One of the most unpleasant behaviour problems to deal with in cats is spraying. The good thing is that with a dedicated guardian and vet working with each other, spraying may be overcome. It just takes some detective work and a modest behavioral modification.
What is cat spraying?
Spraying, also known as urine marking, is when a cat deposits urine on a wall, door or other upright (vertical) object. A cat won’t squat to sprayas would occur with normal urination; instead, a cat that’s spraying will probably be standing right up. If you see your cat in the action, you can also observe an vertical tail with some occasional twitching of either the tail or the whole body. You’ll also likely observe that the odor of the urine at the spray is much more pungent than pee deposited in the litterbox. The smell is due to additional items in the pee that ease communication, such as pheromones. Spraying is different from litterbox aversion, and there are an assortment of reasons that your cat might be spraying.
Why do cats spray?
1 frequent reason for spraying is that something is wrong. Because of this, your first step should always be a visit to the vet. In the Event That You and your vet’ve ruled out a medical reason for spraying, then it is time to research behavioral causes:
Within feline social groups, urine marking is employed as a kind of communication. By spraying at a particular area, a cat may let 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 fluctuations in the environment. When you’ve moved to a new location, done significant renovations, then brought home a new relative, or lost one, you could discover your cat beginning to spray. 1 recent study in Applied Animal Behaviour Science looked at just how compound cues and scent can help a cat to feel more comfortable in her environment and decrease stress.
Cats may leave”messages” about potential breeding experiences by spraying. This is the reason why so many cats that spray are unneutered males, although spraying may be located among fixed men and spayed and whole females too.
If you live in a home with more than one cat, spraying may occur if there’s conflict between cats. Even multiple cats that get along well may mark within the household, simply because of the presence of different cats.
We can also see urine marking in houses with no more than one cat, where there are cats roaming freely outside and the house cat is aware of the presence of the other cats.
How to stop cat spraying
As stated earlier, your first step is a visit to your vet to rule out medical reasons for the behaviour. Any actions you take to correct this behaviour won’t work if your cat is sick. When it’s behavioral, step one is identifying the origin. These are the questions I’d ask myself:
1. Which cat is indicating? 1 method is to confine the cats and let out one to roam at a time. If that doesn’t work, you can get in touch with your vet to see if you can find a prescription for fluorescein. This non-toxic dye can be put in your cat’s food and will look blue under a UV flashlight. The dye can be washed off your walls too.
2. Does my cat neutered or spayed? If not, doing this can help, particularly if additional cats are all around.
3. Is my cat being taunted by the neighbors? When local cats would be the issue, keep window shades closed, in addition to doors. You are able to block screens, and access to some perches or areas to unwind and look outside the windows. You don’t need to do this to every window, but focus on the ones where your cat is seeing different cats.
4. How can I offer my own cats more space? If you do have multiple indoor cats, increase the amount of litter box options.
Give cats more areas to sit up high (cat trees, shelves, and window perches). Put multiple food and water bowls around the home, along with toys. The more there is of that which, the more probable it is that conflict will fall.
Cleaning may Decrease cat spraying
Regardless of the issue causing the marking, you need to make sure that you wash any feline spraying in your home properly. It’s not enough to just use water and soap to eliminate the smell. It might not smell for you, but if not washed properly, your cat may definitely sense it. Use special enzymatic cleaners which are created specifically to break down pet pee. Don’t use any kind of cleanser with an ammonia as this odor can provoke more spraying since there’s ammonia in urine.
How can your vet help you decrease cat spraying?
If you are still fight stop a cat from peeing, share it with your vet. Some cats might be placed on medication for stress to help alleviate the spraying.