Worry no more, because in this article you will learn why cats spray urine and how to stop this natural, but unwanted, behavior.
A commercial product containing synthetic cheek gland scent has proven to be an effective way of reducing urine marking in some cats. When sprayed on areas where cats have sprayed urine, or on those areas where it can be anticipated that the cat is likely to spray, the cheek gland scent may decrease the likelihood of additional cat spraying in those areas. In fact, the scent of the pheromone may stimulate cheek gland marking (bunting) rather than urine spraying. These products are also available as room diffusers that can cover about 700 square feet for cats marking multiple sites. In addition, it has also been used to calm cats in new environments, including veterinary hospitals, new homes, and for helping to familiarize a cat with a new cage or cat carrier.
Where practical, a good compromise for some cats is to allow them one or two areas for marking. This can be done by placing a shower curtain on the vertical surface, tiling the area, or by taking two plastic litter boxes and placing one on the floor and one on the wall (one inside the other) to make an L-shape (with the upright surface to catch the marked urine). Another option is to place booby traps in the sprayed areas, but the cat may just move to another area of the home to spray.
Over the years, many pharmacological remedies have been tried for controlling spraying behaviors. Choices have focused on the theory that one of the underlying causes for spraying and marking behaviors is anxiety and territorial competition. For that reason, anti-anxiety drugs for cats have been used with varying degrees of success. More recently, antidepressants for cats have proven to be effective for controlling marking in some cats.
Neighborhood cats are one of the reasons cats spray. by Shutterstock
Conflicts between cats can cause spraying. by Shutterstock
Cat spraying and urine marking are social, sexual and territorial behaviors. It's also how cats express extreme emotions such as frustration. Your cat is trying to tell you sometime. The primary cause of the spraying is your cat's insecurity in his territory.Spraying typically occurs on vertical surfaces (although some cats mark horizontally) and in socially significant areas such on windows, curtains or doorframes at the periphery of the home. It is also common for cats to mark on new objects (e.g. visitor’s purse) that enter the home.Has your schedule and therefore his routine changed drastically? Are you "seeing another cat" outside your home and bringing back its scent on your clothing? Moving into a new home or changes in the environment can cause a cat to spray. Previous occupants of your new home may have had a cat and your cat may be reacting to the smells that cat left behind.
All these things can cause a cat to spray or urine mark. Many people don't realize it, but both male and female cats can urine mark. Again, and I cannot emphasize this enough, the primary cause of spraying is your cat's insecurity in his territory. Help your cat increase his confidence and feeling of security. Give him tons of praise, affection and attention for simply breathing. Constantly reassure him that he is the most wonderful cat in the world. Play with him, massage him, talk to him, do everything to rebuild his self esteem.
When cats spray windows, doorways, fireplaces or any area where outside smells can enter your home, it's a sure sign that something out there is provoking it. It can be a tomcat, a female cat in season, maybe even a dog. Close off the windows so your cat can't see out. Maybe even just the sight of a perceived rival or threat is causing him to spray. In addition, place a few drops of your favorite perfume or aftershave by the window to mask out any scent that may be entering through the window. At the same time, your cat needs his confidence and security reinforced. Pay extra special attention to him and under no circumstance reprimand him for spraying behavior. You will only add stress to stress and worsen the problem. What your cat needs is reassurance and a sense of security from you, not your scorn.1. Neutering and spraying are extremely effective (90% for males and 95% for females) at reducing spraying in cats because of the strong hormonal influence. Spraying is most common in intact males. However, ten percent of neutered male cats and 5% of sprayed female cats will continue to spray. If your neutered male cat is spraying, visit your veterinarian and have him examined to ensure that he is in fact neutered!