One of the most unpleasant behaviour issues to handle in cats is spraying. According to the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, spraying is sadly a very common reason for cats being turned into shelters. The fantastic news is that with a dedicated guardian and vet working with each other, spraying can be overcome. It just takes some detective work and a modest behavioral modification.
What’s cat spraying?
Spraying, also known as urine marking, is when a cat deposit pee onto a wall, door or other upright (vertical) object. A cat will not squat to sprayas would occur with regular urination; rather, a cat that is spraying will probably be standing right up. Should you see your cat in the act, you can also notice an vertical tail with some occasional twitching of either the tail or the entire body. You will also likely notice that the odor of the urine at the spray is far more pungent than urine deposited in the litterbox. The smell is a result of additional items in the urine that ease communication, such as pheromones.
1 common reason for spraying is that something isn’t right. For this reason, your first step should always be a trip to the vet. In the Event That You and your vet have mastered a medical reason for spraying, then it’s time to research behavioral causes:
Within feline social groups, urine marking is employed as a form of communication. By spraying at a particular area, a cat can let other cats know she has been there. Marking in a place also lets other cats know to stay away and establishes a cat’s territory.
Anybody who has cats understands they can be quite sensitive to fluctuations in the surroundings. If you have moved to a new location, done significant renovations, then brought home a new family member, or lost one, you could discover your cat starting to spray. 1 recent study in Applied Animal Behaviour Science looked at just how compound cues and odor can assist a cat to feel more comfortable in her surroundings and reduce stress.
Cats can leave”messages” about potential breeding experiences by spraying. This is why so many cats that spray are unneutered males, though spraying can be found among fixed males and spayed and entire females too.
If you reside in a house with more than 1 cat, spraying can occur if there is conflict between cats. Even multiple cats that get along well may indicate within the household, simply because of the presence of other cats.
We could also see urine marking in houses with only 1 cat, where you will find cats roaming freely outside and the house cat knows of the presence of the other cats.
How to stop cat spraying
As stated before, your first step is a trip to your vet to rule out medical reasons for the behaviour. Any steps you take to correct this behaviour will not function if your cat is ill. If it’s behavioral, then step one is identifying the exact origin. These are the questions I would ask myself:
1. Which cat is marking? 1 method is to confine the cats and let out one to roam at one time. If this doesn’t work, you can get in touch with your vet to find out if it is possible to find a prescription for fluorescein. This non-toxic dye could be put in your cat’s food and will look blue under a UV flashlight. The dye could be washed off your wall too.
2. If not, doing so can help, especially if additional cats are all around.
3. Is my cat being taunted from the neighbors? If local cats are the problem, maintain window shades closed, as well as doors. You can block screens, and access to some perches or places to relax and look out the windows. You don’t have to do this for every window, but concentrate on those where your cat is seeing other cats.
4. How can I offer my own cats more space? If you do have multiple indoor cats, raise the amount of litter box choices. A rule of thumb to follow is 1 box per cat plus one.
Give cats more places to sit up high (cat trees, shelves, and window perches). Place multiple water and food bowls around the house, along with toys. The more there is of that which, the more probable it is that battle will decrease.
Cleaning can reduce cat spraying
Regardless of the issue causing the marking, you need to be sure that you clean any feline spraying in your house properly. It’s not sufficient to just use soap and water to eliminate the smell. It may not smell to youpersonally, but if not cleaned correctly, your cat can definitely sense it. Use special enzymatic cleaners which are created specifically to break down pet urine. Do not use any kind of cleanser with an ammonia base, as this odor can stimulate more spraying since there is ammonia in urine.
How can your vet help you reduce cat spraying?
If you continue to struggle stop cat spraying, discuss it with your vet. Some cats may be set on medication for stress to help alleviate the spraying.