The occasional bathroom accident is normal with cats, but constant spraying is not acceptable behavior.
If your cat keeps doing this, you will need to take action right away. The sooner you start doing something about this, the easier this whole process is going to be.
Why is my Cat Spraying in the House?
There are a few possible reasons that your cat keeps spraying in the house, and it is important to know what they are.
- They got scared: A cat might spray their urine in the house outside of the litter box if something scares or startles them. This could be due to a new dog (especially a big one) in the house, or even a loud noise.
- Marking their territory: Spraying is often a cat’s way of marking its territory. This is a natural instinct that can come out if a strange person comes to visit. It could be your pet’s way of reminding the person that this is their domain.
- Health problems: It’s also possible that your cat is doing this because of some health problem. If they have arthritis, it might be difficult for them to gain access to their litter box. Some cats also develop incontinence as they get older.
- Dirty litter box: Cats will often go to the bathroom outside of their litter box if it is too dirty. This is why it is important for you to keep it clean.
- They don’t like the litter: If your cat finds their litter too abrasive, they may refuse to even use the litter box.
Is it a Medical or Behavioral Issue?
Before you go about trying to put a stop to your cat’s spraying, you’ll need to determine whether it is a medical or behavioral problem.
If the issue is behavioral, you will notice certain patterns. Your cat will most likely spray the same areas on a consistent basis. You’ll also notice it lift its tail and spray multiple times at once.
If your cat’s spraying seems more random without any rhyme or reason, it could be due to a medical issue. You’ll want to take your cat to the veterinarian just to make sure this isn’t the case. As stated above, there are numerous health problems that cause this behavior in cats.
Effective Ways to Stop Your Cat’s Spraying
There are some simple but effective steps that you can take to keep your cats from spraying in your house.
1. Spay or Neuter Your Cat
The first thing that you will want to try is to spay or neuter your cat if you have no already done so. This will drastically reduce the chances of this behavior becoming a problem. It is not a guaranteed solution, but it is worth trying. There are other benefits to doing this, such as reducing the urge to roam and the likelihood of certain health conditions.
2. Play with Your Cat More
If your cat is spraying inside the house to get attention, you will need to make a point of playing with it more. You should have plenty of fun toys for you and your cat to play with together. This could stop your cat from doing this entirely.
You should also have a scratching post or other furniture for your cat to climb on and have fun with. The last thing you want is for your pet to become bored, as it can lead to all sorts of undesirable behaviors.
3. Manage Your Cat’s Anxiety Levels
The fact is that some cats have a serious problem with anxiety, which can sometimes lead to spraying in the house. There are all sorts of ways that you can deal with this issue. While prescription medications can help, they should be viewed as a last resort.
Putting some catnip in front of your feline friend is just one effective and natural way to keep their anxiety to a minimum. Your veterinarian might be able to recommend some other herbs and natural treatments for anxiety. You should only turn to traditional medications if all other methods have failed.
You can also try purchasing a product that disperses synthetic pheromones that will keep your cat relaxed. There are also sprays and even collars that can be very effective for this purpose.
4. Minimize the Territorial Reaction
A lot of cats will instantly spray as an instinctual response to strange cats nearby. You should make a point of keeping stray cats away from your pet as much as possible.
If you have other cats in the house, you should try to encourage them to get along. This means giving each cat equal attention. It should reduce the chances of your cat spraying to mark its territory.
5. Don’t Punish Your Cat
It is important that you do not attempt to punish your cat for spraying in the house. Instead you will need to address the root cause of the problem. Yelling at or hitting your cat is never a good idea, and it could actually be counterproductive.
- Spraying is a natural instinct for cats, but there are many possible reasons for this behavior.
- Your cat could be spraying because they are frightened or stressed.
- Some cats spray in the house as a response to a new pet or a human visitor they have never seen before.
- You will need to find out if this behavior is ultimately a medical or behavioral issue.
- If your cat seems to be spraying the same things on a consistent basis, it is most likely a behavioral problem.
- Random spraying without any pattern is probably the sign of a serious health problem.
- If you suspect your cat is spraying because of a medical condition, you should take it to your vet right away.
- Your cat might be spraying because it wants attention. In this case, you should simply try playing with it more each day.
- Get your cat spayed or neutered, as this might be the cause of their spraying.
- Try using a spray or diffuser that emits synthetic pheromones to clam your cat.