Cat spraying … why cats do it and how to stop it

Cat spraying is a behavior programmed by Mother Nature. Urine marking is one method cats use to advertise their availability for mating. In most instances, having your cat neutered or spayed usually helps stop the spraying problem.
Felines are territorial animals. Although your cat is well fed and cared for, it will still feel the need to guard its home base.
Marking its territory, including you and members of your household, requires that people or objects must be coated in your cat’s own unique and comforting scent. In other words, you must smell like your cat.
While many cats find rubbing the scent glands that are located on their face and paws, to be efficient for scent marking, others may take more drastic measures … especially during mating season.
In some cases, a neutered male or spayed female will still spray.
Is your cat stressed? Is there a bully cat picking on your cat (which is why my neutered male started spraying). New people, pets, routines or moving to a new home may be really upsetting your cat.
A new home may have new smells – including those of previous pets. These odors may trigger an outburst of urine marking in your confused cat who thinks it must defend its territory against an unseen intruder. A neighborhood cat spraying outdoors may also upset your kitty.
What is the difference between cat spraying and actual urinating?
The amount of urine (pee) is usually a big indicator. The location of the urine mark is another. If you don’t actually catch your cat in the act, you may have to rely on these visual clues:
… if you find a large amount or a puddle of urine, on the floor, or soaking into a carpet, your cat has likely urinated.
This could simply be a lapse in litter box training. On the other hand, this could indicate that your cat has a health problem, perhaps very serious. It might be wise to give your vet a call.
… If the urine is on vertical surfaces, and appears in the same places over and over, then it is likely scent marking. Cats do not spray to empty their bladders, so the urine will appear in tiny amounts.a cheetah is urine marking a tree.
When your cat is spraying, he or she will usually back up to the spot, their tail twitching, back paws marching, and a spray of urine is ejected. Some cats may also squat or semi-squat. Both male and female cats spray.
This cheetah is spraying or urine marking a tree.
How to stop a cat from spraying
First, restrict your cat’s access to the urine marked area or else he or she may go back for another round.
Treating all the urine marked areas involves cleaning with a mild cleanser and rinsing it well.
Although, the cleaned area might smell odor free to you, cats with their super noses, will still detect it. That is why it is necessary to completely soak the area with an enzymatic cleaner which will consume and eliminate the odor causing bacteria.
Cats don’t like heavy perfumes or citrus scents. After the enzymatic cleaner has dried, spray a scented deodorizer at the site. Essential oils such as lemon, orange or other plant scents mixed with distilled water should work well.
Finally, block your cat’s access to the area completely. This can be accomplished by using double-sided sticky tape or moving a large piece of furniture over or in front of the area.
You may also find that tin foil placed over the area or taped over the affected walls may work too. Your cat will not like the sound of the urine hitting the foil. If it’s a large area, try a space blanket.
It’s helpful if you can identify what is creating anxiety in your pet. Herbal therapies such as Bach Flower Rescue Remedy for pets may soothe and calm your anxious cat.
Some of these methods are also effective when dealing with inappropriate elimination areas.
This behavior is not bad according to cats. They are simply defending their own … you, their family, home, and food source.

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