Is your cat spraying in your home? If the answer is yes, then you are familiar with the terrible odor and the frustrations of trying to get the cat to stop spraying. Before you can solve the problem, you need to find out why your cat is spraying. The main reason that cats spray is to mark territory. Felines want to let others of their kind know that they are in the neighborhood. The desire to mate drives other cats to spray.
Other cats in your home that pick fights can cause your kitty to spray from stress or aggression. If your feline sees other kitties out the window, he or she may spray. A new baby, a new house, or other disruptions to the cat's normal daily activities can cause the behavior.
A loud living environment or other stressful situations can lead to spraying. Generally, male cats are sprayers. Females may also spray when they are stressed or in heat. The spray smell is different from regular urine because spray contains chemicals from the anal glands along with urine. If your cat has not been neutered or spayed, doing so is likely to solve the problem. But, some altered cats will still spray.
For the best results, the surgery should be performed before the age of six months. You may consider punishing your cat for spraying. Felines do not realize the connection between a punishment and the precipitating behavior. Actually, punishment may lead to even more spraying since the cat could become more stressed. Do not punish your cat! Make sure that litter boxes are cleaned regularly and scooped on a daily basis. Cats may spray if they are frustrated with litter box cleanliness.
Keep routines consistent including feeding time, fun time with the you, bedtime, and litter box cleaning. Clean any accidents with enzyme cleaners so that the odor is removed. Otherwise, your kitty may smell the odor and think that spraying the offending area is acceptable. A veterinarian examination is important. Bladder infections and other health problems can cause cats to spray.
And, if the cat's issue is anxiety, the vet can prescribe anti-anxiety drugs such as Prozac. For fighting cats, put them in separate parts of your home if possible. Unfortunately, sometimes the best choice is to give the spraying cat to a new owner. Neither cat will be happy if they are constantly picking fights.
Especially if no other cats live in the new home, the cat may stop the behavior. As cats can be territorial, another tactic could be to confine your cat to a small portion of your home. Since the feline won't have as large of a territory to defend, the spraying may stop. And, you will be reducing the number of accidents that you will have to clean. Cat behaviorists will work you and your cat to solve behavior problems. They may be able to retrain your cat to behave appropriately after analyzing what factors are leading your feline to spray.
Read Part II of this article for more solutions to stop cat spraying. Annie Clark is the owner of two former stray cats. More articles and cat products are available at Feline Info