Does Your Cat Spray?
4 November, 2013

As a cat owner, you might have had a cat that does the not-so-pleasant spraying of his urine in different parts of your home.  Clearly, this can become problematic as once the behavior has started, it can sometimes be difficult to control.  However, there are reasons your cat may be spraying and different approaches you can take to try to stop it.  It is important to figure out why your cat is spraying so you can resolve it accordingly.

How do you know when your cat sprays?

If you see your cat backing himself up against a door or object, and lifting his or her tail, this is how the madness (or spraying) begins.  Usually, this action will lead to your cat urinating in a specific spot.  This is what we call spraying and is very common with indoor cats.  Even though it is a very annoying problem, it’s a problem that can be solved.

When a cat sprays something, he is simply marking his territory through his urine.  The spraying is simply the cat’s way of letting others know that the territory is his.  Even though it may make be annoying, do not yell at your kitty as it won’t resolve the issue.  If you raise your voice or yell at your cat, it can very well result in more spraying.  The most important thing you can do is clean it up quickly to get the smell off the or wherever the spraying occurred.  If your cat smells the spot, it will more than likely happen again.

Spraying is not a litter box issue

Contrary to what many pet owners think, spraying isn’t an issue with your litter box, but rather a problem with marking.  Cat urine that is sprayed contains pheromones, which is a substance that cats and other animals use for communicating.  Pheromones are much like fingerprints with humans, as they are used to identify the cat to other animals.  There are reasons your cat might want to mark his or her spot.

Cats spray when they are stressed or in heat

Cats that are in heat are easily attracted to the odor of urine.  For cats in heat, spraying is more or less an invitation for love.  Keep in mind that cats not only spray during heat but will also spray during encounters with other cats or when they are feeling stressed.

If your cat has suddenly started spraying, it could be an indication of change.  Did anything change in your home?  Did you adopt a new cat?  Change food?  If your environment or home hasn’t changed and your cat is spraying, you should make an appointment with your veterinarian, particularly if your cat is older.  It could indicate a medical condition.

Cats that are neutered or spayed are less likely to spray

The most effective and also the easiest way to stop spraying is to have your cat either neutered or spayed which of course depends on the sex.  Most male cats that have been neutered will stop spraying the same day they have the surgery.   And, of course, spaying or neutering your cat is essential to control the overpopulation of cats and is also healthy for your cat.

If your cat continues to spray, it’s time to visit your veterinarian

If you can’t figure out why your cat is spraying, the best thing to do in this situation is to talk to your veterinarian.  He or she will be able to give you advice and hopefully resolve the problem.  There may be a medical problem present that is causing the spraying which only your vet can identify.  Your veterinarian will then determine if it is a medical or behavioral condition.


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