neutered. But if the neighborhood ruffians spray the outside of your house to mark it as their territory the urge to reply in kind can be overwhelming for your inside cats.

Urine marking (spraying) differs from the squatting of house soiling and normal urination. To spray urine, a cat stands up on the front and rear legs with the tail erect and often quivering. The urine comes out in spurts against a vertical object like a wall and usually covers a large area about 1-2 feet above the floor-just the right height for other cats to read the news. Unneutered males are the worst offenders but neutered males and females will give in to temptation if stressed by crowding, aggression from other cats, or other environmental pressures in the home.

Dealing with the influence of neighboring hooligans is essential to the effective management of an indoor cat’s urine marking. A nifty motion activated device called the Scare Crow (www.scatmat.com) will repay the neighbor hoods by spraying them with water as they jump your fence to graffiti your home. These guys are the “wrong crowd.” Do whatever it takes.