How do I stop a cat from spraying?
Many cats will instinctively engage in "spraying," which is basically urination designed to mark their territory. This isn't a health problem - it's a behavioral thing that you need to train your cat not to do. You know it's "spraying" as opposed to medical issues because cats usually spray on walls of the house instead of on the floor.
What are the basic things you can do about it? First and foremost is neutering the cats. Male cats will usually stop spraying after this very quickly because this is an aggressive behavior linked to keeping other cats out of their territory. It will also usually stop female cats from spraying as well.
Sometimes that doesn't work, however. The key to stopping spraying in that case (or if you don't want to neuter your pets for some reason - not recommended but some people don't) is to get rid of the reasons causing it. First, see if other cats are hanging around your house. This can be a big thing - feral cats or neighbor's cats will often come around glass doors or windows to socialize with indoor cats. This can kick in the spraying instinct - it's about protecting territory, and the other cat is encroaching on it. If you can, keep the other cat away from your house. There are cheap feline repellants you can get for about $7.00 online. They'll also work on your own cat if it is repeatedly doing it near expensive furniture or something specific - but that will likely just shift where they do it.
You should also see if there are overcrowding issues in your own house. Do you have multiple cats? They may be in a territorial spat. Separate their litter boxes and food dishes, and try to give them each their own space. That can reduce tension and keep them from trying to mark out their own territory in the house by spraying. Also see if you can get them to play together, etc. so that they do not view each other as threats.
Finally, clean anything the cats have already sprayed thoroughly. The ammonia smell of urine acts like a trigger for cat spraying - it will make them want to do it again whenever they come near that area. So you need to make sure everything has been cleaned.
There is also a good product that attempts to end spraying by mimicking the pheromones that mark territory in the wild. Basically, it tricks cats into thinking the territory is already marked. It's supposed to work well with about 95% of cats, so you should give it a shot if you've got a repetitive spraying problem with your cats. The product is Feliway, and it goes for about $18.95 online here.
Back to Pet Questions Page
Back to Flea Control Guide Main Page
Text copyright 2005-2006 Fleascontrol.com and may not be reproduced without consent. This is not the official web page of any of the products listed on this site, this is a review page created by an individual. It is not by a vet, and is meant to be informative and not to substitute for a vet's advice - always consult a vet if you suspect a health problem.