Spraying Urine How To Stop
Reasons why cats spray urine,
prevention, cleaning and treatment
Feline Spraying (also called marking) is
a cat depositing a small
amount of urine on vertical surfaces, such as furniture, doorways and walls. The
spraying cat may be seen to back into the area, the tail may quiver, and
with little or no crouching
the cat sprays
Spraying is marking behavior, not a
litter box problem. The cat does not need to pee, he is leaving a
message for other cats.
Un-neutered male cats will usually
start urine spraying behavior once
they reach sexual maturity.
The age at which a tom cat sexually
matures can vary greatly but in general it occurs between 5 and 12 months.
Many factors can affect at which age a male cat starts spraying. Male cats
in multi-cat households or in close proximity to other cats are more
likely to spray at a younger age.
Spraying is territorial and can also
be stress related. Neutering or spaying a kitten at an early age
can prevent spraying problems in the future. Your veterinarian will advise you on
the best age to neuter your kitten.
Multi-cat households usually have a
far greater problem with spraying than single cat households. Overcrowding
of cats will often result in problems with territory marking.
Sadly, feline spraying and
inappropriate urination problems are
among the most common reasons for pet cats to be euthanised and
surrendered to cat shelters.
Why do cats spray
Urine marking is
a communication system for cats. Cat urine
contains pheromones which are chemical substances that tell other cats
certain messages. Spraying is a common component of cat behavior during
the mating season with males and females communicating their
availability with their pheromones.
The male cat will also mark his
territory, letting other male cats know that these are the boundaries
and this area belongs to him.
Stress can be the
cause of your cat spraying
Cats are creatures of habit and thrive
in a consistent and familiar atmosphere. When their ‘comfort zone’ is
disrupted it can often result in stress which contributes to spraying.
It is vital to discover under which
situations the problems occur as treatment often depends on defining any
specific anxiety-inducing triggers for the
Here are some questions to ask
yourself. These could be reasons your cat may be stressed and has begun
1. Did someone new come to live
in the house.
2. Is there a new baby?
3. Is there a new pet?
4. Could your cat be a victim of
a neighborhood cat that is coming into your yard?
5. Has your cat’s daily routine
been changed in any way?
6. Is your cat part of a
7. Has your cat been ill?
8. Has the layout of your house
or yard changed in any way that may be affecting the cat.
9. Is your cat being bullied by
10. Have you changed your cat’s litter
brand or changed it’s litter tray?
Do only male
No, all cats, male or female, neutered
or not, may spray, however,
urine marking is most common in un-neutered male cats. It is not
usual for female cats to spray, but it can happen if she is in heat and
leaving her scent to attract a male cat. It can also be a problem when
there is overcrowding of cats in a household.
intact male sprays urine, it will have the characteristic tom cat
that is very strong and unmistakable.
Can I stop my cat spraying?
There are several approaches you can take
but not all may work for your situation.
Castration of males or spaying of
females can reduce the cat’s motivation for spraying.
Early neutering of your kitten will in
most cases stop your cat from spraying in the future. Neutering after spraying
activity has commenced may reduce it.
For older cats, one study showed
87% of all male cats stop spraying after castration
78% stop immediately
9% stop in a few months
13% keep spraying
Another study showed that
77% of cats reduced or stopped spraying within six months of being
neutered or spayed.
Anti anxiety drugs
for cats who spray.
Anti anxiety drugs are available from your vet which may be
preventing your cat from spraying. Discuss the use of drugs with your veterinarian.
Clomicalm and valium are drugs available
only from Veterinarians and are used for treating spraying problems in cats.
Some cat owners report that their cats lose their personality and become
zombies when on anti anxiety drugs.
Personally, I don’t recommend anti anxiety drugs.
Pheromone diffusers and sprays.
offer a solution to help manage unwanted, stress-related behaviors in cats.
This therapy works by spraying a ‘friendly’ pheromone in
places where your cat sprays. Also available are plug in diffusers. These pheromones pacify cats who are
spraying urine around the house.
If you have the problem
with your cat spraying in one particular area then a repellant called
SSScat might work for you. SSSCAT ™
two elements: a motion detector and an aerosol can. It will detect the
cat’s motion and will release a harmless spray that will deter your cat
from frequenting this area. Once this is repeated a
few times, the SSSCAT will keep the cat away from unwanted areas.
this video of SSScat in action
You can usually purchase this product on ebay.
see how it works
To keep cats out of certain areas there is a product called
ScatMat. The ScatMat responds to your pet’s touch with a mild, harmless static
pulse. Pets soon learn which areas to keep away from.
Removing the Odor
Clean up all areas where the cat has
previously sprayed as the scent can trigger them to spray again in the
same area. First wash
all surfaces that have been sprayed with cat
urine with a laundry detergent containing enzymes. Then mix up 50%
white vinegar and 50% water in a spray bottle and spray the area well
with the vinegar solution to discourage the cat spraying urine in the
same place again.
For cleaning up on carpets try our
home remedy method.
removing Cat Urine Odors
which uses common household products.
Stress related Cat Spraying
Identify and remove stressful
contributors to the problem of cat spraying.
Get your cat back into its ‘Comfort Zone’
management and diagnosis of feline stress
Have your cat examined for lower urinary tract
to rule out medical
conditions which could be causing the problem. For example a painful case
cystitis or urethral blockage
may have your cat associating the pain of
urination with it’s litter tray and it will therefore avoid it’s litter