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How to stop your cat from spraying

 by lucy on 06 Sep 2018 |
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Cats use their urine to mark their space, a practice known as spraying. You can try some tricks to minimise this behavior.

Since they can’t be in several places at one time, cats use scent-based ways to mark their territory. While most marking is done through rubbing or scratching, issues can arise when Kitty decides to mark his space with urine in, a practice known as spraying. Fortunately, there are several ways to curb this unwanted behavior in housecats.
The first step to solving your cat’s spraying problem to determine whether he is truly spraying or if he’s simply urinating outside the litter box. When spraying, cats tend to stand upright and eliminate a small amount of urine on vertical surfaces. Cats that are just urinating, however, generally squat and eliminate larger amounts on a horizontal surface. While there are a number of reasons cats urinate outside of their litter boxes—everything from an unclean box to litter they don’t like or an insecure location—spraying is a tool for communicating via smell. Once you’ve determined your cat is, in fact, spraying, you can begin to address the problem.
While unneutered males are the most common culprits behind spraying, any cat can spray when marking his territory or if he feels anxious or threatened. Hormones play a big role in spraying, so the first step to curbing the problem is to spay or neuter your pet. Next, determine what is causing Kitty’s anxiety. Any number of environmental factors can stress out your cat and lead to spraying. If there is a stray cat outside, for example, your pet may mark near doors to establish the home as his territory. Introducing a new pet to the household or tension with an existing pet can be another source of stress that causes spraying. Watch your pet closely to determine the reason behind his behavior and then work on ways to address it, such as separating rival pets or limiting your cat’s view of outside animals with window blinds.
Another key step to stop your cat from spraying is to clean any areas or objects that have already been marked. The residual odor can prompt your pet to mark the same spot again, so use enzymatic cleaners to eliminate smells. You can also use soothing products that mimic feline pheromones, such as Feliway, in areas your cat has marked or as a plug-in diffuser for the entire room. These synthetic products mimic the pheromones your cat leaves behind when he rubs his faces against you or your furniture, marking the territory as safe and secure. You may want to add more litter boxes to multi-cat households and give your cat toys to help him expel excess energy and distract him from the source of his stress. Form positive associations with the problem area by playing with your cat there, petting him, or even feeding him in spot he has sprayed. With some time and effort, you should be able to stop your cat’s unwanted marking, though you can always seek your veterinarian’s help if the problem persists.


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