Cat spraying (also referred to as urine marking) in inappropriate places is one of the most frustrating behavior problems which unfortunately is also the number one feline behavioral problem that leads to re-homing or even euthanasia of cats.
However, in most cases urine spraying can be either prevented or eliminated. Just like other cat behavior problems, there is a reason as to why the cat starts spraying and identifying the cause is the first important step in finding the right solution.
So why do they spray?
In entire cats, urine spraying is part of a normal and natural behavior. It is a way to convey territorial and sexual messages to other cats. Not only tomcats spray, female cats in heat will spray too to broadcast know they are ready for mating.
In neutered cats, the most common reasons for spraying are:
- Competition and territorial disputes between cats in multi-cat households. As more cats you have, as higher the probability one or more cats will start to spray at some time.
- Stress and insecurity: for example moving to a new house, arrival of a new baby or another pet and situations where the cat feels unsafe and insecure so it may feel the need to ‘reinforce’ its ‘territory’
It is important to identify the reason why your cat is spraying. If for example a new person has moved into the house, have him or her feed your cat to establish a bond between them. Or perhaps there is a “bully” cat entering your home through the cat flap terrorizing your cat while you are away… If you can identify the reason of urine marking, solution is often quite straight forward.
How to stop your cat spraying: Cat Toilet Training
The cat backs up to the door, lifts the tail and releases a fine spray of urine. Yes, your cat is spraying. You have a problem. But one you can solve.
Figures from the British Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors say that aggression in dogs and marking behavior in cats are the biggest behavior problems in the UK pet population.
Spraying is marking behavior, not a litter box problem. Sprayed cat urine contains pheromones, a substance that animals use to communicate. Combinations of pheromones work like fingerprints: they identify the cat.
A spraying cat marks his or her territory with cat urine. It simply says: 'This is mine'. You may not like it, but getting angry doesn't help. It may even have an opposite effect: more spraying.
Cats in heat are attracted by the odor of cat urine. For them, spraying is something like an invitation to love. The results may be there in 65 days: a nest of cute little kittens.
Cats do not only spray during sexual encounters. Some also do it during conflicts with other felines, or when they are stressed.
For people the scent is far from pleasant. Thankfully most cats spray outside. But what if you have a cat spraying inside? Do something about it! And yes, that is possible.
The most radical and effective thing you can do is neutering or spaying your cat. Most castrated toms stopped spraying from the day they were operated.
But maybe you have a reason not to neuter your cat. In that case try to find out why your cat sprays.
Maybe it sprays only when it sees another cat. Solution: block the view. Or it sprays because of a conflict with another pet. Keep them separated and problems might be over.
If you don't know why your cat sprays, discuss it with your veterinarian. Chances are he will advice you to spay or neuter. But your vet can also check if there is a medical problem.
Anyway, do not leave this problem unsolved. Cat urine odor and stains can make your home a very uncomfortable place, and your cat will still remain a cat even when it doesn't spray anymore.
Of course, the course of action you take will depend on cause of spraying but here are some general steps you should take in each case:
- Get your cat neutered
Since urine spraying in entire cat is largely hormonally induced, so neutering will eliminate this behavior in most cases. However, don’t expect your cat will stop spraying right away – it may take up to two months before you see the result.
- Get rid of the cat urine odor
You can buy special cleaners and odor neutralizers at your local pet store or you can try this simple home odor removal solution: mix equal parts of white vinegar and water.
- Avoid using household products containing ammonia
Ammonia is a natural ingredient of cat urine so products containing ammonia could stimulate the marking behavior.
- In multi-cat households – each cat needs its own litter box!
Additionally, you should have an extra litter box “for the house”. So for example if you have 3 cats, you will need 4 litter boxes. Keep boxes clean!
- Feed and play with your cat in areas where it tends to spray
Most cats will not do their business around their food or where they play.
- If your cat sprays in only one room, keep them out of this room.
If spraying occurs in one or two places and you cannot keep the cat out of this location, put a litter box or feeding bowls there..
Do only male cats spray?
No, all cats, male or female, neutered or not, may spray, however, urine marking is most common in un-neutered male cats. It is not usual for female cats to spray, but it can happen if she is in heat and leaving her scent to attract a male cat. It can also be a problem when there is overcrowding of cats in a household.
When an intact male sprays urine, it will have the characteristic tom cat smell that is very strong and unmistakable.
Anti anxiety drugs for cats who spray.
Anti anxiety drugs are available from your vet which may be useful in preventing your cat from spraying. Discuss the use of drugs with your vet.
Clomicalm and valium are drugs available only from Veterinarians and are used for treating spraying problems in cats. Some people report that their cats lose their personality and become zombies when on anti anxiety drugs.
Removal of cat urine odeur
Removal of cat urine from your carpets is easy and inexpensive using this homemade cat urine removal recipe. It will clean and deodorize cat urine odors from your carpet or rugs without purchasing cat urine cleaning products. Below is our free cat urine removal home remedy recipe. All you pay for are the the ingredients, most of which you will already have in your house. The best news is that the ingredients are non toxic. You can deodorize and clean cat and pet urine odors and stains from your carpets and rugs using common household products.
When a cat pees on rugs, carpets or furnishings it can leave a very unpleasant distinctive cat smell that is hard to get rid of. This urine odor stimulates the cat to urinate in that area again thus perpetuating the problem. Once you remove the odor permanently the cat will no longer keep going back to the same spot to re-offend.
Very IMPORTANT!! – Never punish your cat by dragging him to the litter box or sticking his nose in his excrements! Never hit or kick him! The only thing you will accomplish with it is making the matters much worse. Your cat will not associate the punishment with spraying but with YOU and/or the litter tray! The result: your cat spraying problem gets even worse.
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