Why Do Cats Spray?

cat spray

Spraying is a fairly common behavior among cats, but it can be annoying to say the least.

There are numerous reasons why your cat might do this that you should know about.

The more you understand about this behavior, the easier it will be to handle it properly.

Reasons for Cats Spraying

First, you’ll want to learn about some of the possible reasons that your cat is spraying in the first place. There are some surprising reasons behind this behavior that you should really learn about.

1. Stress

Some cats begin to urinate in the house when they become very stressed. Anxiety can cause these animals to do all sorts of things, including spraying. This could be due to a new addition to your household, whether it is a human or animal.

It is not altogether uncommon for cats to begin spraying when their human owners bring home a new baby. This is basically their way of saying “this is mine”, and it is a territorial behavior. The addition of a new person or pet in your home could make your cat feel like it needs to do this.

2. Mating Instincts

A cat might also spray inside the home as an instinctual mating behavior. This is your cat’s way of attracting mates. The simplest solution to this issue is to get your kitty spayed or neutered. This is more common in male cats, but females have been known to do it as well.

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3. Health Problems

There is also a possibility that your cat has certain health problems that need to be addressed. Your cat could have a urinary tract infection, which is quite serious if it is not treated soon. Some of the most common symptoms of this condition include difficulty urinating, blood in urine, and licking their own genitals.

It’s also possible that your cat has a urinary blockage, which is a very serious issue. This can actually be fatal if it is not dealt with quickly. If it seems like your cat is straining to urinate, this could very well be the case. You might also notice blood in their urine.

cat spray car

4. There is a problem with their Litter Box

Your cat could be spraying inside the house because it is not happy with its litter box. This could be due to the type of litter you are using. Some cats that are very picky might have a problem urinating on certain types of litter.

It’s also possible that you aren’t doing a very good job of keeping the litter box clean. If it is filled with feces, your cat may refuse to use it. Make sure that there is a three inch layer of litter in the box. If there isn’t enough litter, your kitty might find other places in the house to do its business.

How to Tell if Your Cat is Spraying

There are some very specific signs of spraying behavior in cats. It is important to keep in mind that there’s a big difference between normal urination and spraying.

  • They are still using the litter box: Most cats that spray will still use their litter box on a daily basis, but they’ll also urinate in other places.
  • Only urination: You’ll also need to keep in mind that spraying only involves urination and not defecation.
  • They pee on horizontal surfaces: When a cat is spraying, it will typically choose to do so on horizontal surfaces, such as the floor or a countertop.
  • They stand away from the object: If you see your cat spraying, they will most likely be facing away from whatever they are aiming at.
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How to Stop Your Cat’s Spraying

You will have a number of options when it comes to putting an end to your cat’s spraying once and for all. While not all of these methods will work well with your cat, some of them will almost certainly be effective.

1. Clean the area thoroughly

If your cat has sprayed something in your home, you need to clean it thoroughly with an enzymatic cleaner. This will remove all traces of the urine, so your cat is not tempted to mark the same spot twice.

2. Using a Pheromone Diffuser

There are numerous products on the market that release certain pheromones that can keep your kitty calm. This is usually a very effective method of keeping your cat from spraying, but it doesn’t work with all cats.

cat spray outside

3. Give Your Cat a Supplement

You can buy certain cat supplements that are designed to keep felines calm. If your cat has problems with stress or anxiety, this is definitely worth considering. These supplements can also benefit your cat’s physical health.

4. Restrict your cat’s view of the outside

Some cats start spraying when they see other animals outside. This is an instinctual response of marking their territory. If you believe that this is the case with your cat, you should limit their ability to see outside.

5. Medication

It is possible that your cat needs to be put on a medication, especially if they have severe anxiety. There are numerous medications that can be very helpful for this purpose.

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  • Cats sometimes spray as a result of being very stressed or anxious, which is often the case when a new person or animal is introduced to the household.
  • Your cat might be spraying as a natural mating instinct, in which cause you’ll want to have them spayed or neutered.
  • If your cat’s litter box is not suitable to them for whatever reason, they might start spraying in other parts of the house.
  • Cats that spray tend to do so on horizontal surfaces with their back turned.
  • It is important that you thoroughly clean any areas that your cat sprays with an enzymatic cleaner.
  • It might be a good idea to also limit your cat’s view of the outside, as seeing other animals can trigger this type of reaction.
  • If your cat has a serious medical problem, they may require medication.