Cat Spraying - How to Stop Your Cat from Ruining Your Home

Published: 07th February 2008
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Do you have a cat that sprays outside the litter box? If yes, then you have smelled the horrible odor and experienced frustration when attempting to get your cat to stop spraying. To resolve the problem, you must first figure out what is motivating your cat to spray.



Territorial marking is the number one reason why cats spray. Felines are compelled to let others of their kind know that they are around. They may also spray when they are looking for a mate. If you have another cat in your home that fights with the culprit kitty, the spraying may be done to show aggression. Cats hanging around outside of your house can also cause your cat to spray. A move to a new home, the arrival of a new child, or other upsets to the cat's daily routines can cause the behavior. A cat that is under any kind of stress such as living in a noisy household can also resort 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.



The easiest fix to spraying is often just spaying or neutering your cat if he or she is still intact. Most altered cats will not spray, although some will. For the best chance of ensuring that your cat will not spray, the surgery should be performed before the kitty reaches six months of age.



One thing that you should not try is punishing your cat. Kitties do not understand the relationship between behaviors and punishment, and the stress may cause your cat to spray even more.



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.



Be sure to have your cat checked by a veterinarian. A bladder infection or other illnesses can cause spraying. Your vet may also suggest a trial of an anti-anxiety drug such as Prozac since anxiety or stress could be causing the behavior.



If you have cats that fight, try confining each cat to different areas of your home. Sometimes, the best way to solve this problem is to find a new home for the spraying cat. Neither the cats nor your family will be happy if there are chronic battles or spraying. The offending kitty may stop the behavior in a new home, especially if there are no cats living there.



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.



For more info on cat spraying, see Part II of this article at more solutions to stop cat spraying. Annie Clark shares her home with two formerly stray cats. Even more articles and cat items are available at Feline Info

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