Three years ago I was in the basement when I saw our cat, Cherry, going into the only room in the basement that isn’t fully furnished and doesn’t have a litter box. She only goes in the basement for one purpose, and so, anxious not to have my house smell like cat pee, I followed her in case she did something very naughty. I watched as she squatted, arranged herself over the drain in the floor and peed.
Severally I have witnessed her peeing for years on the floor and on the furniture, the cat flap and sometimes my duvet especially when she spots our neighbours’ cat in our garden. We took her to the vet and they said she was fine I thought at first she seems to want even more attention than we already give her, I don’t know if anything is wrong or if it’s just behavioural but of late I have come to understand why she does it.
Our vet outlined this is cat spraying as she might be feeling threatened. Smell is a very important factor for cats to define their own space. If it is inside her territory, she might be more inclined to spray it to keep off outsider cats.
What is cat spraying?
Urine marking by cats is also known as “spray-urinating” or “spray-marking” To identify their territories. Cats use scent marking throughout their ranges, with males spraying urine up to 12 times an hour. Regardless of age all cats – male or female, neutered or not – will mark out their territory with urine spraying.
What leads to cat spraying?
Cat’s spray can be a reaction to a stressful situation but urination should never be painful. If you notice any signs of distress while your cat is urinating, notify your veterinary, as this could be a sign of infection or some other problem in the urinary tract.
The presence of actual blood in the urine or a bloody spot on the litter box is never normal, and your veterinary should be notified. It may be due to nothing more serious than a small wound caused by some injury, but it also could be a sign of a more serious problem.
It can be difficult to tell the difference between urinating and spraying because some cats stand instead of squat while urinating. The unpleasant smell sometimes is the only indicator that cats have sprayed in the house. Indoor cats sometimes spray around doors and windows when they see or smell unfamiliar cats hanging out around their homes and environment.
Your cat can start spraying due to Insecurities and stress. Cat spraying by your cat ensures it has marked it territory to outsider cats.
Hierarchy supremacy and conflict can lead to cat spraying especially in households with multiple pets. If a new cat arrives your old cat might feel stressed, anxious and threatened and can start spraying to pass a message. It is communicating status to the new cat and territorial boundaries.
How to curb cat spraying?
You might be required to make changes to cater for all your cats needs by providing more vertical territory, hiding places, scratchers, and toys throughout your home. You might need to add feeding stations and litter boxes for each cat to avoid each other’s space.
As much as your old cat is marking territory and creating territorial boundaries cat spraying can give you headache and sleepless nights. It can make your home uncomfortable for you and your family. Cat spray is an unpleasant reality with some cats and can leave your home having an unpleasant smell. You might need to curb this behavior as soon as you notice it.
The most effective way to keep your home from smelling like cat urine is to prevent spraying in the first place. One of the best ways to do that is to make sure that your cat is happy with his litter box situation. Cats are very particular about their bathroom needs and would prefer a clean litter box.
Several litter boxes have been outlined in our previous articles and can cater for your feline friend needs.
Cats are very selective you might need to ask yourself if his box is clean enough for his bathroom needs. Cats can start spraying if they do not like their new litter box or if it is not clean as they like it.
Most cats who spray are males who have not been neutered. It is a way to mark territory. If your cat has not been neutered, ask your vet about the procedure. It will likely stop the spraying. Neutering is important because it improves your cat’s health and ensures less marking. Kitties are sometimes caught in the act — backing up to a vertical surface, treading with the front paws, and quickly twitching their tails while spraying.
A frightened cat love to wedging themselves into small spaces to observe what is happening from a distance or can choose to stay up there in their cat tree to show their indoor territorial space. Being in a tree house gives them a sense of security and can observe their environment without danger of any cat attacking them unawares.
Homemade recipes are readily available as well as an effective enzyme cleaner. It might take a couple of applications until the smell is eliminated but it controls the oduor. These solutions can curb your cat spraying behaviour.