How to Stop Cat Spraying Behavior
How do you stop cat spraying behavior? There are a number of things you can do. If you haven't already, have a look at this page where we look at better understanding why your cat sprays. Below are some suggestions on how to control or eliminate this behavior problem.
How to Control Cat Spraying Behavior
A number of factors, both biological and emotional may be at work and contribute to spraying behavior. A number of factors, therefore, can help to reduce or eliminate spraying. These include:
- Spaying/neutering - Cats that are spayed or neutered are less likely to spray, but it's not a cure all.
- Proper socialization - Well adjusted cats that have been properly socialized as kittens will generally be more confident. These cats are less likely to feel threatened and spray out of fear.
- Lower stress levels - Cat spraying behavior may be sparked by stress. Anything you can do to lower your cat's stress level can help.
- Remove threats in the home - Anything you can do to ease tensions and transitions in the home can help. Mediate disputes between your cat and other pets in the home. If conflicts with other pets are at fault, the solution may require separating the animals for a period of time.
Sometimes a cat will start spraying if there's an addition or major change in the home. This may include a new baby or other family member, another pet, or even new furniture.
A move to a new home can be especially stressful. Try to pay extra attention to your cat during life changes so that your cat feels secure and never threatened by her environment.
- Remove outdoor threats - Indoor cats (or indoor/outdoor) may feel threatened by the presence of cats outside the house. If those cats are leaving their own scent markings, your cat may feel the need to do the same.
Many cats will either spray or urine mark near the front door in response to an outdoor threat. Make sure you remove any scent markings left on the outside of your house by foreign cats.
Keep foreign cats away by using repellents and deterrents. Electronic cat repellent devices like the CatStop Automatic Outdoor Cat Repellent can help to keep outdoor cats away.
- Feliway - Feliway is synthetic cat cheek pheromone in a spray form that can have a calming effect. It's been known to reduce aggressive behaviors and stop litter box problems. It may help stop your cat from spraying.
- Create a cat sanctuary - Provide an area of your house that your cat can use as a sanctuary. This helps to reduce stress and build confidence. This area should include a scratching post, cat toys to play with, and a cat tree or some good hiding spots. You can also provide some cat grass and a catnip plant. Optionally, you can set up access to a protected outdoor area.
- Make the area unattractive - Try to make the area in which your cat is spraying unattractive to your cat. You can use double-sided tape or aluminum foil to keep your cat from walking in that area.
Smells will bring your cat back. Make sure that you thoroughly clean the area where your cat is spraying so that there is less attraction. Use Atmosklear or one of the popular enzyme based cleaners.
Use a cat repellent device like the ones recommended for keeping cats off of furniture.
It should be noted that some cats will simply find another area to spray, or they may return when the repellent is removed.
- Get professional help - In extreme cases, you may need to work with your veterinarian and a pet psychologist who specializes in cats in order to resolve the problem.
Note: If you notice your cat spraying and this is a new behavior, or your cat is urinating or defecating in the house (but not in the litter box), you may want to call your veterinarian.
Sudden behavior changes can indicate either an emotional problem with your cat, or may be a symptom of illness as there are many medical problems that may be the cause.
If you've used ammonia-based cleaners, this may be an issue as cats may tend to urinate in an area where they've been used. Special cleaners (typically either enzymatic, such as AtmosKlear, or bacteria based) are recommended. See how to remove cat urine odor.
Products to Help Stop Cat Spraying Behavior
Keep outdoor cats that are agitating your cat away from your house with CatStop.
Keep your cat away from areas in the house where she is spraying with SSScat.
Topics Related to Cat Spraying Behavior
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Cat litter box basics
More information on male cat behavior
Strange cat behaviors
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