One of the most unpleasant behaviour problems to handle in cats is spraying. The good news is that using a dedicated guardian and veterinarian working with each other, spraying can be overcome. It simply requires some detective work and a modest behavioral modification.
What is cat spraying?
A cat will not squat to sprayas would occur with regular urination; instead, a cat that is spraying will be standing straight up. If you see your cat in the act, you can also observe an vertical tail with a few occasional twitching of either the tail or the entire body. You’ll also probably observe that the odor of the urine at the spray is far more pungent than urine deposited in the litterbox. The odor is a result of additional items in the urine that ease communication, such as pheromones. Spraying is different from litterbox aversion, and there are an assortment of reasons that your cat might be spraying.
One frequent reason for spraying is that something is wrong. For this reason, your first step must always be a visit to the veterinarian. In the Event That You and your vet have mastered a medical reason for spraying, then it’s time to investigate behavioral causes:
In feline social groups, urine marking is used as a form of communication. By spraying at a particular place, a cat can let other cats know she has been there. Marking in an area also lets other cats know to keep off and builds a cat’s land.
Anybody who has cats knows they can be quite sensitive to changes in the environment. If you’ve moved to some other location, done major renovations, then brought home a new relative, or lost one, you could discover your cat starting to spray. One recent study in Applied Animal Behaviour Science looked at just how chemical cues and odor can help a cat to feel more comfortable in her environment and reduce stress.
Cats can leave”messages” about possible breeding experiences by spraying. This is why so many cats who spray are unneutered males, although spraying can be found among fixed males and spayed and entire females too.
If you live in a home with more than 1 cat, spraying can happen if there’s conflict between cats. Even multiple cats who get too may indicate within the household, simply due to the presence of other cats.
We could even 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.
As mentioned before, your absolute first step is a visit to your veterinarian to rule out medical causes of the behaviour. Any actions you take to fix this behaviour won’t function if your cat is sick. If it’s behavioral, measure one is identifying the exact cause. These are the questions I’d ask myself:
1. Which cat is indicating? In case you have several cats, first, figure out which cat is doing the marking. One technique is to confine the cats and let out one to roam at one time. If that does not work, you can contact your veterinarian to find out if it is possible to get a prescription for fluorescein. This non-toxic dye could be placed in your cat’s food and will appear blue under a UV flashlight. The dye could be removed from your walls too.
2. If not, doing this can help, particularly if other cats are all around.
3. Is my cat being taunted from the neighbors? If neighborhood cats are the problem, keep window shades closed, as well as doors. You can block displays, and access to any perches or places to relax and look out the windows. You don’t need to do this for each and every window, but concentrate on the ones where your cat is seeing other cats.
4. How do I give my own cats more space? Should you have multiple indoor cats, raise the quantity of litter box choices. A rule of thumb to follow is 1 box per cat plus one.
Put multiple food and water bowls around the home, along with toys. The more there is of that which, the more likely it is that conflict will fall.
Cleaning can reduce cat spraying
Regardless of the issue causing the marking, you need to make sure that you clean any feline spraying in your home properly. It’s not enough to simply use soap and water to remove the odor. It might not smell for youpersonally, but if not cleaned properly, your cat can definitely sense it. Use special enzymatic cleaners which are made specifically to break down pet urine. Do not use any kind of cleaner using an ammonia base, as this odor can provoke more spraying since there’s ammonia in urine.
How do your veterinarian help you reduce cat spraying?
If you continue to fight stop cat spraying, share it with your veterinarian. Some cats might be set on medication for anxiety to help alleviate the spraying.