Why Do Female Cats Spray
While it is more commonly known that male cats spray, some female cats may also practice this unwanted behavior. No cat owner likes it when their cat sprays but this behavior is often displayed because a cat is trying to say something. Knowing why your female feline may be spraying and what you can do about it can help ease some stress and frustration for both you and your cat.
Dealing With Bully Cats
In some cases, your cat may have no problem with the litter box but still pee in inappropriate spots because another cat wont let them use the box. Sometimes, youll need to temporarily separate the cats to determine if one or more is being a bully.
Again, this problem will require you to make sure you have enough litter boxes to go around and that theyre spread out in different locations. If you find youre dealing with a consistently aggressive or jealous cat, you may need professional help from your vet or a veterinary behaviorist.
Change In The Litter Type
A cat is sensitive to changes. If you change the litter type, the cat might not like the new brand and starts urinating everywhere but in the litter box.
Make sure to change the litter back to the one your cat is used to, so he will be likely to stop spraying. Don’t change the location of the litter box, as your cat may be confused and start spraying.
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Try A Synthetic Cat Pheromone
Using a product like Feliway can help calm your cat. Apply it to your hand before petting your cat, and apply it to their bedding as well.
You can also apply it to your cats favorite spraying spots after cleaning with an enzymatic cleaner, which can further help deter them from re-marking those spots.
How To Stop A Cat From Spraying Indoors
The most important thing is to identify the cause of spraying. Only when we know the source of the problem, we can take corrective measures. For example, we can use synthetic pheromones distributed by diffusers are helpful, too. By mimicking the feline facial pheromones through Feliway®, the cat receives a message to feel happy and safe.
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Help Reduce Your Cats Stress
Stress can trigger urine spraying in indoor cats. To help your stressed cat, start by identifying and eliminating stressors in your cat’s environment. Any small changes can create stress for your cat, including changing feeding times or moving the litter boxes.
Anxiety-reducing supplements such as Zylkene or Purina Calming Care can also help manage your cats stress. If you feel that your cat has severe anxiety and none of these things are helping, ask your vet about anxiety medications.
Cats Spray When They Are Stressed
Changes in a cats routine or environment can contribute to stress. Some stressed cats may urinate outside the litter box, while others will spray urine on vertical surfaces in the house. Stress may be caused by any changes in daily routine, new pets or people in the home, or things like remodeling or construction.
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Cat Spraying: Why They Do It And Ways To Tackle It
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You notice a wet spot on the side of the sofa, or the drapes, or maybe running down the front door. Hmmm, is that . . . ? Yep, it looks and smells like cat pee. Uh oh. Whats going on? Is your cat trying to tell you something?
Actually, when your cat sprays, they are trying to send you a message! Its usually either, I was here/”this is my home, or Im stressed out.
You see, spraying is all about communication for cats. Its different from fully peeing or pooping outside the litter box which, though could also be due to stress or problems between the pets in your home, is most often related to a problem with your cats litter boxes . And, just to keep things interesting, both spraying and inappropriate elimination can also be brought on by, or worsened by, an underlying medical problem or infection , kidney failure, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, or a host of other problems). This article is going to focus on helping you with a cat thats spraying or marking. Read on to see if that might be your cat, and what you can do about it.
Cats Spray To Communicate With Other Cats In The Household
Cats communicate with each other through urine spraying. In general, a lot of cats are very solitary creatures, and even with multiple cats in a household, they will seek out areas to claim as their own. If one cat in the household feels like another cat is moving in on their space or trying to take their resources , they may spray urine.
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How To Stop Your Cat From Spraying
Stopping your cat from spraying requires you to both thoroughly clean any areas where your cat sprays and diagnose why theyre displaying the behavior to begin with.
Cleaning is the easier job: use a mild-smelling cleaner or one designed specifically to clean up cat urine. If your cat consistently returns to the same area to spray, you might need to cut off access to that spot temporarily.
Here are some suggestions to help prevent your cat from spraying in the first place.
What Is That Smell From My Male Cat
Recently having come home from work after being in contact with an intact male cat my dog spent part of the night rolling around on my uniform. He was intrigued by the smell.
Have you ever owned a male or Tomcat? There is an unmistaken odour that comes with having an intact or un-neutered male cat. This pungent, ammonia-like smell is him signalling to all the ladies that he is available and ready to go. It is coming from his skin, urine and any spraying that he may do as well. As we all live in enclosed spaces, it is a great idea to neuter him.
Aside from the smell, he may also begin to spray. This is different from urine in the litter box . Spraying his way of leaving a small amount of urine on vertical surfaces, such as walls, door frames and furniture. He will back up the area and shake his tail and release some scent. To him and other cats, it is a way of marking his territory. Neutering him will remove the strong smell from his discharge, also reduce the motivation for him wanting to spray. Some cats will continue to spray even after neutering, but this is more common in cats neutered later in life or very bossy cats.
Neutering him is a short procedure done with heavy sedation or general anesthetic where his testicles are surgically removed. They recover rapidly as the surgery is short and most often no sutures are required to be removed later.
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Determining The Cause Of The Spraying
If You Have Multiple Cats Encourage Them To Get Along
The tension between household cats can cause spraying. According to the ASPCA, cats living in the same house should have separate resources and plenty of space from each other.
Also, utilizing your vertical space with cat trees and perches will provide your cat with more opportunities to seek their own space.
If youre introducing a new cat to the household, do so gradually. Petfinder recommends keeping them in separate rooms at first. This lets the cats hear and smell each other before they meet face-to-face.
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Urine Marking In A Household With More Than 1 Cat
Cats dont like change. They can give a frosty reception to anyone from a visitor to a new baby, and may be aggravated when a new pet is brought into the home. Thats because they arent equipped to deal with confrontation.
Since cats see each other as equals and dont follow a hierarchy like dogs do, they usually move around the house independently of one another that includes eating, perching, and visiting the litter box. This doesnt mean it will be a conflict-free zone.
Conflict between cats often goes unnoticed by cat owners, because it comes in subtle ways before it escalates. Cat conflict style could be described as passive-aggressive. They may stare at each other silently or block each other from food dishes before escalating to spraying, hissing, and fighting. You might notice your cat losing weight if they dont have access to the food bowl. Since cats spray to mark their territory, keeping the conflict level low is in everyones best interests. Recent studies have shown that cats who spray could also be experiencing long-term stress.
In multi-cat households, its important to first determine that cat spraying or soiling isnt happening because another cat is bullying and denying them access to the litter box. Separating cats may be necessary to find out who the offender is.
You can help your cats avoid conflict by setting up their environment to make sure all pets have easy access to what they need and to avoid other behavioral problems.
Do Female Cats Mark Their Territory
Although its more common for unneutered male cats to mark their territory, female cats may also spray to mark their territory, especially if a new cat joins the household or if an outdoor cat begins to visit the yard. Additionally, male or female cats may spray for other reasons than marking territory, including illness, pain, stress or litter box avoidance.
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More Help For Cat Spraying
Cat spraying is one of the most frustrating and challenging behaviors to overcome. If your attempts to address your cats spraying are not working, you have a few other options. First, talk to your veterinarian about the problem.
Vets will sometimes prescribe certain anxiety medications, which in some cases may help reduce or eliminate spraying. You can also consult an animal behaviorist.
Animal behaviorists are specially trained to identify and treat the most difficult animal behavior problems, including urine spraying behavior in cats. Some animal behaviorists are also veterinarians , and can also prescribe medications and treat other medical problems in your cat. To find an animal behaviorist, ask your veterinarian for a referral or check out the Animal Behavior Societys online directory here.
Is There A Medical Cause Of The Cats Spraying
Besides mating, there are some medical reasons which can cause spraying in cats. One of the reasons is cystitis which is an inflammation of the bladder. Due to some reason, your pet can develop bladder stones or infection, which is common in cats. If this condition remains untreated, then it can cause urinary blockage.
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What To Do When Your Cat Sprays
The right response to spraying can help discourage your cat from doing it again. When your cat sprays:
Be Your Own Pet Detective
No matter who the client is, Marci likes to collect as detailed a history as possible and she encourages them to keep a journal of their cat’s behaviors
- Did the problem just start?
- Is this a recurring problem?
- How frequently is this happening?
- Has this been happening over a long period of time?
- Where did it happen?
- What occurred just before this happens?
- What happens right after this happens?
If the problem happens only every now and then, she dives right into the behavioral modification. If it’s been a long standing issue with not much change or improvement, or it’s something that happens all the time, she likes to work as a team with her client’s veterinarian to start talking about medications and supplements to use in conjunction with behavioral modification, and her clients have seen great results.
If you have a cat that’s too stressed out, no matter what you do to change their behaviors, they’re not going to be picking up what you’re putting down.
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Get Enough Litter Boxes
To prevent spraying in a multi-cat household, make sure that you provide enough litter boxes for your cats and you should be able to identify which cat is spraying. Try to position their litter boxes in a low-traffic area with exit routes and scoop or clean the litter boxes at least once a day. Be sure to distribute the resources of your cats like their food and water bowl as well as their bed. Also, place multiple perching areas so your cats will have their own space and privacy.
Why Do Cats Spray Indoors
Spraying is a common behavior among male cats who are not neutered. But even neutered cats spray, usually for causes other than sex drive. If your unneutered male kitty sprays, have him neutered as soon as possible. If the behavior continues after neutering, or begins again in a neutered cat, see your veterinarian immediately.
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Why Co Cats Spray
Cats rely very much on their scent to mark their territory as part of their normal animal behavior.
Whether a cat marks by rubbing on surfaces or urinating on them, scent marking signals to other cats that this place is already occupied and there is no place for others in this area.
As urine marking is instinctive behavior, it is deeply ingrained in our cats. Even pure indoor house cats show this behavior.
The moment this personal scent changes, like after a visit to the groomer or vet, other cats might not regard the cat as part of their family until the foreign smell disappears. Therefore, cats usually start rubbing after coming back home to change their smell and restore their markings in the home.
How Do I Get Rid Of Cat Spray Smell
6 TIPS TO GET RID OF CAT SPRAY SMELL Clean it quickly. If you catch your cat in action, act fast. Try non-toxic, natural cleaners. If soapy water alone does not work, you can try using baking soda, which is a natural cleaning agent. Use an enzyme-neutralizing cleaner. Clean and repeat. Air the room. Things to Avoid.
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How To Prevent Spraying
Its extremely important to consult with a veterinarian any time a cat is having going outside the litter box. Inappropriate elimination behavior often means the cat is sick or experiencing pain.
Whether a cat suddenly starts spraying or having other accidents in the house, or has been spraying for a long time, a visit to the vet is in order to rule out a medical issue. The veterinarian will conduct a complete physical exam and might recommended a urinalysis and/or bloodwork to make sure the cat is not suffering from a urinary tract infection or any other medical condition that might be causing the spraying.
If your cat gets a clean bill of health from the vet, you can assume the spraying is behavioral.
Here are some steps you can take to prevent spraying, listed in order of importance:
Give Them A Scratching Post
Scratching posts are beneficial to a cats nail health, and they deter your cat from scratching up unwanted things like furniture or walls.
However, scratching posts also release pheromones in your cats paws, which can help them feel calm. All cats have an urge to scratch, so every home with a cat should have a scratching post anyway.
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