Many animals will “spray” their territory, and cats are no exception. First off, it is important to know the difference between your cat spraying and urinating as they mean different things. When a cat is urinating, it will usually squat and release a larger amount of urine (in comparison to spraying) on a horizontal surface such as your floor.
On the other hand, when a cat sprays they are usually standing upright as they release a small amount of urine on a vertical surface such as a banister or wall.
Before thinking about treating your cat, determine which of these actions your cat is performing. As stated above, if your cat is spraying, they are simply marking their territory. If they are urinating outside of their litter box, it could be an indication of a more serious medical condition; these include
- Kidney failure
- Urinary tract infections
Another reason your cat may be urinating outside of their designated area is that they dislike the type of litter you’ve provided. If you’re unsure, check with your veterinary professional before treating your car on your own.
Why does my cat spray all over the place?
Spraying is a form of communication between animals; cats, in particular, might spray if they feel territorial, threatened, or anxious. If, for example, a stray cat wanders into your yard and your cat sees it through the window, the stray might cause your cat to spray the windows and/or doors.
Another possible scenario is if you introduce a new cat into your home, your old one might spray areas that they deemed theirs. Similarly, cats might target the clothing or bed sheets of a previously unknown visitor that they are not yet comfortable with.
Changes in the environment (such as rearranging furniture or moving houses) can stress out your cat and can cause them to spray as well. One final thing to note is that hormones play a large role in whether or not a cat will spray. It is, therefore, usually males who are not neutered that spray.
How do I stop my cat from spraying?
The first thing you can do is neuter or spay your cat by the time they are six months old; this will lead to a decreased amount of sex hormones and thus lessen the probability of your cat becoming territorial.
If your cat is older and is still spraying, determine what is causing them to do so. If the problem is another house cat or other pet, you might need to take the steps to separate them temporarily, desensitize them, give them equal attention, or even train them to improve their behavior around each other.
- If you notice your cat spraying because of a stray cat outdoors, try blocking their view. If they are allowed outside, try keeping them indoors.
- Keep your home clean using enzymatic cleaners to eliminate odors around the house that can cause cats to spray. You can purchase a specific spray from your local pet store, or you can simply spray a mixture of water and alcohol, and then let it dry. It is important to be sure not to use liquids that have a harsh smell such as ammonia or bleach.
- After you’ve cleaned the area, you can spray it with a pheromone spray that might not only help your cat feel more secure in your home, but may also encourage them to mark with their cheeks instead of spraying.
You can increase the amount of litter boxes around your home or apartment. If you find your cat is urinating more than spraying, it may be a case of not having easy access to a litter box (especially if there are multiple cats in your home).
You can also encourage productivity while maintaining structure by giving regular play sessions using interactive cat toys. Not only does this keep your cat from getting bored, it also helps with become more comfortable with having humans around and interacting with them.
Similarly, you can also use positive reinforcement by doing things your cat enjoys such as petting or feeding in the areas that they spray so cut down on the negative association. Finally, try not to move your home around too much!
If you’ve determined that your cat is spraying and have tried all these methods with no success, contact your vet.