Why is Your Cat Spraying in the House?

in Cat

First, we have to understand this: Female cats spray, too. And it's not called "spraying" for nothing. This "aerosol" method of urine distribution is not unique to male kitties, as all cats spray for a number of reasons.

The most common and basic reason for this disgusting (to humans) behavior is territory-marking. Cats don't speak English, and they don't publish newsletters, so the only way they can send messages to each other is to leave their unique odor in strategic places. When another cat happens upon a spot with Fluffy's smell, he knows that Fluffy was there. So he leaves his own smell to let him know that, hey, I'm here now, too. What are ya gonna do about it? Want to meet up?

Sometimes a cat will mark to let you know he's there, too. As if you couldn't tell! But you are the top cat and he may feel he needs to keep notifying you that he is staying close by. So, as a human, you might think he's being bad, but according to cat rules, he may think he's being good. If he thinks you haven't accepted him, he may feel he needs to keep reminding you that he's staying close.

Another reason for this "notification" marking might be related to separation anxiety. It's not just for dogs. If you are gone often and for long periods, your cat may feel you have lost your way and wants to "help" you locate your home turf. This is done by marking it so you know where it is. This can explain why a cat might urinate on your bed, especially if she sleeps there with you. They aren't getting even... they're just reminding you where you're supposed to be.

A female cat may mark for slightly different reasons, but the effect on humans is the same. (Phew!) Females are very territorial also - in some cases even more so than males. And sometimes their urine is stronger-smelling than a male's. But their instincts lead them to notify the males where they are, just in case they want to mate later. Or, if they have a litter, they may mark a distant area to divert visitors away from the nest, to protect the little ones.

Other reasons for "inappropriate" urine behavior can be to send a message that something is wrong. This could be any of the following:
• The litter box hasn't been cleaned!
• I don't like the new cat! He leaves a weird smell in the box!
• I don't like the new baby - you pay more attention to him now.
• The new couch smells terrible!
• Daddy has been yelling at me and I'll bet you didn't know that.
• I never get to do what I want to do.
• I have a bladder infection, and it hurts. Please call the vet.
• Someone closed the door and I can't get to my box.
• I don't like the new sand you switched to.
• It just seemed like the right thing to do at the time... I'm sorry.

Of course, the first and best thing to do is to be sure there are no health problems, such as a bladder or kidney infection. A trip to the vet for a wellness exam may be in order.

Next, get all your cats altered - that is, spayed and neutered. This one procedure alone will eliminate the urine marking most effectively and in most cases. Unfortunately, it's no guarantee. If you "fix" your cat after the behavior has started, you may never stop it. You stand the best chance of preventing it by having Fluffy fixed before puberty, and then helping her feel like she's a welcome member of the household.

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Dr. R.J. Peters has 1 articles online

Dr. Peters has an extensive background in health care and animal care. You can find more information at http://www.theproblemcat.com/faq.html There is a good book on this problem at http://www.theproblemcat.com/books.html

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Why is Your Cat Spraying in the House?

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This article was published on 2010/04/03