If you have ever owned cats, then the problem of cat spraying is probably not new to you. Spraying in cats is so common that it is not possible to attribute it to cat behavior problems at all times. While normally domesticated felines do not really spray, they could do so under stress or when present in a multi cat situation and sometimes for no fathomable reason. This article describes the reasons for cat spraying and some of the things that we can do to deter this behavior.
Spraying is the act of depositing urine in small amounts on vertical surfaces such as walls, blinds, curtains etc, especially when at home. It is important to understand that cat spraying is not a litter box problem but akin to leaving a message for others. Cats spray to mark their territory, especially in the wild or to convey their readiness for mating. It is important to note that spraying is not restricted to male cats but is seen in all cats, neutered or un-neutered.
Reasons for Spraying
While the most common cause for cat spraying is territorial marking, it is not the only reason. Cat urinary tract infection could also cause cats to spray along with overcrowding and an increase in stress. Females usually spray when feeling excessively stressed. Therefore, the best way to tackle this problem is by finding the cause of spraying and working on a solution for it. Female cats in heat are also known to spray, as a means of leaving their scent. Cat personalities also influence spraying as this behavior is common in dominant or submissive cats, especially during times when they are feeling insecure.
Cleaning the areas where they have previously sprayed will help deter a re-occurrence in the future as they tend to spray when they smell their scent. However, this is not adequate. Pet owners should try to understand the psychological problems of their cat, which in turn should be tackled to overcome this behavior. Separating cats in multi cat households, and ensuring a clean and stress free atmosphere are some of the possible ways of tackling this problem.
If medical reasons are cause of cat spraying, then make sure that you have regular checkups with your vet to deal with the problem.
Nothing smells worse than cat spray. Together with cat pee outside the litter box, cat spraying is one of the leading causes of cats being given away, abandoned or put down. Marriages have come under enormous strain, when one spouse puts down their foot to stop the cat’s spraying problem or give up the cat. Tenants have been forced by landlords to either move out or get rid of the spraying cat.
This is very sad, because cat spraying problems can be solved or greatly reduced in many cases. First, though, we need to tell the difference between cat spray and cat urine. Spray is actually a bit of urine mixed with pheromones secreted by glands in your cat. The positions your cat takes for spraying is also different from peeing – they stand straight up and lift their bottoms high up in the air to spray instead of squatting to urinate.
Both male and female cats spray. Unneutered males are the most likely to have this problem, neutered female the least likely. Although spraying is considered a problem by people, it is a perfectly natural behavior for cats.
Do be aware that your cat may suddenly start spraying when he is sick. For example, inflammations of the bladder are known to cause cats to spray. If your cat is neutered and he suddenly develops this behavior, you should take him for a check-up at the vet before doing anything else.
On major reason for cats spraying is to attract mates. Female cats in heat spray to advertise that they are ready. Male cats spray to mark their territory – they are saying “Keep out! Females here are mine!”. This is one reason why you should always neuter your cats. Unneutered tomcats are very likely to spray. Once he develops this behavior, it is very difficult to stop even after you neuter him. Many vets are willing to neuter your male cat as long as he is at least 6 months old. Some prefer to wait until he is 9 months old while others are willing to do it even earlier. You should also spay female cats when they reach 6 months of age, before their first heat.
When you bring a new pet or new family member home, this can also cause your cat to spray. Whether you explain it as stress and insecurity or territoriality or dominance behavior, it does not really matter. The point is to make kitty feel safe and secure again. Once you successfully make him feel that he is still Numero Uno, he will stop spraying. While your vet can help you to investigate why your cat is spraying, you know kitty best. You are the best person to figure out why he is spraying. Asking your vet to play private investigator can take quite a long time – he will take a step-by-step methodical approach to the problem. Cases have been published in journals for veterinarians where it took years to resolve the problem. If you really love your cat, you are still the best person to make him stop spraying.
Once your cat has sprayed a particular location, he is likely to go back and spray it again. One way to stop this is to thoroughly clean the area he sprayed. Normal soap and water will not do the job. Just because you cannot smell anything does not mean your cat cannot smell anything. The best solution is to use a blacklight (UV lamp) in the dark to find the spots and clean it with an enzymatic cleaner like Nature’s Miracle.
Cat spray is a very smelly problem which has caused many cats to be abandoned by their owners. However, this is a problem which can be solved. If you love your cat, you have an obligation to him and to yourself to stop him from spraying.
If you have ever had an inside cat you know all about cat spray and how foul it can smell. And yes female cats do spray by the way. People that do not have cats will probably not know this little fact. But the people that have cats know all about it. So what is it made of you ask? Cat spray is made up of a mixture of pheromones and urine, and smell god aweful when coming from a cat (pheromones are the scents that all animals put off in order to find a mate and to mark there territory).
A female or male cat will spray to not only mark his territory but to also show signs of affection. Cats spray when they feel threatened or are nervous (yes cats can get nervous too) Cats will also spray when they are in heat or are pregnant.
So what is the best way to clean cat spray First DO NOT USE Ammonia. Cat Spray and Ammonia will only intensify the smell and make it worse. I recommend using Vinegar and Water. Vinegar neutralizes the Cat Spray on Contact. You can also use Oxi Clean, it seems to work really well on killing the smell.
Baking Soda seems to work well in Neutralizing the smell also. DO NOT Try to mask the scent with perfumes or Air Fresheners, you will only make it worse, and the only thing worse than cat spray is masking it.
Once you have used the above information, My next suggestion is to Get a Bottle of Febreze. Febreze works wonders on Cat Spray And Febreze is not just a cover up scent like regular Air Fresheners. Febreze actually Helps to Neutralize odors.