How to Permanently Stop Your Cat from Spraying
Is your cat spraying all over the house and getting into everything? Spraying, also known as urine marking, is something that not all cats do. However, when your cat decides to identify a specific location in your home as his own toilet, it’s difficult to think of a more unpleasant cat action. Max, my cat, was a sprayer of all things. In fact, of of all the areas he might have chosen to establish his territory, he chose my cooktop! The odor penetrated everything to the point that I couldn’t even use my oven or cooktop for a long period of time because of it.
And what is the purpose of cats spraying or marking their territory?
Most importantly, how can you convince your cat to quit spraying in your home?
I’m a celebrity!
What Is Cat Spraying?
Spraying is simply your cat’s method of marking his territory, similar to the way some dogs mark their territory with urine. But what exactly is the distinction between urine marking and spraying? To put it another way, it’s in the posture that your cat assumes. When cats spray, they will come to a stop next to a stationary item. Depending on the situation, a wall, a chair leg, or another piece of furniture may be involved. They shoot pee after raising their tail to a vertical position. Whenever a cat urinate marks, it will stoop down as if it were urinating properly, and it will do so on a flat surface such as a carpet or a bed.
So, why do cats spray in the first place?
Why Do Cats Spray?
In accordance with The Humane Society, there are a variety of plausible explanations for this bothersome and stinky behavior. Take a look at the list below to discover which ones speak to your cat. It’s also important to realize that there might be several reasons for something, as was the case with my cat Max.
Spraying Reason1: Stress
Cats are, without a doubt, creatures of habit. Have you made any alterations to your cat’s routine or environment recently? In Max’s situation, we had recently relocated to an apartment while we awaited the completion of our new home construction. Cats may use urine marking, or spraying, to release tension in the same way that humans do by engaging in specific calming rituals. Cats may use urine marking, or spraying, to reduce stress in the same way that humans do by marking out their boundaries.
So think about the last several months of your life.
Have any new members of the family been welcomed into the house?
Spraying Reason2: Medical Issues
Visiting your veterinarian is recommended if your cat no longer uses the litter box or if he urinates directly in front of you. It’s possible that your cat’s recent spraying activity is the result of a urinary tract illness.
Changes in urine patterns, such as more frequent urination, are also common in those suffering from kidney disease. Because cats are unable to communicate when they are in distress, they may utilize altered behavior to alert you to the fact that something is wrong.
Spraying Reason3: New Pets
The problem in Max’s situation was not just that we had moved into a new apartment, but that he was also sharing this new area with two other male cats, which made things even more difficult. And, despite the fact that they were not unfamiliar to him, he thought it was vital to mark his territory in our new quarters. Especially if you’ve recently adopted a cat, a dog, or any other animal, it’s possible that your cat is merely attempting to establish his or her territory. In addition, if you believe that sharing a litter box is acceptable, think again.
How much is it, exactly?
Liz Bales, one litter box per cat, plus one, is recommended.
The remainder of her litter box secrets may be found on her website.
Spraying Reason4: Your Cat Isn’t Neutered
Masculine cats that have been spayed or neutered have an intense urge to spray or mark their territory. If you can neuter your cat before he reaches the age of five months, you will be able to avoid the habit from forming in the first place in most cases. For older cats, it is still possible to neuter them, and this will almost always put a stop to the spraying tendency that they have developed.
How to Stop a Cat from Spraying
Did you ever figure out what was causing your cat’s indoor spraying? Identifying the spraying cause and matching the spraying solution is the next step.
Spraying Solution1: Curb the Stress
If you have recently relocated, it may take some time for your cat to become used to his new surroundings. Begin by setting tiny limitations for him, such as allowing him to have only one room. If a new member of the family has been welcomed into the fold, be sure to allow them and your cat plenty of time to become acquainted. Pheromone treatment, on the other hand, has been shown to create very calm behavior in cats. In my home, I use a Feliway diffuser that I purchased. It releases pheromones that are similar to those released by a nursing cat mother, which naturally calms your cat.
Liz Bales, the “Cat-vocate,” has written a blog article regarding pheromone treatment, which you can read here.
This lactose-free capsule includes a naturally calming milk protein that helps to relieve discomfort.
Spraying Solution2: See Your Veterinarian
A medical problem causing your cat to spray inside should be addressed as soon as possible, so schedule an appointment with your veterinarian immediately. Kidney disease and urinary tract infections are serious conditions that should not be ignored. Make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. If you need a reminder on the signs and symptoms of renal illness, please read this page.
Spraying Solution3: Help Your Pets Adjust to Each Other
Often, it is only a question of time until this occurs. But resist the temptation to force the topic! Remember, don’t force your cats to share a litter box, and make sure each box is the proper size for each cat in your household.
The appropriate size for a litter box may be determined by measuring the distance between the tip of your cat’s nose and the tip of his tail, plus fifty percent more. Furthermore, the majority of cats prefer non-hooded boxes. This is the one I use for my cat, Olivia, and it works great.
Spraying Solution4: Neuter Your Cat
Keep in mind that having your cat neutered will reduce the majority of his spraying activity. You may do this even if your cat is five months old, and in most cases, your cat will never start spraying in the first place as a result of this.
Spraying Solution5: Use a Cat Spraying Deterrent
If you’ve tried all of the treatments listed above and are still having trouble, it’s time to try a deterrent spray. The scents and essential oils contained in this deterrent spray are inherently repulsive to cats, which is why they are included in this deterrent spray. There will be no stain marks left on most surfaces as a result of using this product. This product may also be used on your plants!
Spraying Solution6: Switch toWorld’s Best Cat Litter™
If you’ve been following me for a long, you’re probably aware that I am a huge fan of World’s Best Cat LitterTM. TheirAttraction Action®Formula is designed particularly for cats that are experiencing difficulty or who are flat out refusing to use the litter box, according to the company. This high-performance litter has a natural, plant-based ingredient that attracts your cat to the litter box in a safe manner. TryAttraction Action® to put a stop to the situation if your cat is spraying inside your home.
How to Clean Up Cat Pee and Get Rid of the Smell
Cat urine has a distinct odor. In addition, it is famously tough to eliminate. After Max began spraying on my oven and stove, I was unable to use them for several months. Before I learnt how to properly clean up cat urine and get rid of the stench for good, I struggled with the problem. Once you’ve determined the root cause of your cat’s indoor spraying and devised a suitable remedy, you’ll need to return to the site of the crime and thoroughly clean it. Certain enzymatic cleaners, such as this one from Angry Orange, are intended to do more than simply clean up messes; they are also intended to consume the germs that generate smells.
To efficiently clean up cat pee, follow the steps outlined in this article.
- Rags made of terrycloth
- A cleanser that contains enzymes, such as this one
- A large and hefty thing
Step 1: Using an enzyme cleanser, thoroughly clean the surface. Make sure to test a tiny area to make sure there is no discoloration before continuing. Clean terrycloth rags can be used to exfoliate the surface in Step 2. For softer surfaces (as opposed to harder ones), you’ll want to perform this for at least 60-90 seconds. 3. Lightly spritz the surface with cleaner, lay a new clean cloth over it, and then position a heavy item on top to weigh it down. Step 3 (for soft surfaces only):Lightly spray the surface with cleaner, lay a fresh clean cloth over it, and then place a heavy object on top to weigh it down.
If the stain is really stubborn or has been there for a lengthy period of time, you may need to repeat the procedure.
I’m pleased to report that Max was ultimately able to kick his terrible spraying habit.
The health and happiness of your cat are really essential! To ensure that your next veterinarian appointment is well informed, download the free cat health checklist below and learn how to take your cat’s vital signs at home.
Urine Marking in Cats
Inappropriate elimination is the most prevalent behavior concern identified by cat owners as reported by their pets. Approximately 10% of all cats will eliminate outside of their litter box at some time in their lives, according to current estimates. Quite a few of these cats have problems with some aspect of their litter box (for more detail, please visit our page on Litter Box Problems), but around 30% of them do not have any litter box problems at all. These cats are peeing marking, and urine marking is not a litter box problem; rather, it is a communication problem between the cat and the owner.
Why Do Cats Urine Mark?
Social animal species, such as those that live in social groups in which the members rely on one another for existence, have highly developed interpersonal communication skills. Dogs, in particular, have established a social mechanism for averting conflict through interpersonal rating, which is particularly useful for creatures that may inflict severe injury to one another. They are prepared to adopt either a leadership or a deferential posture, and they are capable of reading the body language of another animal in order to determine his intentions and react appropriately.
- Whenever they have the option, cats will venture out on their own and claim certain regions or territories for themselves when they reach adulthood.
- They have not evolved a social structure or a communication system in the same way as dogs have.
- Face-to-face arguments may be deadly for cats because they lack a framework for resolving them.
- Cats communicate indirectly, by leaving messages, in order to prevent disagreements.
- By marking his territory with urine, a cat notifies other cats of his presence and makes a statement about things such as what piece of land he owns, how long ago he was in the area, and, over time, when other cats might anticipate him to return to the region.
- All of this information is made available to other cats through the urine of the cat in question.
- Despite the fact that cats who live in households do not have to seek for food or find a partner, they nonetheless perceive their environment in the same manner as cats who must exist on their own.
- In a predictable environment with minimal disputes, when cats are spayed or neutered and do not require a mate, cats have little motive to mark and are unlikely to do so.
- However, if they are looking for a mate or are disturbed about anything, they will cope with their sadness in the same way that any cat would: they would mark their territory.
Using marking to keep unwelcome persons away—whoever and whatever they may be—and to establish an atmosphere of familiarity that helps them feel more safe is beneficial to cats.
How Can I Tell If My Cat Has a Litter Box Problem or a Communication Problem?
In order to identify whether your cat has a litter box problem or is urinating marking, you will need to do some detective work. Cats who pee mark also use their litter boxes for voiding, therefore urine in the litter box does not rule out urine marking outside of the litter box as a possibility. However, urine marking deposits are frequently distinguished from incorrect eliminations outside of the box on a qualitative level. The following is a list of traits that suggest urine marking in various situations:
- Urine stains are typically seen on vertical surfaces, such as walls and ceilings. Spraying is the term used to describe the process of marking a vertical surface. Spraying is commonly done by backing up to anything vertical, such as the side of a chair or the wall, standing with his body straight and his tail stretched straight up in the air, and then spraying pee onto the surface. It is common for him to twitch his tail and, at times, his entire body when spraying
- Urine mark deposits are often less in volume than voided deposits. It is common for cats to spray less pee during urine marking than he would void during ordinary elimination in his litter box
- The urine also has a distinct odor to it. The fact that a pee mark is more than simply urine is one of the reasons why cats can learn so much from the urine mark of another cat. Additionally, it includes other communication molecules. To humans, the compounds have a strong odor.
Certain qualities of a cat or the environment in which it lives can also have a role in urine marking. For example,
- The cat is a male that has not been neutered. Female cats, as well as neutered and spayed cats, can urinate mark, although unneutered male cats have a greater incentive to do so. It is possible that unneutered males will urine mark to let females know they are available for breeding if there are several cats in the household. The greater the number of cats that dwell in a home, the greater the likelihood that at least one of them will urinate mark. Households with more than ten cats are almost often plagued by urine marking issues
- There has been a significant shift in the family in some way. Cats are resistant to change. Cats can feel anxious when their environment changes. The introduction of a dog, cat, or other animal, the construction of a room or remodeling of the kitchen, the change of work hours, the hospitalization of a child, or the birth of a child can all trigger urine marking behavior. Purchasing a new coat or bringing groceries home in an unusually large paper bag can also trigger urine marking behavior. Cats cope with stress in a variety of ways, one of which is by marking their territory. They could be doing it to prevent a problem by leaving a message that this place is theirs, or they could be doing it to comfort themselves with their own familiar scent
- There is a conflict among cats. Disputes can arise between cats in the same room or between the housecat and other cats he encounters outside the house. It is for the same reasons that cats mark in response to conflict with other cats that they mark in response to changes in the family. Urine marking is one of the most common reasons for cat-to-cat conflict, and it’s usually triggered by anxiety rather than intolerance. A cat doesn’t necessarily become furious because another cat has the arrogance to enter into his area. Rather, he becomes irritated because he lacks the social skills to deal with the intrusion in the first place. If a cat is prevented from avoiding the other cat, he’ll become increasingly stressed and mark often
Treating Urine Marking in Intact Cats
Listed below are a few things you may take to help your intact cat stop marking its territory with urine:
- Your cat should be neutered or spayed. Cats mark for a variety of reasons, including to attract a mate. Although not the only cause, advertising is one among them. When cats mark as a reproductive advertising, neutering or spaying them has been demonstrated to be effective therapy. Close all of the windows, blinds, and doors in your home. Maintaining privacy for your indoor cat will help to keep other neighborhood cats away. Your lawn sprinkler should be equipped with a motion-detection system. Make use of a sprinkler at the windows to dissuade the presence of neighboring cats
Treating Urine Marking Caused by Conflict in a Multi-Cat Household
The first step in resolving any elimination issue is to rule out any underlying medical conditions. However, while there is no medical condition that particularly causes urine marking in cats, health difficulties can cause greater anxiety in cats, which can in turn cause them to mark their territory. The following rules should be followed when a veterinarian has verified that your cat does not have a medical ailment or illness.
- Determine which cat is marking the territory. If you have numerous cats and are unsure which cat is marking, see your veterinarian about administering fluorescein, a non-toxic dye, to one of your cats to determine which cat is marking. Despite the fact that the dye does not often stain furniture or walls, it causes urine to glow blue under ultraviolet light for around 24 hours after administration. You can temporarily confine your cats, one at a time, if you are unable to get or utilize fluorescein
- This will allow you to determine which cat is marking. Make sure there are enough litter boxes. Despite the fact that marking is not an elimination problem, if there are not enough litter boxes for all of the cats, there may be conflict over litter box use, which may result in more marking. You should keep one box for each cat in your home, as well as a spare box for emergencies. A minimum of four litter boxes will be required if, for example, you have three cats in your household. Additional litter boxes should be placed in areas where the nervous (marking) cat spends the most of his time
- Litter boxes should be placed in low-traffic areas with at least two escape routes. Once again, the goal is to keep cats from getting into fights. Additionally, if you have a dog, make sure that the boxes are kept away from the dog’s food and water dishes. Cats can mark in reaction to dogs as well as to other cats
- Scoop your cat’s litter box at least once each day. As part of your daily routine, clean all litter boxes with warm water and unscented soap, or baking soda without any soap, once a week, and thoroughly change the litter once a month. Consequently, the presence of any objectionable “other cat” odor is reduced to an extent. Provide a variety of perching locations. Cats require their own personal area. The provision of extra perching spots so that all cats may have a place to rest well apart from the others will sometimes help to lessen conflict in a cat population. The act of removing window sills or shelves, or acquiring multiperch cat trees, may make a significant difference in the amount of space available. Distribute available resources. Provision of a number of food and water bowls as well as scratching posts and toys so that each cat may utilize them independently of the others and without coming into touch or having a fight with one of them
- Have some fun with your pets. In certain cases, more play with individual cats in various areas of your home might help to alleviate antagonism amongst them. Play with toys that dangle from strings that are strung from sticks to encourage interaction. Attempts to encourage reciprocal play can occasionally be successful in reducing conflict
- But, if your cats respond negatively to each other at the mere sight of each other, this may actually exacerbate conflict. For additional information on decreasing conflict between cats in your household, please check our article onAggression Between Cats in Your Household. Pet scents can be neutralized by using an enzymatic cleaner that is specifically formulated for this purpose. Most pet retailers have this type of cleanser
- However, some may not. In regions where the cat has left a scent trail, use a synthetic cat pheromone. Products like this one give a synthetic pheromone that has been demonstrated to have some effect on stress relief in cats, according to the manufacturer. Make use of a diffuser that is plugged in near the area where your cat has been exposed to the outdoor cats to deliver the pheromone. This sort of product is often available as a spray or in the form of a diffuser, and it can be obtained at many pet stores as well as on the internet. Make use of drugs. Because marking is frequently a symptom of stress or anxiety, medication can be used to supplement existing treatment options. To ensure that you make the best decision possible about behavioral medicine for your pet, speak with your veterinarian, an Accredited Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB) or a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behavior (DACVB) (Dip ACVB). These animal behavior experts can evaluate your cat’s behavior problem and assist you in developing a treatment plan. They can also provide you with recommendations on appropriate medications and collaborate with your veterinarian to ensure that your cat’s treatment program is as successful as possible. Please check our articleFinding Professional Behavior Help for assistance in discovering a behavior specialist in your region.
Treating Urine Marking Caused by Conflict with Outdoor Cats
When dealing with urine marking behavior that has been prompted by a fight with an outside cat, you might attempt the following recommendations:
- Close all of the windows, blinds, and doors in your home. Maintaining privacy for your indoor cat will help to keep other neighborhood cats away. Your lawn sprinkler should be equipped with a motion-detection system. Make use of a sprinkler at the windows to dissuade the presence of neighboring cats
- If your cat is still in good health, neuter or spay him or her. In regions where the cat has left a scent trail, use a synthetic cat pheromone. Products like this one give a synthetic pheromone that has been demonstrated to have some effect on stress relief in cats, according to the manufacturer. Make use of a diffuser that is plugged in near the area where your cat has been exposed to the outdoor cats to deliver the pheromone. This sort of product is often available as a spray or in the form of a diffuser, and it can be obtained at many pet stores as well as on the internet. Make use of drugs. Because marking is frequently a symptom of stress or anxiety, medication may be helpful in enhancing the effectiveness of treatment. Whenever possible, get the advice of your veterinarian, an Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB or ACAAB), or a veterinary behaviorist (Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behavior, Dip ACVB) before giving your cat any form of medicine to treat a behavioral problem.
What NOT to Do
When it comes to treating urine marking, there are a few things to avoid:
- If you accidentally get pee on the tip of your cat’s nose, do not throw anything at him. It is not recommended to clean up spills using an ammonia-based cleaner. Due to the presence of ammonia in urine, washing with ammonia may cause your cat to pee in the same location again.
Stop your Cat Spraying or Soiling in the House
Cats are generally quite clean, and they go to the bathroom outside or in a litter container when they need to. It is therefore indicative that something is awry when indications of urine (wee) or faeces (poo) are discovered elsewhere in the house. It is possible that an isolated mishap will be caused by illness, being locked in a room, or being scared. However, in order to ensure that your cat is happy and healthy, you will need to determine what caused the accident. Important: By yelling at your cat, you will just make matters worse since it will make them feel even more vulnerable.
By determining what is causing any toileting or spraying, you will be able to take actions to assist prevent it from occurring.
Why is my cat toileting indoors?
There are a variety of factors that might be contributing to your cat toileting in your house, including stress or a medical condition. If your cat has begun to wee in the home, you should contact with your veterinarian. Your veterinarian will examine your pet for any health concerns that may be the source of the problem and will be able to provide suggestions. Cats also utilize their urine as a smell signal to denote the boundaries of their domain. This is referred to as spraying, and it is distinct from having a one-time accident or toileting incident.
What’s the difference between urinating and spraying?
When a cat has to go to the bathroom, they will stoop down and empty their bladder on a horizontal surface. Accidents are most frequently found on carpets, duvets, sofas, and baths. Typically, when your cat wants to spray, their tail will be erect and twitching, and they will step on the floor with their rear legs, as if they were walking.
After that, a little amount of pee is sprayed backwards onto a vertical surface, such as a wall, creating an immediately noticeable smell mark. Cats frequently select a location near the entrance or window to spray, such as the curtains, in order to avoid being seen.
Why do cats wee and poo indoors?
Weeing and pooing in the house might be caused by your cat not enjoying where they should go, or it could be caused by a medical condition. The following are examples of common causes:
- Cystitis (an inflammation or infection of the urinary tract)
- Advanced age
- Being afraid to go outside
- A difficulty with their litter tray
- A past negative encounter
Why do cats spray indoors?
Spraying is normally triggered when your cat feels frightened or anxious, which is why it occurs. They feel more safe after they have marked their area. The following are examples of common causes:
- New pets in the house or in the neighborhood
- A new baby or person
- Construction activity
- A change in routine
- And so forth.
How to stop your cat toileting indoors
The sensitive nose of your cat encourages them to use a certain toileting or spraying location again after they have done so previously. The most effective method of breaking the habit is to keep them away from the area for as long as possible and properly clean the area so that they can’t smell anything at all.
- Using a solution of biological or enzymatic cleaning liquid or powder, thoroughly clean the affected region. Using a plant-mister, sprinkle the area with surgical spirit
- Scrub the area clean and allow it to air-dry before continuing. On sensitive textiles, start with a tiny area first. In order to discourage your cat from using the area as a toilet, sprinkle some dried cat food in the vicinity.
Once the mess has been cleaned up, you may experiment with different approaches to ensure that your cat feels as comfortable as possible weeing and pooing in the places you want them to.
Common causes and what you can do
It is possible that your cat will need to go to the bathroom more frequently if he or she has cystitis or another sort of urinary tract disease. In addition, the illness causes cats to urinate instantly rather than attempting to go outside or to the litter pan as they would would. If you believe this may be the case, consult with your veterinarian.
Because of stiffening joints, an elderly cat may be reluctant to go outside in inclement weather or may have difficulty utilizing the cat flap when the weather is bad. Alternatively, individuals may feel more uncomfortable since they are unable to flee as readily as they did when they were younger. It is beneficial to provide a litter tray indoors for your cat as they get older, even if your cat has always used the outside litter box. If your pet appears to be a bit stiff, consider a cage with low sides so that it will be easier to get into.
Some medical problems, such as renal disease or diabetes, can cause an increase in thirst and, as a result, an increase in urine.
Once the tray has been utilized, dispose of it and consult with your veterinarian.
In this case, they may forget some of the behaviors that they have learnt, such as where to go to the bathroom.
Cats often dig a hole, crouch to pee or defecate, and then cover the hole with their fur. During this procedure, a cat feels exposed and vulnerable. It’s possible that something dangerous is lurking outside.
Following a near brush with an automobile, your cat may become fearful of a neighborhood dog, another cat, or even the sound of traffic. If the problem is caused by another cat outside or coming in through the cat flap, you should take the following actions to restore your cat’s sense of security:
- You should lock the cat flap and let them out personally – this gives some level of security and serves to scare away any cats lurking about in the garden. Invest in a cat flap that is accessed by a magnet or electronic key attached to your cat’s collar to prevent other cats from entering
- By feeding or otherwise interacting with other cats in your garden, you should avoid inviting them into your home. Take your cat outside with you, as this may provide them with some additional support. You may do this by scattering some of their discarded garbage about the edge of your garden. For your cat’s benefit, provide a calm, protected place with softer soil, or use a mound of sand in which your cat may dig a hole
- Ensure that there is a litter tray available indoors.
Litter tray problems
If your cat is used to using a litter tray but has recently begun going in other areas of the house, there may be an apparent cause for this change.
A dirty litter tray
If a cat dish is really unclean, it will not be used by the cat. Litter pans should be cleaned out at least once every two days, and any feces should be removed on a regular basis. If you have more than one cat, make sure you offer a tray for each of them.
A very clean litter tray
Cats that are sensitive to strong odors may be turned off from using the litter tray if you use scented litter, deodorants, or disinfectants. Make use of a feline-friendly disinfectant and make certain that the tray is fully cleansed with fresh water. It is best to avoid disinfectants that get foggy in water since they typically include phenols, which are hazardous to cats. Before using the litter tray, thoroughly rinse it.
The wrong type of litter
It is possible that changing the consistency or aroma of the litter would discourage your cat from using it. Many cats prefer fine-grain litter that has the consistency of sand over coarse-grain litter. If you wish to switch to a different type of litter, introduce the new one gradually over a period of a week or two to ensure that your cat like it.
In an open area where your dog, youngsters, or other cats may potentially disrupt it, your cat may feel too insecure to use the tray and instead seek a more secure location behind the sofa. Place the tray in a secluded area and avoid putting food near their litter tray as this will disturb them.
The type of litter tray
If you already have an open-type tray, consider purchasing one with a lid to make your cat feel more secure. Another option is to place a box with a hole on the side over the tray and secure it there.
A bad experience in the past
Occasionally, cats will not use their litter tray due to a negative experience, such as the following:
- Because they were cornered and given medicine
- Because they were afraid or frightened by another pet or kid
- Because they had past episodes of discomfort connected with discharging pee or feces
Moving the tray to a more private area and putting a lid for it may be beneficial.
How to stop a cat from spraying
Once the mess has been cleaned up, you may experiment with different strategies to ensure that your cat does not feel the need to establish their territory within your home.
Help your cat feel secure
Even if the reason for your cat’s spraying is not immediately apparent, there are steps you may do to make him feel more safe. Consider, for example, limiting the area in which they are permitted to patrol to one or two rooms. This may assist your cat in feeling more safe, as well as decreasing their need to mark.
New people or strangers
When their owners go on vacation and leave them in the care of a stranger, cats may mark their territory to indicate their presence. Because they are feeling vulnerable, they choose a location that has a strong aroma of the owners, such as the duvet, to mark with a permanent marker. The most effective method of avoiding this is to keep the bedroom door closed. Make your cat feel safe and comfortable again when you return from your vacation.
Cat spraying in a new or redecorated home
The scent of your house may be altered by redecorating or doing construction work. Furthermore, any commotion or unexpected visitors to your house may cause your cat to become uneasy. All of your cat’s delicate smell marks that have been meticulously created by rubbing and scratching are successfully removed when you redecorate or replace furniture. These will now be replaced with the intoxicating scent of freshly laid carpet, freshly painted walls, or freshly assembled furniture. Continue to keep your cat away from the changed area until the odors have subsided and mixed with the other familiar aromas in the house.
If a cat’s fragrance is already in the environment, it may be less inclined to spray. You may also help to distribute some of your cat’s aroma by doing the following:
- In order to gather smell, use a soft cotton towel and gently touch it about their face (this is where some of the glands that generate the distinct odors of cats are situated). The cloth should be used to dab the furniture or walls of the room where the problem is occuring, and it should be done every day
- The identical product (Feliway) can be obtained through veterinarians and internet vendors as well as from local pet stores. It contains synthetic replicas of natural pheromones – the odors released by the glands on your cat’s face – as well as other ingredients.
A new cat
Another cat in your house or in the neighborhood may be a source of worry for your feline companion. Cats prefer to be on their own, so make sure they have plenty of area to roam about.
- First and foremost, follow our recommendations for introducing cats. Make certain that they have their own areas. Consult with an animal behaviorist who is competent
When a cat is simply too anxious for the issue to ever be fixed, it may be worthwhile to consider rehoming one of the animals. It is less likely that a cat may spray if he or she is not under the stress of having to deal with another cat in the house.
Get professional advice
If you’re having trouble with your cat’s behavior, talk to your veterinarian or an animal behaviorist who is qualified in cat behavior.
Cat Behavior Problems – Marking and Spraying Behavior
When little quantities of urine are sprayed onto vertical surfaces, this is known as spraying. When a spraying cat enters a space, the tail may quiver, and the cat will urinate without squatting in the majority of situations. Even while it’s considerably less common, some cats may also mark their territory by depositing little quantities of urine, or even excrement, on horizontal objects, such as tables and chairs.
Why do cats “mark” with urine?
Cats leave a variety of signs in the sites where they dwell or when they go on vacation. Cats will mark with scent glands on their paws, cheeks, face, and tail, as well as with urine, to indicate where they have spent time. Bunting (rubbing the inside of the cheeks) and scratching (which leaves an odor from the glands in the footpads as well as a visible mark) are also types of marking. Through the deposit of an odor, the cat conveys to other animals that it has been around for a long period of time.
Because of the presence of other cats in the proximity, whether outside or among cats that reside inside the same household, it is possible that marking will occur.
When there is a change in home routine, composition, or living arrangements, as well as when there is a change in the environment or social circumstances, this can occur.
At order to delineate territory, urine is frequently seen in conspicuous spots or at access and departure points to the outside, such as doors and windows, as well as around the periphery of a home or building.
Which cats are more likely to urine mark?
Cats may mark their territory with urine, and this is true of both male and female cats. Urine marking is particularly frequent in male cats who are neither neutered or spayed. When an intact male sprays urine, the stench is strong and pungent, and it is known as “tom cat odor.” When a male is not entire, the odor is mild. Even though castration or neutering will affect the odor of the cat and may diminish the cat’s incentive for spraying, roughly 10% of neutered males and 5% of spayed females will continue to spray.
While cats in multi-cat families are more likely to engage in spraying activities, cats in single-cat households can also engage in spraying behaviors. “Neutering will reduce the stink of tomcat urine,” says the veterinarian.
I am finding small amounts of urine in multiple locations. What does that mean?
Some cats may mark their territory by depositing little volumes of pee (and, on rare instances, faeces) in various spots across their territory. Although these sites can be comparable to the ones used for spraying (for example, close to doors and windows, near new things in the home, or in favorite spots), they may also be discovered on the owner’s clothing or other treasured possessions on occasion. Small amounts of urine discharged outside of the litter box, on the other hand, are more usually caused by either an illness of the lower urinary tract or litter box avoidance, both of which can have a variety of causes and symptoms.
As with any other elimination problem, a thorough medical examination as well as laboratory testing are required to rule out any physical causes.
How do I treat a spraying or marking problem?
The history of a behavior problem, like with any other behavior problem, will aid in determining treatment alternatives. It is critical to consider the position of the urine marking, as well as the frequency, length, and number of places. It is necessary to ascertain the number of cats present both inside and outside the home. Changes in the surroundings, human and animal social habits, and additions (people, pets, furniture, and renovations) to the house should all be considered when conducting this investigation.
- A urinalysis should be conducted to rule out any underlying medical conditions.
- If pee is discovered on walls, it should be 6 to 8 inches above the floor.
- The treatment’s goal is to reduce the motive for spraying in the first place.
- A good rule of thumb is that the number of litter boxes should be equal to the number of cats plus one, the litter should be cleaned daily and replaced at least once a week, and appropriate odor neutralizing chemicals should be used on any sprayed areas.
- The best options if your cat’s marking appears to be triggered by cats outside the home are to find a way to keep the cats from coming onto your property or to keep the indoor cat from seeing, smelling, or hearing the cats.
- The placement of your cat in a room away from windows and doors that go to the outside may be beneficial; alternatively, blocking visual access to windows may also be effective.
- Keeping windows closed to prevent the indoor cat from smelling the cats outside, as well as using odor neutralizers on any locations where the outside cats have eliminated or sprayed, may also be required.
- These cats should be kept in distinct sections of the house with their own litter boxes and sleeping spaces.
- Allowing the cats to come together for good experiences such as feeding, rewards, and play sessions helps them become acclimated to the presence of one another, at least on a limited basis, in the future.
However, when the number of cats in a household reaches 7 to 10 cats, you may frequently see spraying and marking issues.
I’ve cleaned up the spot, but the cat keeps returning to spray. What else can I do to reduce the problem?
Because the “goal” of spraying is to mark a place with urine odor, it is not unexpected that the cat wants to refresh the area with additional pee while the stench is being cleaned away. Cleaning alone will only go so far in reducing spraying. “Cats that mark in one or two specific places may cease to mark if the function of the area is changed,” according to the article. Cats that mark in one or two specific places may stop marking if the purpose of the region is changed for any reason. Cats are not likely to spray in their feeding, sleeping, or scratching regions, according to experts.
- To the contrary, it may be argued that cats who mark with their cheek glands are doing it in a more calm and familiar manner, whereas cats who mark with their urine are doing so in a more reactive and nervous manner.
- When sprayed in areas where cats have sprayed urine or in regions where it may be predicted that the cat will spray, it has been shown to reduce the chance of subsequent spraying in such locations.
- It is available as a room diffuser that covers around 700 square feet for cats who mark several places or as a spray that may be applied directly to the area where your cat sprays to deter other cats from spraying.
- A smart compromise for some cats is to allow them to mark only one or two parts of their territory when it is practicable.
- Another approach is to put booby traps in the sprayed locations; however, this may result in the spraying of another area as a result of this option.
Are there any drugs that are available to treat this problem?
Many different pharmaceutical approaches have been attempted throughout the years to reduce spraying behaviour. The selections have centered on the assumption that one of the underlying causes for spraying and marking behaviors is fear and territorial conflict. For that reason, antidepressants such as clomipramine and fluoxetine have proved to be useful for suppressing marking in certain cats.
It has also been attempted to use anti-anxiety medications like buspirone and benzodiazepines with varying degrees of success. It will be necessary to take into account the dosing, the cost, and the possibility of side effects when selecting the most appropriate medication for your cat.
Help! My Cat Keeps Urine Marking
Cats peeing outside of the litter box may be exhibiting marking behavior, which occurs when a cat feels the need to denote its territory. However, there are several underlying health concerns that might lead a cat to urinate outside of the litter box, as well as some environmental factors that can contribute to this behavior. If this behavior has occurred more than once or twice, you may wish to take your cat to the veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical conditions. If you discover that your child is engaging in marking behavior, there are things you may do to prevent it.
Marking Their Turf
Cats mark area that is significant to them by urinating on it. Cats generally get along nicely until they attain social maturity, which occurs between the ages of 2 and 4 years. House-soiling often entails crouching and depositing urine or feces on a horizontal surface, whereas urine marking is more likely to occur on vertical surfaces such as walls or ceiling. Cats, on the other hand, may mark their territory on both horizontal and vertical surfaces. The most common culprits for pee-spraying are intact male cats, although neutered cats of any gender might still opt to baptize the house with their urine.
Check the Litter Box
They will avoid the litter box if it is in the improper location (too close to food or sleeping areas); if it is not clean; or if they have to share it with another cat, among other reasons, They may not want to “go” after another kitten, or they may prefer a separate box for solids and a separate box for liquids in their litter box. Cats also have very precise preferences for the sorts of box filters or surfaces that they like, and the box may be too tiny for a large-tailed feline in some circumstances.
Spreading the aroma of pee about the house has been shown to reduce cats’ stress levels. Cats are creatures of habit, and anything that disturbs their typical day-to-day routine might cause them to lose their cool. Everything from new drapes to a stray cat patrolling outside the window to your job schedule being unpredictable might be the cause of this problem. When stray cats go into heat in the spring, the scent and sound they emit might cause indoor cats to feel more anxious and to increase their territorial marking.
Consequently, whether your cat’s problem is related to health difficulties or is merely territorial marking, a stress-reduction program should be of assistance.
Use Feliway and Rescue Remedy
If you have more than one cat, it’s possible that your cats are at the stage of social maturity where they’re competing for place within the home. This synthetic pheromone, which is called Feliway, can be beneficial since it informs the cat that its surroundings is secure. Rescue Remedy is also effective for relieving stress in a small percentage of cats.
Eliminate Odor and Create New Associations
Pay close attention to where your cat’s pee has left a mark. A black light should make urine shine, allowing you to see any contaminated areas more clearly. Anti-Icky-Poo and other odor neutralizer products, such as Anti-Icky-Poo, are recommended for thorough cleaning since they reduce the stench that attracts cats back to the crime scene (and its aroma). Ammonia and bleach are other effective cleaning agents. The idea is to completely eliminate the stink so that the cat will not consider it acceptable to “go” there in the future.
Afterwards, alter the connection of the location by strategically placing toys, a cat bed, or food bowls directly on top of the location. Cats will be less likely to spray in areas where they play, sleep, or eat. Spraying the Feliway on the inconvenient location can help inhibit a repeat occurrence.
Add Another Litter Box
If you have numerous cats, you may find that you need to coddle them twice as much (or more). Cats should be provided with at least one litter box, which should be placed in various locations throughout the house. Make sure they are extra-large since some cats enjoy having the extra area to move about when they are large. Additionally, give scratching objects and resting spots for each cat in a variety of locations throughout the house. Cats may use extra vertical space to climb and get away from one another, while each cat “owns” its own resting location in a large enclosure.
Problems and Proofing Behavior
If you are unable to stop the spray, you should consult your veterinarian. A variety of medical conditions might cause you to urinate outside the box. Kidney illness and diabetes can cause the cat’s urine volume to rise, making it impossible for the cat to reach the litter box in time. Feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) can be caused by bladder stones, crystals, bacterial infection, or cancer that causes bladder inflammation and causes bladder stones to form (cystitis). Cystitis is a painful condition that causes cats to feel the urge to “go” more frequently.
Furthermore, 60 percent of these instances are idiopathic, meaning that there is no recognized cause, making the medical condition difficult to treat.
How to Prevent a Cat from Spraying: 12 Steps (with Pictures)
Cats spray (urinate) to mark their territory and to communicate with other cats. If you’ve developed a natural habit, it might be difficult to break once it has begun. The spraying must thus be stopped as soon as possible once it has begun for this same reason. When preventing or dealing with a cat that sprays, it is important to first examine their habitat (or your cat’s territory), and then to take actions to remove the sprayed urine from the environment.
- 1 Have your cat spayed or neutered as soon as possible. Generally speaking, male cats that have not been neutered are the most probable perpetrators of this really unwanted habit. Females that have not been spayed will occasionally do this as well. As a result, it is recommended that you neuter or spay your cat before the age of 6 months in order to prevent this behavior from occurring when your cat reaches adolescence. However, only a tiny percentage of neutered males and an even smaller number of spayed females will spray at some point in their lives. ADVICE FROM AN EXPERT The owner of Boston Veterinary Clinic, Brian Bourquin, also known as “Dr. B” to his clientele, is a veterinarian and the owner of the South End/Bay Village facility as well as three other locations in Massachusetts: the Seaport in Boston and Brookline. The Boston Veterinarian Clinic specializes on basic veterinary care, which includes wellness and preventative care, ill and emergency treatment, soft-tissue surgery, and dentistry for pets and livestock. Specialty services are also available, including behavioral and nutritional counseling, as well as alternative pain management techniques, such as acupuncture and therapeutic laser treatments A member of the AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association), the Boston Veterinary Clinic is also the city’s first Fear Free Certified Clinic. The Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) Brian has obtained from Cornell University is the culmination of nearly 19 years of veterinary expertise. Brian Bourquin, DVMVeterinarian, is a veterinarian who practices in the DMV. Our Subject Matter Expert Agrees: The majority of spraying happens because the cat was not neutered at a young enough age, therefore if you have a kitten, attempt to have it fixed when it is approximately 6 months old or younger. In this method, the cat will not acquire the innate drive to spray or mark their territory
- Instead, the cat will be content. 2 Give your cat a lot of your time and affection. Some cats spray in order to attract attention. Spend quality time with your cat every day, caressing it and connecting with it in a pleasant way. Despite their image of being distant and independent, your cat longs to be in contact with you and interact with you. When you are brushing your cat or playing a game of catch the laser (with the help of a cat laser light), you are interacting with him.
- Feathers, imitation mice, balls, and reward dispensers are some of the toys that will provide your cat with activity and mental stimulation. Cat furniture provides an excellent opportunity for cats to climb, hide, and relax away from the hustle and bustle of a busy household. When it comes to cat toys and cat furniture, pet stores and veterinary offices offer a wide selection to pick from, and the staff can assist you in making informed decisions.
3 Assist your cat in avoiding anxiousness. Some cats are calmed and relieved by homeopathic therapies, which are available on the market today. A variety of soothing herbs, including catnip, valerian, Kava-Kava, chamomile, and St. John’s wort, have been shown to be effective in relaxing cats. Before taking such remedies, consult with a veterinarian who is experienced with homeopathic medicine to ensure that they will not be harmful to your feline companion.
- An anti-anxiety drug might be used as a last resort when non-medicated methods are ineffective in treating cats suffering from anxiety. Spraying has been controlled with the use of medications such as amitriptyline, buspirone, diazepam, imipramine, progestins, and clomipramine, among others. There are a variety of side effects, and certain medications are more successful in particular cats than others. All of these drugs must be given by a veterinarian, and the risks and benefits must be balanced against one another.
ADVICE FROM AN EXPERT A veterinarian with over 30 years of expertise in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice, Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS, is a member of the British Veterinary Medical Association. Veterinary medicine and surgery were among the subjects she studied when she graduated with honors from the University of Glasgow in 1987. She has been employed at the same animal clinic in her hometown for more than two decades now. Pippa Elliott is an MRCVS veterinarian who practices in London.
- Never reprimand a cat for spraying since doing so would just increase their fear and might make the situation worse rather than better in the future.” 4Keep stray animals at bay.
- Don’t leave food or water out for stray cats or cats from the neighborhood.
- If you have a cat, you’ll want to keep other cats out of his area.
- Because cats mark their territory to keep suspected competitors at bay, if they are unable to see other animals, they will not be aware of the need to spray.
- ADVICE FROM AN EXPERT The owner of Boston Veterinary Clinic, Brian Bourquin, also known as “Dr.
- The Boston Veterinarian Clinic specializes on basic veterinary care, which includes wellness and preventative care, ill and emergency treatment, soft-tissue surgery, and dentistry for pets and livestock.
- The Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) Brian has obtained from Cornell University is the culmination of nearly 19 years of veterinary expertise.
- Our Subject Matter Expert Agrees: If your cat is spraying, make sure they aren’t able to see any other cats outside when they are spraying.
- 6 Encourage your cat to have a pleasant relationship with another cat or with you.
- Make them all play with the same toy at the same time.
- If you establish an atmosphere that is favorable to the mentalities of your two (or more) cats, they will get along better and be less likely to spray at each other.
However, the more the number of cats you have, the greater the likelihood that they may spray. This is due to increased competition for resources and prime real estate within the house. It is believed that at least one cat will spray in families with five or more cats.
- 1 Determine whether your cat is spraying or urinating in an improper manner. While spraying is primarily a behavioral issue, improper urination can be caused by either a medical condition or a behavioral issue. As a result, if you notice your cat spraying, you should consider the amount of stress he is experiencing. If any of the following apply to your cat, it is likely that it is spraying:
- You see little amounts of urine in various locations
- It is spraying on vertical surfaces, such as the backs of chairs or walls
- And it smells bad. It takes a few steps back, raises its tail, and quivers, then sprays little droplets of pee in a number of predictable spots. It is not necessary to squat in order to spray, as they do in order to urinate
2Understand that cats spray to denote their territorial boundaries; It is a natural reaction. Don’t become upset with your cat because it doesn’t seem to care about your perspective of its space. Don’t smack your cat in the face because it sprayed. This will just make it feel less secure about the security of its area, which may lead to it spraying more aggressively in the future. Cats frequently spray “gateways” or openings to their area, such as windows and doors, to mark their territory. 3 Take into consideration the use of synthetic pheromones.
Feliway and other synthetic pheromones for cats can be used to calm them down and create a more comfortable atmosphere for them in their home.
- Synthetic pheromones are designed to look and smell like the pheromone that cats emit when they are comfortable in their surroundings. Most of these items are available as sprays, diffusers, and collars, and they work by rubbing the substance against the skin.
4 Consult with your veterinarian to ensure that your cat is not spraying as a result of a medical condition. Cats may spray in response to a variety of physiological problems. The following conditions may cause your cat to spray: diabetes, a urinary tract infection, feline lower urinary tract illness, a kidney infection, thyroid disease, or liver disease. Your veterinarian will conduct a battery of laboratory tests to rule out each of these potential problems for you. Most tests need the collection of either a urine sample or a blood sample.
If no medical problems are discovered, your cat’s spraying is most likely due to a behavioral problem.
B” to his clientele, is a veterinarian and the owner of the South End/Bay Village facility as well as three other locations in Massachusetts: the Seaport in Boston and Brookline.
Specialty services are also available, including behavioral and nutritional counseling, as well as alternative pain management techniques, such as acupuncture and therapeutic laser treatments A member of the AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association), the Boston Veterinary Clinic is also the city’s first Fear Free Certified Clinic.
- Brian Bourquin, DVMVeterinarian, is a veterinarian who practices in the DMV.
- In other cases, improper urination isn’t caused by spraying at all, but rather by your cat’s unwillingness to use the litter box.
- However, your veterinarian may be able to assist you in determining whether your cat just does not like the sort of litter or box that you are currently using.
- It is very likely that these regions are unpleasant to smell, but in order to clean them effectively, you must remove all of the spray from the area in question.
- Your cat will almost certainly spray the entrances to its territory, the area around its litter box, and any other vertical items it enjoys climbing (e.g.
- 6 Remove any urine or spray stains on a regular basis.
- Using a clean towel, wipe down each spot where he sprayed.
- After you’ve cleaned the area, spray this neutralizer on the places where your cat has left the most messes after you’ve finished.
Although it is not guaranteed to work, the aroma of this product will deter many cats. You should avoid spraying this product near or on your cat’s litter box. You don’t want them to use that location for their pee if you don’t want them to.
- If possible, avoid the use of home cleaners that include bleach or ammonia, as they are both components of urine and might mistakenly magnify the marker left behind by the cat.
Create a new question
- Question: How do you prevent a neutered cat from spraying in the house? A veterinarian with over 30 years of expertise in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice, Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS, is a member of the British Veterinary Medical Association. Veterinary medicine and surgery were among the subjects she studied when she graduated with honors from the University of Glasgow in 1987. She has been employed at the same animal clinic in her hometown for more than two decades now. An Answer from a Veterinarian The cat may be drawn back to spray because of an odor that lingers after it has been sprayed. Clean and deodorize any past spraying places thoroughly once a day, every day for two weeks
- Question Is it still possible for neutered male cats to spray? A veterinarian with over 30 years of expertise in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice, Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS, is a member of the British Veterinary Medical Association. Veterinary medicine and surgery were among the subjects she studied when she graduated with honors from the University of Glasgow in 1987. She has been employed at the same animal clinic in her hometown for more than two decades now. An Answer from a Veterinarian The vast majority of males quit spraying once they have been neutered. However, the more older the cat is at the time of operation, the more probable it is that it will have developed a learned habit of spraying
- Question and Answer What can I do to prevent a stray cat from spraying? A veterinarian with over 30 years of expertise in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice, Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS, is a member of the British Veterinary Medical Association. Veterinary medicine and surgery were among the subjects she studied when she graduated with honors from the University of Glasgow in 1987. She has been employed at the same animal clinic in her hometown for more than two decades now. An Answer from a Veterinarian This needs a mix of desexing, deodorizing, and reducing potential causes of stress from the cat’s environment. QuestionDo cats continue to spray after neutering? AnswerDo cats continue to spray? A veterinarian with over 30 years of expertise in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice, Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS, is a member of the British Veterinary Medical Association. Veterinary medicine and surgery were among the subjects she studied when she graduated with honors from the University of Glasgow in 1987. She has been employed at the same animal clinic in her hometown for more than two decades now. An Answer from a Veterinarian It is uncommon for a dog to continue spraying after being neutered. Some cats, however, will resort to spraying when they are under stress or when they feel pressure on their territory.
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- Never lose your cool with your cat. It isn’t his fault in the least. Spraying is a completely natural activity. Avoid hitting or striking your cat.
About this article
Summary of the ArticleXIf your cat is less than 6 months old, you should consider neutering or spaying your cat to prevent it from spraying. As an alternative, consider paying more attention to your cat by providing it with toys such since imitation mice or a feather, as your cat may occasionally spray in order to attract your attention. Keep stray or adopted cats away from your pet if you want to prevent it from acting territorially. To conclude, try the use of synthetic pheromones to quiet down your cat and make them more comfortable, or schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to ensure your cat is not sick.
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