Ways to Tell if a Cat is Spraying in the House

Cute gray kitten spraying in the houseUrine marking is a relatively common behaviour, but many pet owners don’t know how to deal with it. From identifying the signs of spraying to figuring out why the cat is doing it, every step of the process happens to be incredibly important.

The signs of spraying are difficult to miss. Still, if you’re dealing with such an issue for the first time, you will find the upcoming guide quite beneficial.

Signs of Spraying (Rather than Urination)

Is the cat just urinating in wrong places or is it marking with urine? There are a few major differences between the two.

Spraying involves vertical surfaces. In the case of inappropriate urination, the cat will use a horizontal surface like the floor. A cat can spray on the wall, the back of a chair or even on speakers and other types of freestanding audio equipment.

The smell of urine that has been sprayed in a lot more pungent than the odour of pee. The liquid is a mix of urine, gland secretions and pheromones. The other two components are the ones that contribute to the highly unusual and nasty odour.

Sprayed liquid is typically a lot less than a puddle of urine. The reason is simple. Spraying doesn’t serve the same physiological purpose as urination does. This is the main reason a much smaller quantity of the liquid is going to be needed.

How to Check

It can be tough to catch the cat in the act. Most owners will never see their cat spraying, but they’ll know that something is wrong. If you smell the evil and pungent odour, you’ll need to perform a necessary check.

To figure out what’s going on, you’ll need a black light. Turn all of the lights off and use the black light in the corners of each room, behind furniture and behind audio-visual equipment.

Urine will glow in the dark. If you see the spots on the walls and other vertical surfaces, the chances are that your cat is spraying.

Risk Factors

You may be extra-careful in some instances. The conditions in your home and the type of pet cat you have could potentially increase the risk of experiencing spraying.

Spraying is the most common behaviour among male, un-neutered cats. Female cats can also spray – it’s not an exclusively male behaviour.

Still, male cats are much more territorial, and this is the main reason they’re more prone to such behaviour. Also, male cats can spray to signal their fertility.

A change in the household can also lead to spraying. This is a behaviour that expresses fear or anxiety. Cats have their habits, and they don’t like change. A person moving in or moving out of the home will contribute to problematic behaviour.

Getting a new pet or the death of a pet can also increase the anxiety level of a feline. Even a household renovation can make a cat afraid and willing to mark its territory.

The final risk factor has more than one cat in the house. In fact, the risk of spraying increases exponentially in such situations. Having more cats sharing the same space will easily contribute to territorial struggles.

If the cats fight a lot and are aggressive towards each other, the risk of spraying becomes high.

Finding the Solution

If you’re sure that you have a problem with spraying, it will be imperative to do something about it.

One of the most important steps towards in resolving the issue is getting medical assistance to firstly check if there is an underlying health condition. A vet will rule out an excretory problem like incontinence or a bladder infection. When a medical problem has been ruled out, you can start looking for a solution to stop your cat spraying.

Cat spraying can be handled through neutering, providing the cat with a clean litter box, cleaning the stains thoroughly and even looking for behavioural therapy.

September 2017
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