I have a 4 year old spayed female cat that for the past month has just started spraying. I have only found her to be spraying the kid’s room. I have a 5 year old and a 2 year old who each have a separate room. She sprays right next to their beds.
Last night my 2 year old crawled into my bed and ended up peeing my bed and it soaked through his clothes and the sheets. When I awoke this morning I had to give him a bath before taking my 5 year old to school and so I didn’t get to changing the sheets. When I come back I see my cat spraying right on top of where my son had peed. Why is she doing this and how can I get her to stop?
I know exactly what you are going through! Because this started happening to us several months ago. So I have been doing extensive research, including to talking to some people who run a “high-end”pet store locally & also a vet who specializes in cats. What your cat is doing is called “Scent Marking”. But first rule out a bladder infection or illness!
Did you know there is a difference between “spraying” & “peeing” in a male cat. (with a female cat, you can’t tell the difference) When a male cat pees, they squat & the pee comes out vertically, but when they “spray” they back up to the area & spray their pee horizontally. “Spraying” almost always means the cat is “Claiming Territory” because they feel their territory is somehow threatened. Sometimes because it no longer smells them them. It could also be from the smell of another animal, like a new cat in the home. (in your case, probably your children’s pee?) You can sometimes see your cat is getting ready to spray because their tail goes straight up & starts to vibrate. Sometimes if you see this is going to happen, you can yell & say “NO!” & usually they will stop. Then you quickly pick them up & put them in their cat box or outside.
In my case, my cat started spraying because I brought a new kitten into the house & this new kitten has threatened “his” territory. But in your case, it’s probably because the little-ones sometimes pee their bed & in the cats mind, this is like another “cat” (animal) is peeing in “his” house, so the cat has to mark what he thinks of as “his” territory. But my cat will also spray outside on our house & the bushes if there are other cats that come into our yard,
Did you know that cats are so receptive to smells that you should never even use Ammonia to clean your home with… This is because Ammonia smells to them like pee because when pee breaks down, it turns in to ammonia.
The Good News!
There are several things you can do to fix your problem:
#1) Easy Clean up:
The first thing you should do is to buy a good pet cleaner. Make sure it says “Enzyme-Based” odor & stain remover. The back of my cleaner says it works “through a unique ready-to-use beneficial bacterial enzyme formulation that actually speeds up the natural bio-degradation process when applied to the problem area”. Buy enzyme cleaners at any pet store or buy it at Walmart, Target or K-mart. I really like a brand called “Out!” & it sells for only $4.79 at Walmart & K-mart. Spray the cleaner directly on to the area then cover the area with plastic to keep it wet & leave it sit overnight. (the plastic is to help keep it wet, because once it dries it stops working).
If this is on your child’s mattress, simply put a brand new unopened large plastic garbage bag over the cleaner, then make the bed up as usual (with a fitted sheet) & let the cleaned sit overnight. The Enzyme cleaner is safe & nontoxic. Once the child’s room no longer smells like human pee, the cat won’t keep spraying. This means you’ll have to spray the Enzyme Cleaner down into the mattress so it also cleans the inside where you can’t reach & also on the side of the bed & into the carpeting. (Anywhere the cat or child has peed in the past!)
Read more here: (read my post towards the bottom for more pee-clean-up tips)
#2) Can you shut the door to you child’s room after they fall asleep? & have your kids keep the door to their rooms shut during the day. You could give your kids a “nursery monitor” so they can easily call you & you can hear them if they’re not old enough to open their door.
#3) You can also keep your cat in a LARGE cat cage while you sleep so he won’t get in to trouble (this is what we do) & be sure to include a catbox, water & a scratching pad.
#4) This is going to sound kinda weird, but if you could temporarily put a new, clean catbox near the area the cat is spraying, it could help. Then IF the cat starts to use this litter box, slowly move it away to a different spot in the home. This helped us. We first put the new litter box where he was spraying, then we moved it to a more appropriate place.
#5) Cat pheromone Diffuser: There is a product called a “Pheromone Diffuser” & you simply plug in into the wall & it emits a scent that only cats can smell that calms them down. This is used a lot for “Scent Marking” or when bringing an additional cat into the home. For some cats it works miracles & for others it doesn’t work at all. It costs for $24 to $40, so it’s kind of pricey to find out if it will work for your cat!
Another reason cats spray is to “claim their owner.” My daughter’s best friend recently had this problem when she woke up in the middle of the night with her cat peeing ON TOP of her! & we found out that it was the cats way of saying “I love you so much that I “claim” you as mine, or my territory”.
But the only way to stop this behavior is to clean up up every trace of the scent of pee or ammonia (& that’s not easy with a toddler in the house!) You basically have to “think like a cat” & cat’s “think with their nose”. I know this doesn’t help, but the cat may be showing your children he loves them by “claiming them”.Also, if your cat was living in the wild & another animal peed in “his territory” he would naturally try to cover that smell with his own!
With us, we have had to use another solution. We keep the kitten in my bedroom & we are introducing the 2 cats slowly, outside where there is less threat to “territory”. We also watch our cat closely for an hour or 2 after he eats to make sure he goes outside to pee & doesn’t spray on our walls, etc. We clean his spray up immediately & even pour the cleaner down into the carpet pad to be sure we get it all! We’ve also placed a screen in front of the place he likes to spray the most. You might also want to do this. Put a large piece of cardboard in front of the part of the bed he likes to spray at.
U.V. OR black lights: To find out exactly where the pee is (human or animal) buy a black light. Pee will glow under U.V. light! Some types work better than others. Read the reviews on Amazon before buying so you know you are buying a good product! …If you have a pet (or a child) that sometimes pees indoors, a black light will be worth it’s weight in gold!
Dirty litter box: This isn’t the case with you, but with some cats, they pee in bad places because their litter box is dirty, so be sure to keep a clean litter box!
More information about peeing in bad places:
* Lastly. If you don’t have time to clean up your child’s pee, shut the door to that room, so the cat can’t get into that room until it’s clean or if there is no door, put your cat into a room with a door, a large cage or outside for a short while until the pee has been cleaned up!
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