Take Control of Spraying
To modify your cat's natural urge to mark their spot around the house, here are some ways to take control of spraying.
Fixing the Issue
Having your kitten neutered as soon as your veterinarian recommends is one of the best ways to prevent a spraying problem from even starting. For older cats neutering is still an effective option and overall healthier for your cat.
Cleaning the Spot
Once a cat finds a place to mark, he will most often return to that spot. To prevent your cat from spraying the same spot over and over again, you need to eliminate the urine odor completely. A thorough cleaning using an "enzymatic cleaner" is essential to neutralizing the odor. Pet odor is protein-based and cannot be removed simply by washing the affected area. An enzymatic cleaner "digests" the odor-causing protein and breaks down the chemical nature of the ammonia, getting rid of the smell that triggers cats from "marking" the spot again.
Control the View
Many cats will spray indoors when they spot other cats outside. Restrict your cat's view of the outdoors by keeping couches, desks or other furniture that your cat can perch on away from windows. Stick with Routines Cats sometimes spray in response to change. Keep your cat's bed and litter box in the same place, feed him in the same place and try to keep the same routine.
It's not uncommon for cats to spray when they feel competitive with other cats in the house. Cats that get along are far less likely to spray than those in competition with each other, so it's worth your time to encourage their friendship.
Here's some ways to keep the peace:
- Keep them entertained by setting aside playtime every day with your cats, this is invaluable even in a one cat household.
- Pay equal attention to your cats. Paying more attention to one cat than another will often foster feelings of jealousy and competition.
- If all else fails, keep them separated on different floors or in different rooms of the house.
When to See the Doctor
Most cats use spraying as a way of marking their territory or because something in their life (or yours) is making them upset. Sometimes, however, spraying is a warning sign that something is wrong physically, like diabetes, a blocked urethra or a urinary tract infection. If your cat has just started spraying or is suddenly straining to urinate or urinating more often, don't take chances. Call your veterinarian right away.