Nothing is worse than heading to the kitchen to brew your morning coffee and finding the telltale signs that your cat has sprayed the walls or the countertop. Spraying, unfortunately for cat owners, is a normal feline behavior. It is most common in unneutered male cats, though both male and female cats, whether fixed or not, can still spray around your home, leaving that distinctive unpleasant odor and unsightly mess.
The easiest way to prevent a cat from spraying is to be sure to have it neutered at young age, generally before it reaches 6 months. Once a male cat has reached sexual maturity, it begins spraying as a mechanism to mark its territory in accordance with its instinctual mating behavior, but even with older cats, neutering will usually reduce or eliminate the problem.
If your cat is already neutered and continues to spray, it is often a behavior resulting from the cat’s natural defense mechanisms. Due to their territorial nature, spraying is more common in households with multiple cats. You encourage them to let their guard down by having the cats play together and splitting your attention between them, by feeding them together, and by encouraging their comfortable interaction.
Another common cause of spraying is a reaction to stress in their environment. It’s important to keep your cats on a stable routine by feeding them at the same time every day. Also, consider closing the curtains on your windows to minimize threatening stimulation from the outdoors. Often, adding a perch will provide an ample distraction from outside stimuli and the other neighborhood animals it views as competition.
If your cat is neutered, its environment is stable, and the outside distractions are minimized, you may need to use a form of “pheromone therapy” to modify his behavior. SSSCat Spray will help to repel your cat with unpleasant odors, keeping them away from the areas the commonly mark. It uses motion detectors and a wide mist spray to train the cat to stay away from problem areas when you’re around to actively monitor them.
For a cat spraying in response to stress, Feliway is a product that works like a plug in air freshener, releasing pheromones that sooth and calm them, eliminating the cat’s need for territorial marking.
Though feline spraying is a natural behavior, it isn’t something you have to live with. If, after trying these solutions, contact your vet to ensure that your cat’s behavior isn’t related to a more serious infection or kidney condition.