Among the most unpleasant behavior problems to deal with in cats is spraying. The fantastic news is that with a dedicated guardian and vet working together, spraying can be overcome. It just requires some detective work and a little behavioral modification.
What’s cat spraying?
Spraying, also known as urine marking, is when a cat deposits urine onto a wall, door or other upright (vertical) object. A cat won’t squat to spray, as would happen with normal urination; instead, a cat that is spraying will probably be standing straight up. If you see your cat in the act, you can also observe an vertical tail with some occasional twitching of the tail or the entire body. You will also likely observe that the odor of the urine in the spray is much more pungent than pee deposited into the litterbox. The smell is a result of additional items in the pee that ease communication, like pheromones.
One frequent reason for spraying is that something is wrong. For this reason, your first step should always be a trip to the vet. If you and your vet have ruled out a medical reason for spraying, then it is time to investigate behavioral causes:
Within feline social groups, urine marking is employed as a kind of communication. By spraying in a particular area, a cat can allow other cats know she’s been there. Marking in an area also lets other cats know to keep off and establishes a cat’s territory.
Anybody who has cats understands they can be very sensitive to changes in the surroundings. If you’ve moved to some other location, done major renovations, brought home a new family member, or lost you might discover your cat beginning to spray. One recent review from Applied Animal Behaviour Science looked at just how compound cues and odor can help a cat to feel more comfortable in her surroundings and decrease stress.
Cats can leave”messages” about possible breeding experiences by spraying. That is why so many cats that spray are unneutered males, though spraying can be found among fixed men and spayed and entire females too.
If you live in a home with more than one cat, spraying can occur if there is conflict between the cats. Even multiple cats who get too may indicate within the household, just because of the presence of other cats.
We can even see urine marking in houses with only one cat, where there are cats roaming freely outside and the house cat knows of the presence of the other cats.
How to stop cat spraying
As stated before, your first step would be a visit to your vet to rule out medical causes of the behavior. Any actions you take to fix this behavior won’t work if your cat is ill. If it is behavioral, measure one is identifying the origin. These are the questions I’d ask myself:
1. Which cat is marking? If you have several cats, first, determine which cat is doing the marking. One method is to confine the cats and allow one out to roam at a time. If this does not work, you can contact your vet to see if you can find a prescription for fluorescein. The dye can be removed from your walls as well.
2. If not, doing so can help, especially if other cats are around.
3. If local cats are the issue, maintain window shades closed, as well as doors. You can block displays, and access to any perches or places to relax and look outside the windows. You don’t need to do this for every window, but concentrate on the ones where your cat is seeing other cats.
4. How do I offer my own cats more space? Should you have multiple indoor cats, raise the amount of litter box options.
Place multiple water and food bowls around the house, along with toys. The more there is of that which, the more likely it is that battle will fall.
Cleaning can Decrease cat spraying
Irrespective of the problem causing the marking, you want to make certain that you wash any feline spraying in your home properly. It’s not enough to just use water and soap to remove the smell. It may not smell for youpersonally, but if not washed correctly, your cat can definitely feel. Use special enzymatic cleaners that are created specifically to break down pet pee. Don’t use any kind of cleaner with an ammonia base, as this odor can provoke more spraying since there is ammonia in urine.
How do your vet help you decrease cat spraying?
If you continue to struggle stop a cat from peeing, share it with your vet. Some cats may be set on medication for stress to help alleviate the spraying.