Cat Spray Problem - How to Deal with it
Dealing with Cat Spray
Inappropriate feline messes, also called spraying, is a problematic issue for many cat owners. For some cats, inappropriate messes can be different from spraying. This is because the urination can be a medical problem causing the cat to urinate outside of the litter box. When this happens, the urine lands on the floor. Spraying, on the other hand is deliberate urination that a cat performs in order to mark its territory. When a cat sprays, the urine goes on the wall or a door.
A cat may engage in inappropriate urination for many reasons. For some cats, it is the result of illness. Yet others inappropriately urinate because they are in pain. For others, the problem is caused by fear, separation anxiety or a change in the family routine. Most cats urinate twice a day. A cat engaging in inappropriate urination may have problems each time it urinates or it may have difficulty only occasionally.
If your cat is engaging in inappropriate urination, you should consult your veterinarian. This can be the result of constipation, a bladder infection, diabetes, kidney disease, arthritis, diarrhea or senility. Some cats that experience pain when urinating associate the pain with the litter box. Yet other cats have been attacked near the litter box. In both cases, the inappropriate urination is associated with psychological issues.
The reasons behind spraying are not the same as the reasons for inappropriate urination. Female cats will spray when they are in their heat cycle. Male cat hormones also trigger the desire to spray as does an inter-cat rivalry. In all cases, the purpose of the spray is to mark the cat’s territory. It is normal for a cat to spray, particularly tomcats and female cats when they are in heat.
Cats within a multi-cat household are also more likely to spray than cats in single cat homes. In fact, the odds of spraying when there is more than one cat in the household increase anywhere from 25% to 100% as the number of cats increases from 1 to 10. This is because cats primarily spray in order to claim their territory. The more cats within the household, the less territory there is for each of them. Therefore, they are more likely to mark their boundaries through spray.
- Recognizing the Difference Between Inappropriate Urination and Spraying
The easiest way to tell the difference between inappropriate urination and spraying is the way the cat holds itself. If the cat digs and squats before urination, but misses the target, it is experiencing inappropriate urination. With spraying, on the other hand, the cat will stand with its tail high in the air. It may even quiver somewhat and shift back and forth on its hind feet during the process. Some cats will also assume this position without actually spraying. Spraying is most often done near doors or where the wall meets the floor.
- Preventing Inappropriate Urination and Spraying
If your cat is not experiencing a medical problem, there are several steps you can take to prevent inappropriate urination and spraying. Having only one cat and having your cats spayed or neutered when they are still young are the best ways to prevent spraying. You should also keep the litter box clean and keep your cat healthy in order to prevent inappropriate urination. Maintaining a calm routine and preventing other cats from disturbing yours will also help reduce these problems.