Why Do Cats Spray
Cats that are not spayed or neutered are more likely to spray. Unneutered male cats and unspayed female cats spray to let cats of the opposite sex know they are ready and able for mating.
Male cats are more known for spraying urine to mark their territory, but some female cats also spray to claim territory. Although cats that spray for behavioral or sexual reasons are more likely to do so if you have other cats in the house or if stray cats are wandering around your yard, some cats spray even when there are no other cats around.
Any cat, male or female, might spray if they are stressed or upset, whether due to other pets in the household, moving, new human family members, or any number of other reasons. Illness, pain and litter box avoidance can also cause a cat to spray.
Common reasons cats spray include:
In addition to spraying, cats mark their territory by rubbing their scent glands against objects, leaving pheromones behind.
Train Your Kitty Before They Start Spraying
Dont be fooled into thinking that a neutered or spayed cat cant spray! Though this can deter spraying behavior, its still possible for all cats to spray. But teaching them good habits as they grow up can help to stop the spray! The best way to stop them getting into bad habits is to create a positive and reassuring environment to make them feel comfortable and happy during their natural development stage from kitten to adult cat. This way, your kitty will continue to urinate normally, and there will be less chance of them developing a spraying habit.
If your cat has started to spray, its important to always clean that area thoroughly with an enzymatic odor remover – this will deter them from returning to that spot.
Problems And Proofing Behavior
A number of health issues can prompt urinating outside the box, so a trip to the vet is in order if you can’t stop the spray.
Kidney disease and diabetes can increase the volume of urine so the cat can’t reach the box in time.
Feline lower urinary tract disease can be caused by bladder stones, crystals, bacterial infection, or cancer that creates bladder inflammation . Cystitis hurts and makes cats feel like they need to go more often. Sometimes theyll associate the litter box with discomfort and look for other places to urinate.
On top of that, 60 percent of these cases are idiopathicno known causemaking the medical condition hard to treat. Idiopathic cystitis signs tend to go away on their own within about five to seven days but can recur especially during stressful situations.
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Is There Anything I Can Do While I Am Waiting For A Referral
Once you have seen your vet about this problem then the best advice is to wait for the behaviourist to assess your specific situation and recommend changes that are tailor-made to suit the needs of your particular cat and its circumstances. However, there are a few general things that may help in the meantime:
- Clean sprayed areas with 10% biological washing powder solution, rinse thoroughly before drying and spraying with surgical spirit
- Place new feeding stations at sprayed sites and put a portion of your cats normal daily ration in these areas
- Alternatively, use Feliway® spray to treat sprayed sites, according to the manufacturers instructions
- Use Feliway® diffuser to help reduce stress and anxiety
- Provide safe indoor litter trays one for each cat in the household plus one extra. Distribute these trays in different locations in the home, away from food, water and cat beds
- If you have a multi-cat household, ensure ALL resources are provided to the same formula
- If full-length curtains have been targeted, once cleaned, consider pinning them up temporarily to avoid repeated spraying
- If your cat has ever seen strange cats outside through full-length glass doors or windows then place static, opaque plastic film, or cardboard, over the lower section so they cant see out and cats outside cant see in
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The first free bonus is called Lean Cat Nutritional Confidence, and its all about making sure your cat has the perfect diet. You probably didnt know, but according to the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, 58% of all cats are overweight.
Thatâs a lot of cats!
No matter if your cat is slightly overweight or not, Lean Cat will teach you everything you need to know about making the perfect diet for your cat. It also includes plenty of exercises to help get your cat into shape.
We used to sell this guide for $27, and it was an Amazon bestseller at the time. Since we dont sell it separately anymore, were including it for free with every purchase of Cat Spray Stop!
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Why Is My Cat Spraying And How Can I Make It Stop
Our young cat has started spraying in the house! We dont know what to do and its making us crazy! What could be causing this and how can we make it stop?
Sick of Spraying in Shepherd Park Plaza
Dear Sick of Spraying,
Ugh. Cat spray is the worst! Im so sorry that youre dealing with it. Luckily, there is often a simple cause for the spraying that can be remedied rather easily and quickly. So first things first, lets parse through why your cat might be spraying.
What is spraying?
When a cat sprays urine, this is different from a cat urinating outside of the litter box. A spraying cat is trying to send a clear message by spraying an area and it looks different than typical urination. A spraying cat will back up to a vertical surface, shake its tail and then spray the area. In contrast, a cat who is urinating to relieve itself will squat–hopefully in a litter box–and then fastidiously cover it.
Cats spray for several reasons but the most common is because they are stressed and/or feel insecure about their territory. When determining why your cat is spraying, your first step should be a trip to the vet to rule out any medical conditions. Also, if you havent already, your cat needs to be spayed or neutered, which will help to stop the spraying.
Territory issues and stress
How to make it stop
With a little time, care and attention, you should be able to figure out what is causing your cat to spray and fix this stinky situation for good.
Prevent Boredom With Lots Of Different Toys
Cats are intelligent and curious animals, so they need a lot of varied mental stimulation. Rotate old toys out for new ones to maintain their interest in playtime.
Also use different types of toys that encourage stalking, catching, and chasing, which are all behaviors that a cat would engage happily in out in the wild.
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The second free bonus is about relaxing and de-stressing your cat. Called âEssential Oils for Catsâ, this guide covers an aromatherapy plan for your cat to increase their wellbeing.
It contains several safe to use essential oil recipes which will relieve their stress, banish anxiety and cure loneliness.
Not to mention countless other oil recipes that you can use in conjunction with Cat Spray Stop to stop your cat from spraying even faster!
Originally we used to sell this for $19 in our store before Cat Spray Stop dominated the market. Instead of throwing it away weâre giving it to you for free to help your cat de-stress and live a happy life.
Spraying Reason #: Medical Issues
If your cat has stopped using the litter box or if he urinates right in front of you, its time to see your veterinarian. A urinary tract infection may be responsible for your cats recent spraying behavior.
Kidney disease may also bring about changed urinary habits, including more frequent urination.
Since cats cant verbalize when theyre in trouble, they may use changed behavior to signal to you that something is wrong.
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Is There A Medical Cause Of Spraying
Its estimated that approximately 30% of cats will spray urine for medical reasons, rather than behavioural problems.
The most common medical cause of urine spraying is cystitis which is an inflammation of the bladder. This can be caused by bladder stones or infection but there is often no known cause in cats. Theres lots of evidence that cystitis is related to stress in cats, a syndrome known as feline lower urinary tract disease . If left untreated male cats are at risk of urinary blockage. This is where grit or stones obstruct the urethra, or inflammation causes it to go into spasm. If the urethra is blocked the cat cant pass urine, and will quickly become very sick. This is an emergency and needs immediate veterinary intervention.
Some cats may adopt a more upright position to urinate, similar to spraying, due to pain in the hips or spine. This can be due to a previous injury or osteoarthritis developing with age. Other signs may be present such as reduced willingness to jump, sleeping more, and grooming excessively around the affected areas. Joint pain can usually be identified on examination and successfully treated with pain killers.
All cats who suddenly start spraying should initially see a vet to check for an underlying cause.
My Cat Doesnt Look Stressed
The domestic cat is a self-reliant species and it doesnt readily show emotion as this may make it vulnerable to attack. This means that cats are excellent at hiding signs of illness, pain or stress. The signs are there however but are very subtle often stress can only be established by looking for changes in patterns of behaviour. Urine spraying would certainly indicate that all was not right with your cats world.
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Help Your Cat Feel Safe
As well as being mostly a territorial and mating behavior, spraying can be a sign that your kitty is anxious – but you can help them to feel happier.
Using FELIWAY CLASSIC Diffuser and Spray can improve your cats well-being, creating a calm and comfortable space, and reducing their desire to spray. The Diffuser should be used in your cats favorite area to help them feel relaxed.
You will know your cat feels safe when they nuzzle their cheeks and body on your legs when they do this, they are marking their territory in a nice way! Though rubbing themselves on things does leave a territory smell, it is not noticeable to humans. This is a positive sign that your pet feels happy, comfortable and safe!
Spraying Solution #: Switch To Worlds Best Cat Litter
If youve been following me for a while, then you know I absolutely love Worlds Best Cat Litter. Their Attraction Action® Formula is specifically made for kitties who are having trouble or just flat out refusing to use the litter box. This high-performance litter has a natural, plant-based additive that safely draws your cat to the box. So if your cat is spraying indoors, try Attraction Action® to end the problem.
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Stop Your Cat Spraying With 1 Simple Trick
Cat spraying sucks. Especially when it seems no matter what you do your cat wonât stop. Not only does it leave your house smelling horrible, but it costs you money, wastes your time and causes you stress.
Hoping your cat will just stop spraying on their own is a bad idea. Do you really want to spend the rest of your life scrubbing walls and living in a smelly dump? Using our unique Touch Taste Smell method, you can stop your cat from spraying in just 7 days.
How To Prevent Spraying
Its extremely important to consult with a veterinarian any time a cat is having going outside the litter box. Inappropriate elimination behavior often means the cat is sick or experiencing pain.
Whether a cat suddenly starts spraying or having other accidents in the house, or has been spraying for a long time, a visit to the vet is in order to rule out a medical issue. The veterinarian will conduct a complete physical exam and might recommended a urinalysis and/or bloodwork to make sure the cat is not suffering from a urinary tract infection or any other medical condition that might be causing the spraying.
If your cat gets a clean bill of health from the vet, you can assume the spraying is behavioral.
Here are some steps you can take to prevent spraying, listed in order of importance:
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Q My Cat Has Been Urine Marking The Side Of My Couch Near The Window What Can I Do To Stop This Behavior
A. First, its important to determine if your cat is truly spraying, or whether he is urinating. With urine spraying, cats tend to stand upright and eliminate a small amount on vertical surfaces. Cats that are urinating usually squat and eliminate larger amounts on horizontal surfaces. If youre not sure, its best to have your cat examined by a veterinarian to determine the cause of the problem before you try to treat it on your own.
There are a number of medical conditions that can cause cats to urinate outside their litter boxes, including kidney failure, urinary tract stones or crystals, diabetes and arthritis. Cats may also avoid the litter box because they have issues with the type of litter, as well as the cleanliness or placement of the litterbox.
If you are sure that your cat isnt urinating but is in fact spraying, there are some things you can do to curb the behavior.
How Can I Tell If My Cat Has A Litter Box Problem Or A Communication Problem
It takes a bit of detective work to determine whether your cat has a litter box problem or is urine marking. Cats who urine mark also use their litter boxes for voiding, so urine in the litter box does not rule out marking outside the box. But urine marking deposits are usually qualitatively different than inappropriate eliminations outside the box.
The following is a list of characteristics that indicate urine marking:
- Urine marks are usually deposited on vertical surfaces. Marking on a vertical surface is known as spraying. When spraying, a cat usually backs up to a vertical object like the side of a chair, a wall or a stereo speaker, stands with his body erect and his tail extended straight up in the air, and sprays urine onto the surface. Often his tail and sometimes his entire body twitch while hes spraying.
- Urine mark deposits often have less volume than voided deposits. The amount of urine a cat sprays when hes urine marking is usually less than the amount he would void during regular elimination in his box.
- The urine smells pungent. The reason cats can learn so much from the urine mark of another cat is that a urine mark isnt just urine. It also contains extra communication chemicals. Those chemicals smell pungent to people.
There are also certain characteristics of a cat or a household that can contribute to urine marking:
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Why Cats Mark Their Territory
Cats use scent to talk to other cats. Cats can learn a lot about other cats by smelling their urine. Though urine is pungent and generally sends a clear message, cats also spread their scent in other ways.
Any time your cat rubs her cheek against an object shes leaving behind her pheromones for other cats to read. Scratching is another marking behavior cats use to communicate with other cats. Cats have scent glands in their paws. When a cat scratches, she leaves behind pheromones as well as claw marks.
In addition to spraying, cats may also urine-mark by squatting. When a cat starts peeing outside the litter box, one way to tell if a cat is actually spraying is the location of the urine.
When cats spray urine, its usually onto a vertical surface like a wall, the arm of a couch or when outside, a tree. If you see a stream of urine dripping down the wall its most likely spraying. If you find a puddle on the floor or bed or other horizontal surfaces, it usually means the cat was squatting when she went.
When cats squat, it can be difficult to tell if a cat is spraying urine for behavioral reasons or just having accidents outside the litter box .
How To Stop A Male Cat From Spraying
This article was co-authored by Jessica Char. Jessica Char is a Cat and Dog Trainer, Behavior Consultant, and the Founder of Feline Engineering and Canine Engineering. She specializes in modifying challenging pet behavior problems, such as fear and aggression, using positive reinforcement training protocols. Jessica is a Certified Fear Free Trainer, a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, and a Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer. She is also a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. Jessica received her BS and MS in Biomedical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 13 testimonials and 83% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 420,861 times.
Spraying is communicative behavior male cats engage in for a variety of reasons. As the urine emitted in spraying is pungent, and can cause stains to furniture and carpets, spraying can be a problem for many cat owners. If your cat is spraying, there are a variety of ways to correct the issue.
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