to Avoid Cat Urine Spraying
If you are a cat owner, you
already know that the first problem you have to deal with
is when your cat starts to spray.
In addition to urinating out
of physiological necessity, many cats use their urine to
mark their territory, to let other cats know they have been
there or to give an area its own special smell. This behavior
is called urine spraying.
The statistic shows that urine
spraying constitutes 44% of all housesoiling complaints.
The frequency of spraying in single cat households is approximately
25% and near to 100% in multi-cat households with over ten
But you should know that your
cats are not spraying to make you angry or to spite. This
is just part of their 100% natural behavior, which is in
the genes of every domestic or wild cat.
You have to know that urination
outside of the litter box should not be confused with spraying.
The difference is that urination is usually done on a flat
surface, such as a towel or a bath mat or rug, and spraying
is done on a vertical surface, such as the wall. It's possible
your cat could begin spraying and stop using the litter box
at the same time, but for different reasons.
Both males and females spray
urine although the behavior is much more common in tomcats,
and typically they urinate on vertical surfaces such as walls
Why do cats spray?
Urine spraying and marking
are social, sexual and territorial behaviours, and usually
male cats are the culprits. It is normal for unaltered males
to make their territorial claim by spraying. This starts
right about the age of sexual maturity because it is triggered
by hormonal changes. Females also tend to spray, especially
when they are in ‘heat’.
Most cats are neutered and
generally do not spray indoors. However, spraying can even
occur with neutered males and spayed females, especially
if you have waited to neuter a male cat after he has reached
sexual maturity, by then, spraying may have become a fixed
habit to him.
When cats urinate as a means
of elimination, they normally do it on a horizontal or flat
surface like the ground or in a litterbox. When cats spray
in order to mark their territory, they turn their backsides
to the object, twitch their tails and spray urine on the
vertical surface, usually at another cat's nose level. They
are telling other cats that this territory belongs to them.
They might also be telling other cats that they are ready
Spraying is generally motivated
by territorial anxiety, such as adding new cat, moving into
a new home, or having too many cats in the home. Your cats
may spray urine to mark their territory when they feel stressed.
Situations such as seeing neighbourhood cats walking around
your yard, moving, fighting among family members and even
scolding kitty, may cause your cat to start spraying. An
unacceptable litter box - a dirty box, different litter,
bad location - also could trigger a marking problem.
On other occasions, items belonging
to a certain individual are singled out and sprayed. These
objects are associated with a less than pleasurable experience
for the cat. Marking can be an expression of anger, stress
Anxiety caused by changes in
work schedules, absences from home, spending less time with
the pet, or inappropriate punishment may also cause a cat
to spray in the home.
It is not uncommon for cats
to start spraying also when there are some problems with
a member of the household or with another pet. For example,
competition may exist with another cat in the neighbourhood
that she perceives as a rival or threat.
Many people don't realize,
but all these things can cause a cat to spray or urine mark.
And when she does that, it is usually a sign that she is
feeling stressed or threatened by something or someone.
How to control cat
1. The easiest way to deal
with the cat spraying is to consider neutering or spaying.
The statistic shows that in 90% of all tomcats this procedure
is effective. But you should do this before your kitten’s
mature - when she is 4-6 months old.
2. The issue of proper litterbox
maintenance should always be addressed when dealing with
a spraying problem. Spraying is motivated generally by territorial
anxiety, but it can also be caused by stress created by a
poor litterbox situation, as a dirty box, scented litter,
bad location. If you are a multiple cat owner, it is strongly
advised that you have one litter box for every cat. Keep
the litter boxes scooped and clean, and be mindful when washing
them to use only mild and unscented cleaning agents.
3. Try to lower cat’s
stress by maintaining a routine, because the changes often
cause cat spraying. Feed at the same time each day and keep
their food, litter box, and bed in their respective places.
4. Give your cats enough attention.
Play with her, massage her, talk to her. Give her tons of
praise, affection and attention for simply breathing. Constantly
reassure her that she is the most wonderful cat in the world.
If they are not threatened, most cats do not feel the need
to mark their territory at all and are quite content to leave
the worrying to us.
5. Urine spraying occurs near
doors or windows where cats can see outdoors, especially
when strange cats are hanging around outside. If your cat
is spraying because she has received a threat from another
cat or animal, try limiting the area she can roam in your
house to improve her feeling of security. If the problem
is with the cats that are outside the home, you should try
to reduce your cat’s exposure to those cats, because
when she sees other cats, her natural response will bee to
mark her territory, which is your home.
6. Clean soiled areas thoroughly
as well, because cats love to urinate in places that already
smell like urine. Use products that have natural enzymes
to actually devour odor-causing bacteria instead of just
covering up the scent. Avoid products that contain ammonia
as these could actually remind the cat of the smell of urine.
And remember, even if you can't smell something, your cat
7. In multiple cat households,
urine spraying becomes extremely difficult to resolve because
of the natural competitiveness between the various cats.
If the cause for urine spraying cannot be determined or removed,
a reconditioning program or treatment with drugs, or both,
may be necessary.
8. Do not hit or yell at your
cat when he sprays. It will only make the problem worse.
Instead, try to figure out why he is feeling insecure and
take steps to ease the disruption.
Finally if the problem persists,
you must consult with a cat behaviorist. A holistic vet also
may have herbal remedies that they have used with success.
If that fails, there are prescription drugs that have been
used to treat spraying cats, but they are not without serious
and life threatening side effects.