Why Do Cats Spray in the House?

naughty cat spraying in the houseCat spraying is a serious problem, and it’s easy to recognise – every owner is familiar with the incredibly bad odour! So many owners have found themselves incapable of dealing with the issue of their cats spraying, which can lead to some serious problems.

Before looking getting to the solution, it’s important to understand the behavior of you feline. There’s a pretty good reason a cat is going to spray inside the house.

Reasons Why Cats Spray

According to most people, a cat spraying inside the house is all about territorial marking. Though this is a part of the explanation, it’s not the only reason.

For a start, let’s point out there is a significant difference between spraying and urinating in inappropriate spots. Spraying is a deliberate behavior that serves a purpose (at least from the cat’s point of view!). A cat will typically spray against a vertical surface, and the posture of the cat is different from the one that it gets into during urination.

A cat that is urinating will squat. A cat that is spraying will turn their back to the object that’s being sprayed, and the tail will twitch. Very often, a spraying cat will also start treading with its front paws.

Spraying is a form of communication to other cats. It sends signals and though human owners can’t understand the message, spraying inside the house is a normal process from the cats point of view.

Both male and female cats will spray out pheromones. These pheromones reveal a lot of information about the cat. Thus, spraying is needed to define the cat’s territory, give the cat a self-soothing scent, to bond with certain items, to serve as a type of protection against threats and to help the cat cope with changes inside the home.

Cats will also spray whenever they’re experiencing anxiety or even fear. If two cats live in the same house, spraying can be used to warn the other feline to stay away.

Is Spraying in the House a Common Problem?

Spraying, whether a male or a female cat is involved, happens to be a relatively common problem. If you do a bit of online research, you’ll come across numerous forums where cat owners share information about their problems with the nasty odor.

According to statistics, about 10 percent of male and five percent of female cats will spray inside the house. Having a larger number of cats in the house can increase the risk of experiencing spraying.

It is important to point out that households having seven or more cats suffer from an 85 percent risk of dealing with spraying problems. These figures are related to the neutered cat population.


A thorough consultation with a vet is the first thing to do if spraying is suspected. A vet will perform a thorough medical exam, ruling out other causes of the issue. Sometimes, urination in unusual spots can be caused by bladder infections, feline urinary tract disease, incontinence and increased urine production.

A cat that’s perfectly healthy can undergo behavioral therapy. Identifying the reason a cat feels threatened or anxious and eliminating the risk factors will typically be sufficient to stop a cat from spraying.

Some cat owners are convinced that urine spraying is a malicious behavior, but they couldn’t be further from the truth. Spraying is a manageable issue. It may require patience and special care, but a loved pet can be trained to stop spraying through appropriate behavioural therapy.

November 2017