One of the most unpleasant behavior problems to handle in cats is spraying. According to the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, spraying is sadly a very common reason for cats being turned into shelters. The fantastic thing is that with a dedicated guardian and veterinarian working together, spraying may be overcome. It just takes some detective work and a modest behavioral modification.
What’s cat spraying?
Spraying, also called urine marking, is when a cat deposit pee onto a wall, door or other vertical (vertical) object. A cat won’t squat to spray, as would happen with normal urination; instead, a cat that is spraying will be standing straight up. If you see your cat in the action, you can also notice an vertical tail with some occasional twitching of the tail or the whole body. You will also probably notice that the odor of the urine in the spray is much more pungent than urine deposited in the litterbox. The smell is due to additional items in the urine that ease communication, like pheromones.
One frequent reason for spraying is that something isn’t right. Because of this, your first step must always be a visit to the veterinarian. If you and your vet have mastered a medical reason for spraying, then it is time to investigate behavioral causes:
In feline social groups, urine marking is employed as a kind of communication. By spraying in a specific area, a cat may allow other cats know she’s been there. Marking in a place also lets other cats know to keep off and establishes a cat’s territory.
Anyone who has cats understands they can be very sensitive to changes in the surroundings. If you’ve moved to a new location, done major renovations, then brought home a new relative, or lost you might discover that your cat beginning to spray. One recent review in Applied Animal Behaviour Science looked at how compound cues and odor can help a cat to feel comfortable in her surroundings and reduce stress.
Cats may leave”messages” about possible mating encounters by spraying. That is why so many cats who spray are unneutered males, although spraying may be located among fixed males and spayed and whole guys too.
If you reside in a home with more than 1 cat, spraying may occur if there’s conflict between the cats. Even multiple cats who get along well may mark inside the household, simply due to the presence of other cats.
We could even see urine marking in houses with only 1 cat, where you will find cats roaming freely outside and the house cat is aware of the presence of the other cats.
As mentioned earlier, your first step is a trip to your veterinarian to rule out medical reasons for the behavior. Any steps you take to correct this behavior won’t function if your cat is ill. If it is behavioral, then step one is identifying the origin. These are the questions I would ask myself:
1. Which cat is indicating? One technique is to confine the cats and allow out one to roam at a time. If that doesn’t work, you can contact your veterinarian to find out if it is possible to get a prescription for fluorescein. The dye could be removed from your walls too.
2. If not, doing this can help, particularly if additional cats are all around.
3. If local cats would be the problem, keep window shades closed, in addition to doors. You are able to block screens, and accessibility to any perches or areas to relax and look out the windows. You don’t need to do this to every window, but concentrate on those where your cat is seeing other cats.
4. How do I give my own cats space? Should you have multiple indoor cats, increase the amount of litter box choices. A guideline to follow is 1 box per cat plus one.
Give cats more areas to sit up high (cat trees, shelves, and window perches). Place multiple food and water bowls around the home, along with toys. The more there is of everything, the more probable it is that conflict will fall.
Cleaning may reduce cat spraying
Regardless of the problem causing the marking, you want to make certain that you wash any feline spraying in your home properly. It’s not sufficient to just use water and soap to eliminate the smell. It may not smell to you, but if not cleaned correctly, your cat may definitely feel. Use special enzymatic cleaners which are made especially to break down pet urine. Don’t use any type of cleaner with an ammonia base, as this odor can stimulate more spraying because there’s ammonia in urine.
How do your veterinarian help you reduce cat spraying?
If you continue to fight cat spraying no more, discuss it with your veterinarian. Some cats may be placed on medication for stress to help alleviate the spraying.