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Cat Spraying: Why They Do It And Ways To Tackle It

Why do cats spray? 4 reasons

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You notice a wet spot on the side of the sofa, or the drapes, or maybe running down the front door. Hmmm, is that . . . ? Yep, it looks and smells like cat pee. Uh oh. Whats going on? Is your cat trying to tell you something?

Actually, when your cat sprays, they are trying to send you a message! Its usually either, I was here/”this is my home, or Im stressed out.

You see, spraying is all about communication for cats. Its different from fully peeing or pooping outside the litter box which, though could also be due to stress or problems between the pets in your home, is most often related to a problem with your cats litter boxes . And, just to keep things interesting, both spraying and inappropriate elimination can also be brought on by, or worsened by, an underlying medical problem or infection , kidney failure, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, or a host of other problems). This article is going to focus on helping you with a cat thats spraying or marking. Read on to see if that might be your cat, and what you can do about it.

Do Female Cats Spray The Truth About Your Cat

If youâre a cat owner, then itâs only natural that youâre worried about your little buddyâs general cat health.

An outdoor cat , can often have behavioral issues such as urine spraying or urine marking. This inappropriate urination is a lot more common than you think and even happens with adult cats. But before you go running to your vet thinking theyâve got a medical condition, donât worry, urine marking is incredibly common.

Youâve probably read online somewhere that male cats spray. But letâs be honest, who didnât know that? Unneutered males are very well known for their marking behaviour and doing their pee outside the house. Itâs this inappropriate behaviour that can often leave even the most hardcore pet lovers frustrated.

However, have you ever wondered: do female cats spray? Well, the answer is most certainly yes! Both male and female cats can spray, although it tends to be the males.

Compared to male cat spraying, female cat spraying is nowhere near as common so male cats often end up taking the blame for any pee outside the litter box.

Have you ever come home to a foul smell and ended up finding your cat sprayed in the house? Surely it couldnât be sweet little Ingrid? Well, think againâ¦

How To Handle Cat Spraying


Keeping the house clean can be a challenge for anyone who owns pets. Theres nothing worse than getting home after a long day at work to a terrible odor or mess on the floor. Spraying is one of the most common behavioral problems in cats, along with scratching. But while your first instinct may be to discipline your cat for this undesirable behavior, keep in mind that she is predisposed to this practice, and it should be redirected.

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What Does It Look Like When A Cat Sprays Urine

The classical presentation for urine spraying involves the cat backing up to a vertical surface, often after sniffing the area intensely and showing a flehmen response. The cat stands with its tail erect and quivering and raises its hindquarters. The cat may or may not tread with its hind paws while squirting a stream of urine . Some urine marking can take place on horizontal surfaces , either in a squatting posture or by standing and spraying. The spray marks can be quite hard to find, you may just be aware of the smell. Sometimes all you can see is a small trickle of brown, sticky substance on a skirting board, radiator or door. Other favoured targets for urine spraying include electrical equipment, full-length curtains, plastic bags and clothing.

Discuss Pharmaceuticals With Your Vet As A Last Resort

What Does It Smell Like When A Cat Sprays?

When you have tried absolutely everything and have still been unsuccessful in solving your cats spraying issues, you should reach out to your veterinarian again.

Certain antidepressants are effective in controlling spraying in some cats. Certain anti-anxiety drugs, such as buspirone and benzodiazepines, have been tried with some success, too. But youll have to weigh the risks and benefits along with your vet, including the cost and side effects of using these drugs with your cat.

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Why Do Female Cats Spray

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While it is more commonly known that male cats spray, some female cats may also practice this unwanted behavior. No cat owner likes it when their cat sprays but this behavior is often displayed because a cat is trying to say something. Knowing why your female feline may be spraying and what you can do about it can help ease some stress and frustration for both you and your cat.

Do Both Male And Female Cats Spray To Mark Their Territory

Anthony says any cat has the potential to spray, but males are much more likely to do it than females, and unneutered males even moreso. It’s a pheromone calling card. “Marking is basically sending messages to other catsthe most common being, ‘This is my area, get out!'” she says. However, neutering doesn’t automatically take care of the issue, she adds, especially if it’s been going on for a while or there are other cats in the household. So she recommends investigating the cause of cat spraying with the guidance of a professional.

When do female cats spray? VCA Hospitals indicate some cats in heat also use this behavior to convey certain signals. But since their urine during estrous is packed with higher levels of hormones and pheromones, it’s more of a ‘come hither’ beacon. Which might bring more male cats to the yard, as it were, and they’ll definitely begin territorial marking again!

Anthony says if indoor female or male cat spraying is due to outdoor felines in the area, motion-activated sprinklers can help keep them from roaming too close to the house cat’s territory.

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What Color Is Cat Spray

You can notice it as a stain on vertical surfaces however, as it is not the same as peeing, the color isnt much noticeable on some surfaces. On a white wall or fabric, however, you may notice yellow spots which tend to get more absorbed and smellier as time passes. In addition, if it is not cleaned properly or left as is, the spray may cause discoloration at the surface.

When your kitty is marking, it will have a more pungent scent because of the extra chemicals he is releasing. However, the color more or less remains the same. Depending on your cats medical conditions and the food he has eaten, the color may be slightly different.

In the case of fabrics, if they are not cleaned quickly, both the mark and the scent settle down. Therefore, if your laundry has been the victim of your cat, consider using an enzymatic cleaner or oxygen bleach and wash them immediately.

Tiled floors do not catch the color however, the same cannot be said for wooden floors. Using a scent remover like baking soda or vinegar is recommended to ensure there is no remaining stain.

Read more: why do cats spray

What Is The Difference Between Cat Spraying And Cat Urine Marking

Why Do Cats Phantom Spray? | Two Crazy Cat Ladies

Some cats will spray or outside of the litter box. Using urine to is a common method of cat communication. Cats will mark territory by spraying or leave their feces uncovered as a way to mark territory and to say to other cats Hey â this is my place!

The article addresses a question often asked by cat lovers: What is the difference between cat spraying and cat urine marking?

Spraying and urine marking are similar behaviors that both involve a cat excreting urine outside of the litter box. However, the difference between spraying and urine marking is the behavior surrounding the actual urination.

During urine marking, a cat will squat on the ground and expel small amounts of urine. At first it might look like they are using the bathroom normally, but many cats will mark several areas with small amounts of urine one right after another.

To contrast, when a cat sprays they will most often back up to a vertical surface such as a wall or door, raise their tail , move their front legs back and forth as though marching in place and release urine in a spray. They do not squat and will rarely spray more than one surface at a time.

Both spraying and urine marking are ways for cats to communicate and mark territory. This can occur for a variety of reasons including dominance issues, a desire to mate, or anxiety or stress. For more information, go to Why Do Cats Spray?.

I hope this helps you understand the difference between cat spraying and urine marking.

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Why Do Cats Pee In The Bed

From a cats point of view, a bed makes the perfect toilet because it is absorbent and clean however, a cat may be using your bed for several other reasons:

  • : Its comforting for the cat to mix her scent with the humans scent if, for example, her parent has been gone for too long, she might be soothing herself.

  • Confrontation: If a new significant other is sharing the bed, the cat might be sending a message.

  • Stress: If the cat doesnt feel safe in the house because of renovation work, new people or another unexpected change, she may choose to stay in the bedroom for safety reasons.

  • Unacceptable litter box: If the cats toilet is dirty or set at a new location, shell look for a new spot and the bed meets the requirements.

Why Would A House Cat Spray The Inside Of The House

Spraying indoors is a sign that your cat is feeling stressed and is trying to feel more secure by surrounding themselves with their own scent. As indoor spraying indicates that cats feel threatened by something, any use of aggression by the owner, like telling their cat off, only serves to make the problem worse.

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What Should I Do If My Cat Sprays Urine Indoors

The first thing you should do is contact your veterinarian. If your cat is young and has not yet been neutered then the most likely cause would be that your cat is becoming sexually mature. Neutering at this time would probably prevent the spraying from recurring and would avoid roaming, fighting and unwanted pregnancies your vet will advise.

Caution should be taken in presuming all urine spraying has a primary behavioural motivation as diseases causing localised pain or discomfort may result in a cat adopting a spraying posture to urinate. Research indicates that up to 30% of cats that present for spraying may have an underlying medical problem, for example, cystitis, also referred to as feline lower urinary tract disease. Your vet may, therefore, recommend analysis of your cats urine or other tests to rule out disease.

Once medical causes have been ruled out your vet will refer you to a behaviour specialist.

Do Female Cats Mark Their Territory

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Although its more common for unneutered male cats to mark their territory, female cats may also spray to mark their territory, especially if a new cat joins the household or if an outdoor cat begins to visit the yard. Additionally, male or female cats may spray for other reasons than marking territory, including illness, pain, stress or litter box avoidance.

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What To Do When Your Cat Sprays

The right response to spraying can help discourage your cat from doing it again. When your cat sprays:

  • Clean soiled areas using mild-fragrance soap. Strong-smelling cleaners could cause your cat to mark again.
  • Make soiled areas inaccessible. This will block your cat from marking the same area again.
  • Keep items that smell foreign to your cat out of reach to discourage spraying.
  • A Reaction To Environmental Stressors

    Like humans, your cats also get stressed. They also feel threatened, insecure, and anxious.

    And since they like keeping things predictable, new stuff and unforeseen events that mess up their daily routine will make them feel uneasy, intimidated, or self-conscious. These stress-inducing changes may trigger your cats inappropriate elimination.

    Now, finding out the cause of their stress might be difficult. But, in some cases, theyre a bit out there. Here are a few things that may prompt your cats misbehavior:

    Litter Box Issues

    One thing that may annoy your cat is if her litter box isnt as clean as she wants it to be. Other litter box-related problems can have something to do with its placement or even its size.

    Now, for a multi-cat household, thelimited number of litter boxes may trigger stress. Remember that cats personalities vary. One of your cats might feel intimidated by the other cats and may want to have her own litter box.

    Bully Cats

    Apart from problems with litter boxes, cats that are part of multi-cat homes may also feel intimidated by other cats inside their house.

    Pet parents may not notice that one cat is already feeling threatened or bullied by other cats since aggression in cats can be as subtle as a stare.

    Routine-changing Events

    An introduction of something new to the home equates to a change in their daily regimen. New includes a newly-born baby, a new cat, puppy, or any other animal. It can also include home renovations.

    Underlying Medical Problems

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    What Cat Spraying Means

    One of the ways cats communicate is through scent, specifically leaving their scents in certain places. In the cat world, spraying is a totally normal and appropriate way to converse, just like scratching*, rubbing their face on objects , or even rolling around on the ground.

    Of course, in the human world, were usually fine with our cats communicating by rubbing their face on things or rolling on the ground, but were less excited about having our cats communicate by spraying urine. So lets explore why your cat might be doing it and how you can help them .

    *Need help with your cat scratching your furniture, too? Or want to learn how to prevent them from ever doing so in the first place? Check out our Scratch this, NOT that!article.

    How To Stop A Neutered Cat From Spraying

    tom cat urine spray and marking territory

    If youâve found cat spray in your home, then itâs time to do something about it. The last thing you want to do is ignore it and hope your cat stops. The chances are that without the proper training, it will just get worse and more frequent. However, with the proper techniques and strategies, you can stop your cat from spraying in as little as 7 days.

    Using the unique T.T.S method, you can stop your cat from spraying without any expensive or painful medical procedures. To learn more about how you can stop your cat from spraying the easy way, click the button below to find out more.

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    Reasons Why Female Cats Spray

    Perhaps youre aware by now that spraying is an animals way to mark their territory. And, this is true for male cats.

    But what about female cats? Are they also territorial? What is the reason behind the inappropriate toileting of a female cat?

    There are actually four reasons, and were here to discuss each one in detail. Like in any type of relationship, its good to know and understand the reasons behind your cats actions to keep the human-animal bond rolling.

    What Does It Smell Like When A Male Cat Sprays

    Now youâve got a good idea of what cat spray looks like, what does it smell like when a cat sprays?

    Our best description of cat spray would be a strong musky urine smell that lingers in the same area for a long time. It can often be smelled from up to 10 feet away and can last several hours.

    Unlike natural pee smell youâd find in your cats litter tray, cat spray is a much stronger smell that doesnt go away so easily. No matter how much Febreze or deodorant you try to cover it up with, it always comes back. To get rid of the smell you need to find the source and give it a good deep clean. But before you do that, youâll want to make sure your cat wonât leave you any other little surprises once youâve finished cleaning.

    For those of you that dont know, male cats spray far more often compared to female cats. This is because male cats are trying to make their territory and attract a mate all by spraying. Basically, they have all the same reasons as female cats to spray, and more!

    As mentioned before, a male catâs spray often smells of urine, but they can also mix it up and release blood in their spray as well. This gives the spray a much more distinctive smell, and once youâve smelt it, youâll always be able to recognize it.

    To find out more about why a male cat sprays, be sure to read our post on male cat spraying.

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    Why Do Male Cats Spray

    Aside from the aforementioned reasons, a male cat will spray urine to announce to potential partners that he is ready and willing to mate.

    Although male and female cats, especially those that are still intact, will spray urine for mating purposes, intact tomcats are more likely to spray. Spaying a cat can drastically reduce spraying between 90 and 95 percent.

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