Stop Cat Spraying In The Home

Cat spraying in the home is definitely  unpleasant and is something that when it happens you want to put a stop too quickly. 

This issue is probably the most common question I am asked. Unfortunately there is no one answer I can give. below I have outlined the most common causes and how to stop this unpleasant behaviour as soon as possible.

First Question To Answer

Is your cat ill?

Although most causes of a spraying in the home is behavioural there are times when it is caused by illness, such as urinary tract infections and anal gland blockages.

My advice is always to have your cat checked out first to rule out any possible underlying illness which may be the root of the problem.

Top Three Causes of Cat Spraying

  • Mating - If your cat is not neutered / Spayed then this will be the number one reason. The scent of the urine is used to mark their territory and attract a mate. Having your cat fixed will remove this cause permanently.

  • Territory - Even neutered / spayed cats will still scent mark their territory however this is generally outside and the scent of the urine is far less. The only time this may happen in the home is if the cat feels stressed or they feel threatened by another animal in the home.

  • Stress - Cats react to stress by using their urine to make the home smell like them. this helps to calm them down. 

How To Stop Your Kitty From Spraying In The Home?

  1. Make sure they are neutered / Spayed as early as possible before the behaviour is begun. See my page about neutering for more information.

  2. Remove all traces of urine. If your pet keeps on spraying in the same places inside your home it could be that they can still smell their urine from previous markings and this will encourage them to use the spot again. 

Cat Urine Odour Removal

You need to make sure that the cat urine and its odour is completely removed. Any reaming traces, even if they are not visible to the naked eye will be detected by your cat and encourage them to re-use that spot.

  • Thoroughly clean the area with a special cat urine removal cleaner. Ordinary household disinfectant will not get rid of the smell, and bleach based products smell of ammonia, which can actually make the problem worse. 

There are specialized cat urine removal cleaning solutions available, such as 'Get Serious! Pheromone Stain & Odor Extractor'. This type of cleaner is not only designed to clean the pet urine stains and odors, but also to remove the actual pheromone, which is the scent responsible for pets re-marking.

If you want to know more, I have dedicated a whole page to the subject of cat urine odour removal, which should provide you with all the ammunition you will need to combat this smelly problem!

    3. Block the hot spots. often cats will use the same place in the home to scent over and over again. Stop this my blocking access to these areas or put the cats food bowl there for awhile. cats will not scent near their food.
    4. Remove any causes of stress. 

Stress Causes

Your cat may spray more often during periods of stress or change such as:

  • Moving home
  • Decorating
  • Changing the postion of furniture
  • Bringing a new baby or pet into the home.

In most cases after a few days the cat gets used to the new situation and relaxes, the cat spraying should then stop.

However some cats need some extra help to relax and get over their period of anxiety which is causing the spraying.

In these cases you can use special products which mimic a natural pheromone that cats produce which they find very relaxing. 'Comfort Zone' contains Feliway which does this and it comes in a spray form or a diffuser.

          5. Litter box retraining - If your cat normally uses a litter tray a period of retraining will help break the cat spraying habit in the home. 

Litter Training

Of course the problem may not be cat spraying as much as the kitty urinating inappropriately within the house and not in the correct place i.e. the litter tray.

If this is the case, then a period of litter training will help. This is done by isolating your pet in a room with only its bed, a litter tray and water (the process is described in more detail on my cat litter training page).

This training method is designed to help your kitty relax again and get back into the habit of using the tray. This is not a punishment and your cat should still be cuddled and played with and fed in its usual place.

Always provide a clean litter tray in an area where your kitty can feel private. A quiet place in a safe area of the room is best and there should be a separate tray for every animal you have.

By understanding the reasons why your kitty may be spraying in the home and taking quick action, you will be able to put a stop to this smelly unpleasant behaviour and your cat can return to being a happy and contented pet once again and have a cleaner and more fragrant home!

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