While cat spraying may seem the same as urinating outside of the litter box to those of us cleaning the mess, it is actually very different. Cat spraying is done on vertical surfaces like curtains furniture or even walls, unlike inappropriate urinating which is done on horizontal surfaces like floors.
Spraying is a natural behavior for cats; it’s the way they mark their territory. It’s largely thought of as a male cat behavior because it’s most common in non-neutered males, but females are also guilty of doing this. It often happens more frequently in households with more than one cat or when a new pet is brought into the home. Fortunately there are some things you can do to try to prevent this unwanted cat behavior.
Neutering Your Cat
One of the best ways to prevent this often male cat behavior is by neutering your cat by the time he is 6 months old. Cat’s rarely start spraying if they are neutered before the behavior begins. If your cat is already past 6 months old neutering can still help reduce or eliminate cat spraying, plus it has a great deal of other benefits.
Stick To Routines
Changes can cause cat spraying to start, so stick to regular feeding and litter routines and keep the litter boxes clean. It’s also best to keep their beds, litter boxes and food in the same place. They may not appreciate a rearranging of the house like we do.
Changes in your daily routine, like a new work schedule, can also cause cat stress, which in turn can cause cat spraying. Be sure to give your cat plenty of attention during these times. You may also want to try some things like herbal or homeopathic remedies, pheromones, or flower essences to help with anxiety. You can find these types of natural remedies at natural pet stores like Only Natural Pet.
Maintain Good Relationships Within The Household
It’s important to foster good relationships between other cats in the house. Cats that get along are far less competitive, so they aren’t as territorial, meaning they’re not likely to spray in the house. Play with them together giving each one the same amount of attention. If one cat is continually getting more attention it could cause the other cat to act out.
If you bring a new pet into the home keep them separate initially then gradually introduce them into the same living space. Once again be sure to give them plenty of equal attention. Also, make sure there are enough litter boxes in the house — there should be at least one for each cat.
Pay Attention to Their View
It’s not uncommon for cat spraying to occur because a cat sees another cat outside and feels the need to mark his territory. Unfortunately his territory may mean your couch. To avoid this often male cat behavior you may want to cover the lower portion of certain windows.
Clean Sprayed Areas Well
If you know how to clean cat urine it’s the same process with cat spray since they’re actually spraying urine. Clean any sprayed areas with an enzyme cleaner so the odor causing bacteria is removed; just covering up the scent won’t help stop your cat from spraying there again. Never use an ammonia based cleaner. You may want to consider a pet repellent to keep the cat away from that area to help decrease further cat behavior problems.
As with urinating outside of the litter box, don’t punish your cat for spraying. Remember cat spraying is a natural cat behavior and punishing your cat for this may cause more cat stress and in turn more problems. Instead figure out why your cat is spraying. Once you figure out the reason for the behavior you can work to help alleviate this unwanted cat behavior._____________________________________