One of the most common causes of cat spraying is stress. Assuming that we have all neutered our cats, stress should be a concern once you notice your cat spraying. Your cat may develop stress from exposure to several situations including:
- New Residence – cat parents who keep moving from one residence to another may unknowingly expose their kitties to stress. This is because the feline family finds it difficult to adapt to new changes. Thus, new environments contribute greatly to your cat developing stress. This is because cats tend to feel vulnerable in new environments. This may lead to your cat spraying the house or even your items.
- Intruders – whether we are talking about a stranger, passer-by, or even another animal, your cat’s view of the intruder will stress your cat. Your cat might want to spray to either engage with the intruder, especially if it is a cat. On the other hand, your kitty might spray out of fear and anxiety coming from the intrusion.
- Strangers – Cats are quite social but they may feel threatened in their own home by strangers. It is important to understand that your cat only socializes with you and your family members only. That is if your cat is an indoor kitty. Once you have a guest over at your home, it is likely to make your cat uncomfortable. This gets worse if you have to leave your kitty with the said stranger for a period of time. Your cat may not be able to relate with the stranger and thus will spray as a sign of vulnerability. Most cats have a tendency to spray their owner’s bed or favorite items.
- Dirty litter box – if you are a cat person, then you must understand how hygienic cats can be. This is why you have the obligation to offer him the hygienic standards that he requires. For instance, you should always make sure that the litter boxes are clean at all times. Make a point of scooping away the waste. This will not only minimize stress in cats but also encourage him to use the litter box.
- Change in routine – as mentioned earlier, cats detest change. I mean, they take quite some time and assurance in order to embrace a change. Therefore it is important that you stick to the same routine at all times. This means you feed him at the same time every day, clean after him, groom him on a schedule. Failure to do so will contribute not only to your cat’s stress but also to confusion.
Other than stress, spraying can be as a result of:
- Medical illnesses – these may include inflammation of the bladder, UTI, bladder stones, and cystitis. In addition, spraying could indicate a more serious health complication like arthritis and diabetes mellitus.
- Unneutered cats – neutering/spaying your cat means that he/she will not be able to reproduce because he has no sexual urges. Thereby, your cat will not have the urge to mark territories or spots in an effort to attract a mate.
- Fear – Extreme fear is a contributing factor to cat spraying. Things that may make your cat afraid include another cat intruding into the house, changes in residence as well as your absence. By monitoring his behavior, you will be able to determine the source of fear.
- New baby – This is an actual cause of spraying in cats. Once you have a new baby in the house your cat may feel like you are denying him the attention he requires. Thus, he may start spraying on your items to get your attention and affection.
Now that we have looked at the possible cause of spraying in cats, how do you make a cat stop spraying everywhere? Below are some of the most effective solutions to a cat who won’t stop spraying:
Keeping your cat off the ‘crime scene’ is important. The most effective way of discouraging a cat from spraying is by keeping him off his previously sprayed place. There is no better way of doing this other than using simple cat repellents. These might include:
Eucalyptus oil with water: Cats dislike the smell of Eucalyptus oil and thus making it a great way to keep them off unwanted places. It is most suitable to use a cat who is spraying outdoors rather than indoors.
This is because of the essential oil’s strong smell that would upset the cat if used indoors. To apply this repellent, mix a few drops of eucalyptus oil with water and put it in a spray bottle. Spray the previously soiled bush or surface. This will surely keep the cat out of the place.
Vinegar with Lemon Juice solution: If you want your kitty or stray kitties to stay away from your lawn and flowerbed, vinegar works well. In addition, you may also use this solution to wash and clean the soiled places in your house. It works as well as an enzymatic cleaner would.
Now, to apply this method, mix lemon juice with vinegar and then add water into the mixture. Like with the eucalyptus oil, spray this solution on the soiled place to keep your cat away. However, avoid spraying this solution on your flowers or garden directly. Instead, use it on the edges of your lawn or flowerbed to avoid destroying the plants.
Cayenne Pepper – cats do not as the effect cayenne pepper has on their glands. Therefore, this is an effective way to repel cats from spraying plants. In order to apply this method, you may consider mixing the pepper with water before spraying your plants. Rest assured that there will be no cat going anywhere near the place.
Aluminum Foil – You can successfully use this method to repel your cat from accessing the previously soiled place. The reason you should concentrate on doing so is that cats tend to be repetitive about their behavior. Therefore, by covering the sprayed surface, you will be making it uncomfortable for your cat to access the place. This is attributed to the fact that cats tend to hate the feel of aluminum foil on their paws.
Motion-activated devices (See prices on Amazon) – Whether you are looking to make your own cat or another cat stop spraying, motion-activated devices work wonders in keeping them off your lawn or garden. For instance, you may use a motion-sensor sprinkler that will spray water on anything that moves. Since cats do not like to get wet, the method is therefore effective. Alternatively, you may use a motion-sensor water gun to play the role of the sprinkler.
Treat any medical illnesses as well as stress: in the case, your cat has any medical issues leading to spraying, you should have your vet check him out. Your cat will spray from illnesses like urinary tract infections which should be treated.
In this case, spraying will be accompanied by other symptoms like pain and frequent urination. In severe cases, cats experience blockage of the urinary tract as well as bloody urine. Your vet will be able to recommend the best treatment method.
Increase playtime: playtime provides your cat with a chance to bond with you or any other family member. It is essential in reducing stress and anxiety. In addition, by increasing playtime, you will be giving him a sense of security in your household rather than vulnerability.
Consistent routine: As mentioned earlier, a change in routine is capable of causing spraying in cats. Therefore, it is essential that you keep a consistent routine in terms of feeding time, cleaning the litter box, and even sleeping time. Remember that changing your own routine like the time you leave home or playtime will also affect your cat.
Whether you want to make a neighborhood/stray cat or your cat stop spraying everywhere, always keep it in mind that the goal is not to hurt the kitty. This is why you should always make sure that you use safe methods to deter cats from this habit. In addition to this, make sure that your cat is healthy and free of stress. You can do this by providing enough and appropriate resources for your kitty. This way, you will keep a happy and healthy cat and your house will be free of cat pee odor.