Cat spraying is known since ancient times, being the worst behavior in a cat.
Just it… Everywhere…
In the place I sleep, eat, drink…
The disgusting, acidic dead, rotten flesh, smell…
A glue… expanding and almost moving !
Is it about a horror movie?
You are here because you are concerned about your cat spraying.
Maybe your poor cat already started.
Now, don’t imagine that dealing with cat spraying is like I described above.
You want a happy and healthy cat. And also a clean sofa and an addible air.
My cat Puffy was an un-neutered male cat. He would go outside, where he pleased, and coming home after days !
Beated, scratched, bleeding, full of red…
But he never ever sprayed in house. The only place where he was spraying is in the street.
How did I come to this situation?
Why is my cat and your cat spraying?
What exactly is cat spraying?
And Why they are doing this?
Today, I’ll try to answer to all this questions.
Look, I don’t know you. I don’t know your relation with your cat…
But I do know that there is NOBODY else who knows your cat better than you do.
Your vet, he doesn’t live with your cat to know literarily everything about your cat.
But you do. And by knowing what to look for at your cat, you can tell your vet, who further more will help you to solve the cat spraying problem.
At the end of the day is up to you and your vet to solve the cat spraying. If you can.
I can only help you by showing you what is cat spraying, why is happening, and how to stop it.
So, grab a snack because this is going to be a long journey.
Welcome to the ENCYCLOPEDIA: CAT SPRAYING. Pretty scary don’t you think?
To know how to stop your cat from spraying you first have to know why, when and how is cat spraying.
Let’s begin with some theory… “ Why is my cat spraying ?”
CAT COMMUNICATION AND TERRITORIAL BEHAVIOR
Here’s an amazing fact about cats. They don’t live in groups. They don’t have a hierarchy like the dogs do. But, we still see cats walking in groups and kind of staying together.
How is all of these things possible?
In the small feline world, any cat is a king.
Basically speaking, the cats just share the territory. And not for a long period of time. Also, cats do not hunt together like other animals such as dogs.
Now, because your cat looks so solitaire, his language is the same. Cats do not communicate directly. But by signs.
The smell is the number one way of communication in the feline world.
Your cat’s smell is 7 times stronger than ours !
Now the smell… There have to exist something to be smelled.
That is the cat odor. Any cat smells different then the other cats. So their urine.
Your cat is marking the territory by putting his smell in places easy to access for the other cats to smell it.
Your cat is marking by brushing his fur on object – like trees, grass and so on. Also by scratching and spraying urine.
The sprayed urine, along smelling, are the way cats leave messages to each other and communicate. Does it make sense?
Your cat will spray on an area where other cats will be able to see it and smell it.
Now, “What can, that disgusting sprayed alien-looking urine can communicate?”
Well, cats can tell each other things like :
- Who is in charge of the territory.
- If he is willing to share the territory with anyone else.
- If he does, with who, and for what period of time.
Now, let’s see…
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CAT SPRAYING AND URINAL PROBLEMS
They are different problems with different solutions. You need to know if your cat is spraying or not, before you do anything. How do you tell the difference between cat spraying and urinal problems?
- Your cat rises his tail, exposing his genitals. He is also closing his eyes and his tail is shaking during spraying.
- Your cat will get out a small amount of urine.
- He will not cover the waste, but it will try to make it as visible as possible.
- Your cat sprays on different material and locations.
- Usually he sprays on vertical object such as chairs, bed legs, desks, walls.
- Sprayed urine smell worst than regular cat urine.
- Your cat will squat, covering his genitals.
- He will get all the urine out.
- He will cover his waste with litter.
- Your cat urinates only on the same type of materials.
- Usually, he urinates on horizontal surfaces like the floor, on the bed, on the desk.
Now, your cat may urinate by standing up. And this is totally different than spraying. But If your cat suddenly starts urinating standing up, and he never did it before, call the vet. Your cat may have urinal dysfunctions like urine crystal or colon blockage. You need to treat these diseases as fast as possible. Some of them are fatal for your cat and he can dies in less than 24 hours…
Here’s a video with a cat spraying in action, so you can have a better idea:
So, that you have in mind why and how your cat is spraying, let’s see when is he or she spraying. Keep in mind that male cat spraying is slightly different than female cat spraying.
During heat season the female cats are fertile and they are looking for male cats.
Your lady cat sprays so the boys can see that she is available.
The male cats also spray, because they were waiting for this moment the whole year ! The testosterone rises up and the male felines starts fighting for the female! Along with disputes, there will come a lot of spraying.
The heat period starts since early spring and it ends in late autumn. During this period of time, the female cat will be in heat for 3-4 days and then have a break for 2-3 weeks and start again. These numbers may vary on your cat, because all the cats are different.
Well, “Why is your neutered cat still spraying…?”
Let’s talk about…
STRESS AND ANXIETY
The territorial behavior and language is something that your cat is born with. It’s in your cat blood.
If you have neutered your cat, he still have a chance to spray if he feels that his territory is attacked by an intruder.
The cats that lives at city, on flat or house, are more stressed than the ones in the wild or farm.
Cat spraying is also a form of reveling stress.
Remember: Cats rely on smell and sprayed urine. If there is a new smell in the cat’s territory, your cat may start telling the intruder to leave. Even if your cat doesn’t spray straight forward, he noticed the intruder presence. And this will add up as stress and anxiety in time.
Your cat can consider: New objects, other animals and people, as intruders.
Every changes in environment can trigger the cat. Like renovation, simply moving the furniture, moving the cat’s bowls of water, food, her bed and so on.
One of the biggest factors that rise anxiety and stress in your cat is not giving her enough attention. Some cats spray because their owners are too busy for them.
Some people have to work hard, and they don’t left enough time to spend with their cats. When others… simply don’t seams to care about their kitty.
These are the big main reasons why your cat is spraying:
The territorial language and the stress. Does it make sense ?
Now, that know the theory, let’s move towards fixing your cat.
Let’s begin with…
Neutering your cat is the most frequent answer for the question “ How to get a male cat to stop spraying ”.
Your male cat is more likely to spray, due to the heat period, than female cats.
When you neuter your cat, he will become less aggressive and less territorial.
Now, What age do cats start spraying and when to neuter your cat?
The best time to neuter your kitten is before he reaches puberty. Meaning before 5-6 months old.
In this way, your cat won’t change his character, and he will remain cute and playable.
This also applies for female cats. Even if your lady cat is less likely to spray, it’s better to spay her. You will prevent your cat from crying at males for hours.
I know… Neutering your own cat.. Sounds brutal.
But don’t do like I did… Don’t let your cat to suffer until he dies… After the story with Puffy, I always neuter and spay my cats.
Also, the vets say that if you neuter your cat, he will be protected against genital cancer and urinal problems.
Now, as you remember, the biggest enemy of a cat is The Stress!
Let’s see how to keep a cat from spraying…
ELIMINATING THE STRESS
If you can eliminate the stress in your cat, she will be more happy, healthy and there will be no cat spraying. NEVER.
The best way to eliminate stress in your cat is by playing with her!
A lot of the time, there has to be a neutered male cat spraying, because his owner doesn’t give him enough attention.
Play with your cat. There are a lot of toys with feathers and strings that your cat are going to love them.
By playing with your cat, you also keep him physically healthy and you are building trust between you and your cat.
Playing with your cat improves her mood but also yours! Study have shown that playing with animals, and being in nature can reveal stress!
The answer of how to prevent a cat from spraying, is physical exercise and spending time with your cat. Does it make sense?
Keep in mind: Your cat may be spraying for your attention !
Now, there are some herbs, and substances that can eliminate the cat’s stress.
There are essential oils and herbs special made for cats. Ask your vet before using such substances. Your cat may have an allergy.
Another thing that people talk about is Feliway.
This is a device, you put him on a current source and it will start getting out the Feliway formula substance. It can help to reveal anxiety and stress in your cat.
I’m not sure what the substance is, or if your cat may react bad to it… I never used Feliway. Please, ask your vet before using it. Here, I put a link where you can find more about it.
As we talked about improving the mood of your cat and eliminating stress, now let’s talk about…
ELIMINATING THE POTENTIAL FACTORS OF ANXIETY
When does a male cat start spraying?
When there is a reason for it.
Here, I put together a list of possible factors that may make your cat spraying. So you can look trough and see what applies for your cat. I try to help you.
Keep in mind that these factors can be a direct reason for your cat spraying.
If not, they still adds up to the anxiety and stress list. And later It will may you cat spraying.
Your cat is a master of hiding her emotions. She can be in pain without you even notice it. If your cat suddenly starts spraying, chances are she has an internal bleeding, broken bones or even urinating problems. Go to your vet and make an X-ray and an urinal and blood test. So you can eliminate the problems that are causing internal pain to your cat. Does this makes sense?
In case you don’t know any vet, visit localvets.com. It will show a list of vets near you.
If your cat is old, chances are you are experience some bad times now.
Please, read this article about special needs for senior cats.
Often, your cat can spray if she doesn’t like someone passing it’s territory.
In my opinion, the first thing to do, is eliciting your cat territory. Meaning what does your cat considers to be his territory.
I know, I know. This idea sounds CRAZY and time consuming.
But is worth trying.
If you live at house and you let the cat outside, usually he will not spray inside your house. House soling can happen only if your cat is very insecure and feels threatened by nearby animals.
Try looking around the house. Maybe the neighbor dog’s is making your cat spraying. Now, if you your neighbor seams a nice person, try explaining him about your cat. He will understand your problem and maybe, he will let his dog more inside.
If your cat is more like a in doors cat, and she is spraying in your house, try looking for animals that may pass the street. Chances are your cat is considering them as a treat. And, If that animal looks like he has a schedule of crossing the street, try putting a curtain at the windows where the cat can see him.
You don’t have to refuge with your cat in a bunker, being isolated by other people and the light of sun. Some cats have no problems when someone enters their territories. While other cats may went insane when they see a pigeon outside.
DEALING WITH GUESTS AND NEW PEOPLE
If you have a lot of people visiting you, your cat should have a room just for herself.
The guests can alert the cat and increase her anxiety. Remember the Smell. When new smells invades the cat’s kingdom that triggers him.
Sometimes your cat may spray urine on the guest’s stuff to put his name on them.
If you can’t give your cat a room, at least put the good of the guests in a place where your cat can’t reach them.
When you introduce new people to the cat, do it gently. Especially if you have a kitten. Let the cat smell the guests than vice versa. He will take time, and eventually he will rub to the guests, living his smell on them. Simply put: Try to make your cat to mark the guest by linking and rubbing rather than spraying urine.
My cats never had problems with new faces. Sometimes they may be a little shy, but at the end they always rub their fur and show their belly.
A NEW BABY
If you are about to have a baby, CONGRATULATION !
From what I see, cats seems very attached to the owner’s baby. Some people believe that the cat is able to smell the baby while he is still the mother’s belly.
Here’s a thing… There are opinions, that you should train your cat by giving her les attention before the baby arrives. In this way your cat is prepared for the baby that has to come… As you know, having a baby means 99.9% of your time being with your eyes on your baby. So, you’ll have less time for your cat.
In my opinion, most of the time the cat will have no personal problems with the upcoming baby. It is true that things like the baby scream or the hurry of the mother can make the cat anxious.
Here’s a link to a great article that talks in deep about how to prepare your cat for your upcoming baby. Is worth reading it, especially if you have a grumpy cat. I didn’t talked about it here because I believe that the subject deserves its own article.
CHANGES IN THE ENVIRONMENT
Changes in the environment can increase the anxiety in your cat. Exactly like the story with the intruders.
If you are doing renovations on your house, chances are you saw a change in your cat’s behaviors. That’s because the workers are knocking down your cat’s empire ! Of course, the king is concerned and has to worry !
Even small things like redecoration can get the cat attention.
If you just redecorated, that can be the reason why your cat is spraying. Maybe you moved the furniture. Or maybe you moved the place of food and water. Or, the bed.
The biggest signal that tells why is your neutered cat still spraying urine is…
If you moved with your cat in a new home.
The new house is like a new territory for your cat. He doesn’t know what is happening to him. He just understands that he had teleported in the middle of nowhere. And this can drive even the people crazy.
Also, cats are extremely stressed out while traveling by car.
All these adds up. Making your cat spraying when you are moving to a new home. Does it make sense so far?
IRITANTS, PARFUMES, CHEMICALS
Some chemicals can make your cat spraying.
Products that contain ammonia can remind your cat of territory marking. This may make him think about intruders in his area.
Ammonia is often found in the cleaning products.
Other problem is, if your cat eats cleaning products. My cat Isabella did. She didn’t sprayed but she was definitely anxious. She ate the bubbles of soap when I wasn’t looking. Thankfully, She Is healthy and happy now.
Now, this is it on the chapter of STRESS FACTOR.
Another important aspect that you must know is how to eliminate cat odor…
CLEANING THE WASTE
Cleaning the spot where the cat sprayed urine, is crucial !
Not just for the house smell, but also for preventing cat spraying from happening again. Cats often spray urine on the same spots.
The plan goes like this: Clean the sprayed area and keep your cat as far as possible from the room where she sprayed. After a while, sh will forget about it.
Here I tried to put together some ideas and ways of eliminating the cat odor:
- Try using a composition of half water, half apple vinegar to remove the waste.
- Try bicarbonate. The chemical properties of bicarbonate are amazing! It’s absorbing the smell and destroys it.
- Don’t use cleaners that contains ammonia.
As a cat urine odor remover I personally use Hero Clean. Their products are just incredible. Their formula just works. Imagine this: As you know, after workout you cant reuse the clots without washing them. The laundry basket is the best way for bacteria to reproduce. Is dark and mossy. And this leads to that terrible smell of dirty cloths. But, before throwing my shirt in the basked, I spray it with some Clean Hero, and everything is just fine.
Feebreze? I don’t really know about it. Back then, it used to be effective on eliminating odors. But after a while, they changed the formula, and now it doesn’t work as great.
Sometimes, finding the exactly spot where your cat sprays can be tricky. Black light is a great way to find the sprayed area. You turn off the lights, and then, in dark, you turn on the black light lantern. It will show you the spots of body waste and more specifically cat spraying.
That’s pretty much it, on the cleaning aspect.
Now, I know. I didn’t talked about the multi pet house. In my opinion, the subject disserves it’s own article. But, I tried to make a resume…
MULTI PET HOUSE
I believe that being true. As you remember, your cat wants to dominate other cats. In order for you to keep the harmony in your house, you must have at least one litter per cat. Also, each of your cat needs their own bowls of food, water and place to rest.
Let’s see how you can improve the…
STRESS IN MULTI PET HOUSE
The best way of eliminating stress between cats, is by playing with your cats.
Remember: playing also increases the trust. Try playing games that involves more than one cat. Also put some Feliway and see if there is any improvement.
Here’s a video showing two cats having a dispute:
If you have a lot of fighting between cats in your house, please take a look at what Jackson Galaxy, The Cat Daddy, has to say about it:
Another time when does a male cat start spraying is during…
The main reason why there is bulling in a multi pet house is because of the covered litter.
When the poor cat goes to make her needs in a covered litter, the bully sees an opportunity to attack the poor cat. Your poor cat is vulnerable being surrounded by walls. She can’t escape.
Try using a litter that has a 360 grades view. Like a huge pan.
If you want to read more about how to stop the disputes between your cats, please read this article from ASPCA.
Let’s talk about other things that you can do to improve the harmony in your cat house today …
AIR PURIFIER AND BEST CAT LITTER
I believe that any multi pet house must have an air purifier. It help you and the your animals to breath. This can reduce anxiety and pressure between your cats.
RENPHO Air Purifier is amazing. My uncle has dogs, cats, and I can tell you that his house smell fresh like there were no animals. I leave a link down bellow so you can see what other people think about it. Don’t forget to buy new filters if you need.
Another thing that will drastically improve the harmony in your house is using the best odor control you can find. I know, they are a little bit expensive, especially when you live in a multi cat house. Check the best cat litters article.
HOW TO FIND THE CULPRIT
In order to stop the chaos, you have to find the cat that’s causing the problem. The cat spraying.
Use a nontoxic dye that will color your cat’s urine.
How do you use it? Take one cat at a time and put your dye in the cat’s bowl of food. Then, simply wait until you see sprayed urine around your house. If the urine is not colored, try with other cat.
But, what to do if your cat is marking territory with fecal ?
Sometimes, but rarely, It can happen.
Use a non toxic crayon coal, and do like you did with the dye color. “Put it on the cat’s food and it comes out as ………” You get the point.
Now, there are rare and disappointing cases when you simply tried everything and nothing worked.
You feel hopeless…
Maybe your cat has been spraying for a long long time now. Maybe the behaviors are habits now. Or maybe your cat had such pain that she forgets how to use the litter box properly.
Still, there is a chance…
CAT BEHAVIORIST SPECIALISTS
If your cat is a severe sprayer than the behaviorist specialist can help you.
You see, the living beings works based on habits. Even the humans does.
Imagine this: Everything what we do in our life, the way we speak, the way we work, the way we dress, how we eat, sleep, all these, are habits. They are done unconsciously. You don’t think about how do you speak when you talk with a friend. You don’t think about how do you eat when you are eating. So your cat don’t think about spraying while she is spraying.
There are lot of incredible behaviorist that can stop your cat spraying. You probably heard about “ The daddy cat”. If not, here’s a video being in action:
They have ones of the bests behaviorists out there.
A cat behaviorist know based on your cat habits and behaviors, how to prevent a cat from spraying and also how to get a female cat to stop spraying.
If you have a lady cat, you’ll know how hard is keeping cat spraying away.
Now, maybe you don’t like these companies. That’s fine.
You can try any behaviorist with an approved diploma.
For more about how to find an expert behaviorist, please read this article from bestfriends.org
Or maybe, you can try it by yourself… There is an option called…
THE TASTE, TOUCH AND SMELL OF YOUR CAT
These are the basics of any cat behavior.
A professional cat behaviorist, when he enters the school, he has to learn about how the smell, the food, the touches, moves and all these, can affect your cat.
Now, there is a long journey. A lot of work, time and experience. No everyone from the beginning can solve a cat spraying problem. But, as a cat owner, In my opinion, is worth knowing some “stuff” about how your cat works. How does she think and feel.
What had I done? I bought books and programs about it. Now, I have to tell you, I didn’t tried to stop the cat spraying. I didn’t have that much problems with spraying in my house. Foxy, she was a little scared at the beginning. But, after a while she was fine.
So, why did I bought the books for?
I simply wanted to know more things about my cats. Don’t imagine that after you read one book you become an animal behaviorist.
But, you can try learning about how to stop ct spraying, by manipulating your cat behaviors. There are books and programs that focus only on the cat spraying problem. One example is CAT SPRAY STOP.
The specialists who made such programs, they put together in a resume all their experience about cat spraying and the basics of any behavior in your cat. So, you can easy understand it and use it. Does it make sense?
If you made it with me, till this end… Congratulations !
You really love your cat and you do want to stop the cat spraying.
I tried to help by explaining you the reasons of cat spraying and how to stop it. I hope it touches you.
What I told you today, It doesn’t have to happen to you. The vets say that only 10% of the cats, will eliminate outside their litter boxes. So, you are lucky.
Usually, neutering your cat and playing with her will stop the problem.
Keep in mind: Before using any medication to your cat, whatever if is essential oils for cats, herbs, anti-anxiety drugs, first talk to your vet!
I tried to sum up everything that I said into an infographic.
I hope it makes sense:
If you feel that has any worth, share it with your friends and other cat owners.
I hope, after reading this, you’ll know what to look for at your cat when your dealing with cat spraying.
One more thing before you go…
Please, answer this question in the comments…
“ Have you ever had a cat spraying problem and you couldn’t sleep at night because of it ? ”
More Articles About Cat Spraying:
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