Cats are naturally wired to spray, this is their way of marking their territory. But this can be frustrating for humans, fortunately, there are ways that you can prevent your cat from spraying in and around the home.
How Do You Stop A Female Cat From Spraying? Introduction
In the wild, cats are hard-wired to use scent as a way of letting other animals know ‘Hey! This is my land.’ Just because humans have decided to domesticate these wonderful creatures, this does not mean to say that their natural behaviors will be automatically erased – it’s going to take many millions of more years of evolution to do that, and maybe even then they won’t stop.
However, having the scent of cat pee in your home is far from welcoming for your guests and highly unpleasant for you to live in. But there surely must be a way for your puss and her pet parents to live happily together without spraying being an issue.
In this article, we are going to explore some of the ways that you can encourage your female cat from spraying within the home. Even if she continues marking outdoors, this won’t post a problem for your lovely home.
Why Is Scent So Important To Cats?
Unlike us, cats are unable to communicate using language, although they are able to vocalize in many ways and do so to talk to other cats and humans. However, one of the more primal and often effective ways that cats communicate with one another is through scent – and this isn’t always using urine. You may notice your cat rubbing her cheek or paws along an item she wishes to mark, and whilst this will leave her unique pheromones on the area, it won’t cause quite as much of a pungent stink.
Male cats use spraying as a way of attracting a mate and the behavior is more commonly associated with boy kitties, however, female cats are known to mark their territory this way. The reason for this is simple – she wants to let everyone know that this is her space!
Types Of Spraying
In the main, spraying refers to the act of lifting her tail and backing up towards a vertical surface. She will then spray her pee across the surface – there will likely be a lot less moisture than when your cat uses the litter box. However, some cats will mark their territory by urinating outside of the litter box in the traditional squatting manner.
Unlike spraying, this behavior is usually associated with a problem in toileting, and whilst this may sometimes be the case, it is known that some cats will mark their territory this way. Although, as opposed to expelling the entire contents of her bladder, when your cat is marking, she will squirt out short bursts of urine.
Why Is My Female Cat Spraying?
There are many reasons that your female cat may be marking her territory but urine problems could also signal a health condition so it is important to eliminate this with your vet before proceeding onto the next step.
If your puss is in purrfect health, she may be spraying for a variety of reasons. Cat’s can struggle with change so if you have recently imposed a huge change on her, she may be reacting out of stress. This could include things such as a house move, another human moving into the home, for example, a new partner or if you have a baby, and could be as a result of adopting a new cat.
It is not unheard of for female cats to spray in relation to mating, although it is far more common in male cats. Females may do this to let males know that she is available and if you live in a home with several cats of different genders this could be an issue.
How Can I Stop My Female Cat From Spraying?
Many cat owners despair when their female cat starts marking her territory but there are things that you can do to deter her from this act. Let’s explore some of these.
Clean Up Markings
It may seem counterproductive to keep cleaning that same spot over and over, especially when you consider that the cat may return to ‘refresh’ the spot. However, if you successfully remove all of her scents, she will likely forget about that spot. Of course, she may start spraying elsewhere, but it is important to persevere.
One of the most important things to keep in mind is that strong-smelling cleaning agents such as bleach will make the area more appealing to the cat. She will be aware that her scent has been replaced with something else and attempt to mark it again, only this time, it may be more overwhelming.
Whilst these stronger smelling cleaners will do a better job at eliminating the odor, they will be detrimental in your battle.
Don’t Allow The Cat Near The Marked Area
Let’s assume that your moggy has decided that a particular corner of your bedroom is a good place to mark her territory. There may be many reasons why she has chosen this spot but if she cannot access it, she won’t be able to mark it.
Once you notice your female felines’ favorite places to spray, it is vital that you make these inaccessible for her.
In some cases, it may not be possible for you to block off the areas where she has been marking and in this case, you should consider putting her off spraying here. A great way to achieve this is by moving her feeding area to the place where she has been spraying or using the area for playtime.
Don’t Allow The Cat Near ‘New’ Items
Many of the things around your home will have a familiar scent to your cat and for the most part, this will stop her from marking, However, some cats will struggle when new items arrive in the home and may use spraying as a way of making these things more acceptable to them.
When bringing new things into the home, try to keep your cat away from them, this applies especially to things that belong to guests such as coats or scarves. The unfamiliar scent may cause your cat to react in an unwanted manner.
Consider Her Relationship With Other Cats
One of the primary reasons that cats, both male, and female, mark their territory is in relation to other cats. There are some animals that are so territorial that simply spying another puss out of the window can cause her to start spraying in the home.
This can be massively disruptive but limiting her access to other cats even visually may help to reduce spraying behaviors.
Furthermore, if you have other cats in the home, the spraying could be related to them so it is worth monitoring their interactions which will give you a good idea if the cat who is spraying feels threatened in any way.
Think About Medication
Sometimes. cats will spray when they are feeling stressed or anxious, much like humans certain behaviors become more prominent during times like this and your cat may need a little help to get through this.
Although dosing your cat up isn’t always a favorable idea, there may be times where it is necessary to help her manage her anxiety. Doing this may also eliminate any marking that has been happening.
Your vet will be able to advise you on the best course of action and if you are concerned about giving medication to your cat, you can feel reassured in knowing that these courses of tablets are usually very brief.
Use Deterrent Products
One of the most useful things that any cat owner can have is a product that you can use around the home designed to encourage the cat to stop spraying. These products which come in the form of a spray or a diffuser are highly recognized as being effective in the fight against cats marking within the home.
These products give off a calming aroma that stops the cat from feeling stressed and this can convert into much more desirable behavior.
Cats have a natural predisposition to spray as a way of marking their territory and whilst this isn’t always a problem, as many as 10% of cats will have problems with spraying in the home at some point during their lives.
Owners may find this difficult behavior to manage and it can be distressing, especially when you find yourself frequently cleaning the home and trying to get rid of the strong odor of urine.
Fortunately, there are plenty of things that you can do to deter your cat from spraying and have a cleaner, fresher, and happier home.