Cat Behavior 101: What Is Causing My Cat to Spray and How Can I Fix It?

Cat Spraying No More

Just like the tomcats in the previous paragraph most cats mark something to claim their territory. This doesn’t have to be about a mate, it can just be a big sign reading, “Private property, get out!” This is most often a problem when a cat who has been kept by itself for a number of years suddenly has to deal with the arrival of a new cat or kitten. Just think about that for a moment, how would you feel if you lived the good life completely alone only to one day come home to some stranger living in your house that you couldn’t get rid of? Another common scenario is with a multi-cat home who adopts another cat who is, to put it lightly, a bit of a bully. At that point it doesn’t matter they are used to living in a group home, the newcomer is just annoying and hostile, and who wants that?? In these situations I actually suggest finding the bully a more suitable home, it’s not worth the stress to your older residents. This is not to say new cats should never be introduced, it only is to say that if you are going to do that take the cats feelings into mind and do the introductions as slowly as possible. Start off with the new cat in a cage, accessible to the resident cat or cats, and then watch their behavior. Are they hissing? Spitting? Puffing up their hair? Then leave the new cat in the cage until the resident stops doing these things. When everyone seems comfortable let the new cat out of the cage into only one room of your house. Observe reactions and move on from there, slowly, and slower if needed! Now if you are in the situation where prevention is too late there’s still things you can do. Obviously furiously clean the sprayed spots, also invest in a can of

FeliWay

. It is a synthetic scent, completely odorless to humans, that mimics the smell of a cat’s head rubbing. Cats have scented glands behind their ears and when they rub their head on things it marks it as their own territory. Obviously for us humans this is a much more socially acceptable way to mark territory. FeliWay comes in a spray which can be applied manually to problem spots (linked above) or in diffusers you plug in the wall. Diffusers are better at prevention unless you can plug them into the exact spot that has been sprayed. If you really don’t have the money or prefer a more natural method you can collect your cats scent yourself on a damp washcloth by stroking it behind the ears and then transfer that scent onto the problem areas around your house with the towel. This takes time and a lot of repetition – at the very least once a day, the more the better.

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