Stop cat spraying in the house. A helpful and useful guide
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Struggling to stop your cat from spraying in the house? Well, the truth is, there are many other cat parents who are also struggling with the same problem. To us, cat spraying is actually a problem but cats use urine for communication naturally
. Instead of wondering how to stop the habit immediately, focus on finding the source of the problem. This way, you will address this problem with a full understanding of your cat’s behavior problem.
When you have a cat spraying in the house, it can be embarrassing because of the cat pee smell. It can also turn out to be very destructive. However, you do not need to worry as we are going to help you stop cat spraying in your house. In addition, we are going to help you understand spraying as communication behavior as well as genetic behavior.
Before you can give up on helping your cat recover, let us quickly outline the most common reasons for cat spraying;
Boredom and loneliness
Sometimes we forget about our pets when we leave for work. We leave them all alone, and most times we do not think about how they are going to spend the entire day. Since you have entirely confined your kitty in the house, it means that she cannot wander around like she is naturally accustomed to. Due to this, idleness will generally contribute to cat spraying. I mean, she is bored and wants something to do but yet there is nothing.
Once again, she might feel lonely since you are not at home. Therefore, you will need to find a way to make her stay occupied and in good behavior.
Unclean litter box
This is probably the most common cause of cat spraying. Cats hate and avoid dirty or smelly litter boxes. This does not necessarily mean that it has to be all messy. Unfortunately, our cats have a greater sense of smell. This means that she is going to pick up the slightest odor from the litter boxes.
This is going to require you to observe your cat’s elimination patterns. This way, you can be able to maintain general hygiene when in relation to the litter boxes. Always make sure that you have scooped the soiled part of the litter to keep them odor-free.
In addition, if you are running a multi-cat home, you may as well make sure that you have enough litter boxes for all your cats.
Cats tend to be quite clingy from the word go. This is because they are used to live in numbers, particularly with their families. However, once we adopt kitties and bring them home with us, this only means one thing; you are now a member of her family. She will depend on your affection in order to feel secure in your house. However, as we all know, we cannot afford to spend every minute of the day with our cats. Instead, we go out and about our businesses.
However, your cat may develop separation anxiety, especially if she feels like you have been distance. As a result, spraying is going to be quite a common problem in your house.
Cats can also be territorial, especially if she feels vulnerable. For instance, the sight of another cat or even an intruder on the outside will possibly lead to urine marking. She is trying to warn them to way away from your household. This goes back to the part where cats use urine to communicate.
It could also represent the vulnerability of your kitty. In certain situations, your cat is forced to have the fight or flight responses. And since she is at home, she has no other choice but defends the household. Therefore, by marking territory. Your cat aims at stopping the intruders from accessing your home.
This is also a common occurrence when you have several cats in your households. Note that they all want enough space, litter boxes, food, and other resources. If there is a stiff competition of these resources, your cats will react by actually spraying in the house. Some of your cats are only trying to mark territories just to have some alone time.
Cats that have not been neutered might also have issues with spraying when in heat. Not only are they more territorial but urine enables them to communicate with potential mates. As a result, your cat will spray in the house whenever she is in heat.
In some cases, your cat is spraying in the house because she is sick and needs medical attention. This should not be so hard for you to tell when you understand the illnesses involved. Most often than not, your cat will exhibit signs or urinary tract issues and sometimes a more serious underlying condition.
Luckily for you, we are going to outline some of these illnesses below;
This involves the formation of large crystals in your cat’s bladder. It could be as a result of untreated urinary tract infections. Bladder stones are actually life-threatening since it makes it difficult for your kitty to pass urine.
This is the inflammation of the bladder which is as a result formation of crystals in the urinary tract. Your cat will pass very small amounts of urine. In addition to this, you may also observe irregular patterns of elimination as well as avoidance of the litter box.
Urinary Tract Infections
Female cats are quite vulnerable to developing a urinary tract infection at some point in life. Therefore, you should be on the lookout for symptoms of this illness once you observe your kitty spraying. These symptoms include spraying pungent smelling urine, frequent and painful urination as well as fatigue. In severe cases, your cat will also have blood in the urine.
In addition to the above discussed, your cat can also spray and pee inappropriately because of other diseases. Diabetes, for instance, is associated with inappropriate urination.
Like we had mentioned above, cats are very sensitive, both emotionally and even physically. Whenever exposed to stressful events and situations, your cat will definitely spray. Now, it is very easy to trigger a cat to stress. For instance, any form of change in the household is going to affect your kitty.
Therefore, you should maintain a routine including feeding time, and even the time you leave the house. Changes like moving from one residency to another may not be avoided but will sure give your cat a difficult time trying to adjust. However, later on, we are going to discuss how to fix this.
In addition, if you are running a multi-cat home, stress can be a result of inadequate resources in your household. These might include food, litter boxes, toys, and even space. Therefore, check on your kitty’s emotional health above all things.
These are some of the most common reasons for cat spraying. Now, we are going to look at how to stop a cat from spraying in the house. We are going to answer the most common question amongst cat parents.
Upon identifying the reason behind cat spraying, the next step is to make it all stop. Not only is it embarrassing to have a house smelling of cat pee but also destructive. In addition, cat pee smell is really difficult to remove from fabrics and even your mattress. Therefore, you will need to address this issue as fast as possible. Below are some of the ways in which you can be able to control the spraying behavior:
Wash the cat spray in your house
This should be the very first thing that you think of upon identifying a cat that has sprayed in the house. You should identify the stains and patches where your cat has been spraying and wash off the urine. This is actually more difficult than it might sound.
Cat pee has a way of sticking around even months after the incidence. This not only makes it hard and difficult for your family to live in the house but may also prompt your cat to keep spraying. This can make it really difficult when you are trying to stop your cat from spraying in the house.
To completely get rid of the cat pee stain, you can use enzymatic cleaners or go for the home remedy. These might include the use of hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, and baking soda. These will help you eliminate the smell and thus get rid of the temptation to mark.
Neuter your kitty
We mentioned that intact cats tend to spray more than neutered/spayed cats. This is because an intact cat will still have the urge to mate. And because domestication makes it hard to get a mate, your cat is going to look and try to attract a potential one. This is usually through spraying urine in the house. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to stop spraying when your cat is in heat.
She is trying to tell her potential mates that she is available. In addition, the cat spray will contain more information like sex, age, and intention of the urine marking.
Another reason why you should really have your cat neutered or spayed is to reduce hostile behavior in cats. Intact cats tend to be more protective than neutered kitties. Hostile cats will definitely have the need to mark territories.
Once she calms down, get her to the vet’s office for spaying. This should not take you long and you will have minimized the chances of your cat spraying again.
Provide toys and entertainment
When you leave your cat all alone at home, she is bound to get bored and lonely. This is not ever a good thing as your cat will find something else to do, usually not a pleasant one. Spraying can be a way of your cat to tell you that she is bored.
In order to ensure that your cat is occupied, get exciting toys for her. You can train her to use them during playtime and leave them around the house when you have to work. In addition, you may opt to leave the TV on for your kitty. This way, she can be occupied for the best part of the day.
Block the view of the outside for your cat
The happenings on the outside could possibly lead to cat spraying. Let’s say for instance there is someone passing by your house. In response to the excitement or anxiety the view brings for your cat, she might spray your windows. She might also be trying to chase away the people or other pets that she sees around. Therefore, make sure your indoor cat has no view of the outside.
In order to avoid such an incidence, you should always leave the curtains down. This will keep your cat from seeing the outside view and thus minimize the chances of your kitty reacting. Always leave your cat distracted though, in order to curb possible boredom when left all alone.
Play with your kitty
Playtime is the most important time to relate with your kitty, well, of course after feeding time. This is where you get to create a strong bond that makes your cat feel protected and loved. It is important to mention that your cat will constantly depend on your affection for safety.
Ensure that each time you play with your kitty, you leave her all stimulated, both mentally and physically. This way, you can get rid of boredom and also assure her of your presence and protection. Invest some of the playtime to cuddle with your cat, this way, you can be able to strengthen the bond between the two of you.
Create time and engage your cat in a good session of stimulating play. This way, you will always leave her excited about the play and also satisfied that you took the time to play with her. In addition to strengthening your bond, your cat feels secure and very comfortable in your home.
We already identified that anxiety is going to possibly lead to cat spraying. Therefore, it is important you address this vice. This will be determined by the reason for your cat’s anxiety. For instance, leaving her with someone else for a long period of time will definitely generate anxiety in your cat.
In such a case, you will need to come up with a way to ensure that your cat is not anxious. For instance, you can introduce a new person before you can leave them alone. You can advise leaving a personal item around the house, this is the best way to introduce them to your cat. By the time you leave the house, she will have familiarized herself with the other person’s scent.
The goal is to make your cat feel at ease when your friend is taking care of him. By reducing anxiety, you will be dealing with cat spraying in the house. Note that anxiety can be a result of different situations in your cat’s life. Not only can strangers generate anxiety but you changing your own schedule could. For instance, changing the time you get back home will have your cat waiting for you eagerly at home. Every minute you do not show up subject your cat to unimaginable anxiety and fear.
Address any medical issues
As we have already discussed, your cat might be spraying out of an illness. If you identify any of the symptoms of an illness that we had discussed earlier, do not hesitate to take your kitty to the vet’s office. This way, she will be examined and you will be able to rule out the possibility of medical reasons behind the spraying behavior. Your vet will be able to give you a conclusive diagnosis, from which you will be able to take care of your kitty.
Usually, your vet will recommend drug therapy for any urinary tract infections. The infection should clear up in a few days upon medication.
In some cases, your cat might require surgery to get rid of any crystals formed in the urinary tract. Illnesses including bladder stones and crystalluria can actually put your cat’s life in danger. Therefore, it is important to make sure that your cat is healthy before you trying to stop cat spraying in the house.
Clean the litter boxes
You should always keep this in mind if the cat litter boxes are all dirty, your cat is definitely going to find somewhere else to eliminate. This is not usually a friendly thing to do as she may ruin your couch or bed. You should, therefore, maintain high hygienic standards when it comes to the cat litter boxes. Make sure that they are always clean and free of odor.
In addition, consider changing the entire litter box if the odor of cat waste won’t go away. In fact, you should come up with a plan whereby you can regularly change the latter as a way to encourage your cat. The goal is to make your cat feel comfortable when she is eliminating. In regards to this, make sure you get the correct type of litter for your cat.
In conclusion, in order to stop your cat from spraying in the house, you must first understand why she is engaging in the behavior. This way, it is easier to get rid of the stimuli for spraying and thus stop the habit. However, in some cases, you might need to take your kitty to the vet’s office for a checkup and your vet will be able to recommend treatment and care.