Cat urine is one of the most distinctive smells around, and no one wants their home to smell like it. This can be a real problem if you have a cat that struggles with spraying. This behavior can be one of the most frustrating issues that you can run into with a male cat, and it can lead to a lot of heartache on the part of owners and pets alike.
Understanding why spraying happens can help to prevent it. There are some strategies that often deliver really good results for cat owners who are struggling with a cat that is spraying their home. If you are ready to learn some more about how to stop a cat from spraying, you need to keep reading!
Why Do Cats Spray?
Cats can spray for many reasons. This is often a male cat behavior, but all cats can do it. If you are not sure what to do about your cat that is spraying, you will need to first understand why your cat is exhibiting this behavior.
Most cats spray to mark their territory. This is most common in male cats, but female cats can also spray to mark their stomping grounds. Another key reason for spraying behaviors is due to stress. Changes in location along with additions of new pets to the home can lead to anxiety that causes spraying behavior.
Cats might also spray because they have a urinary tract infection or as mating behavior. Pets that are not neutered or spayed are much more likely to show this behavior since it is connected tightly with attracting mates. Some cats can also display this behavior if they are not happy with the condition of their litter box, the litter in it, or its location.
How to Stop a Cat From Spraying
There are a few good solutions that you can use that often take care of spraying behavior in either sex of the cat. You will need to be careful to look hard at the situations that your cat is being exposed to if you think that something about the environment in your home might be the reason for the spraying behavior. Sometimes environmental concerns are more difficult to resolve than others, but these things must be attended to if you want your cat to stop spraying.
1. Fix Your Cat
Spaying or neutering can be the most effective way to stop spraying behavior. You likely are not intending to breed your cat either, so this can be a good choice for your sanity as well during the times of the year when your cat is upset by wanting to mate. Having a quiet and happy cat that does not spray is a big benefit to selecting to fix your cat. On top of these benefits, you will not have to worry about your cat coming home pregnant if they get out of the house. Male cats can be very hard to have in the house when they are not fixed for just this reason, so if you are planning to take in a new cat and it is not fixed, getting this taken care of is a very good idea.
2. Stress Relief
Sometimes a trip to the veterinarian is the right answer for your cat’s spraying behavior. They might just need some medication to help them to get through a change of location or the addition of a new pet. You might also try making sure that your cat has a safe space to eat away from the other pets in your home and be sure that you are giving your cat enough love and attention throughout the day.
3. Move the Litter Box or Change Litter
Sometimes your cat might be spraying because they do not like their litter box location, or they do not like the smell of the litter that you have purchased. Cat noses are very sensitive, and the perfumed cat litter that is most commonly sold today might be a big turn-off for your cat. Make sure that you try a new litter that is not scented, and make sure that the box is kept clean. You can also try relocating the box to a new place that is quieter so that your cat does not feel scared to go into the box to do their business.
4. Clean the Spot That Was Marked
Being sure that you clean the spot that was marked thoroughly is important. If your cat can smell urine where they sprayed, they will likely return to the spot over and over to do their business. You can clean this spot thoroughly with an odor-removing cleaner and then treat it with a product that discourages cats from lingering in the area. You can also change the way that your cat feels about this spot by placing their food over the sprayed location. Cats will not want to eat and make messes in the same place, so this can train them to consider this spot a feeding location rather than a spraying location.
Cat Spraying Can be Frustrating, But it Can be Stopped
In most cases, spraying behavior can be stopped. You will need to be sure that you consider fixing your pet and that you have examined the way they are acting about their litterbox before you start looking into other solutions. New pets in the home, changes in location, or other upsetting stimuli can also lead to spraying behaviors. Identifying the reason for the spraying can help greatly with the fix to prevent it.
Make sure that you are prepared to try various solutions to get at the root cause of your cat’s spraying behavior, and you will almost always have success at solving the issue. Sometimes this will mean making some big changes to your home or the way that you have been handling your pet, but these changes will be worth it when the spraying behavior is under control.
Welcome to Kryder & Harr Veterinary Clinic! Our animal hospital has been a fixture in the Granger community since 1981, practicing full-service veterinary medicine for all our pet parents and their furry family members. At KHVC, we pride ourselves on our history, of providing excellent customer service for our clients, along with dedicated, compassionate, and exceptional medical care for all of our patients.