Cat Spraying 101: Why Does My Cat Spray? 

August 07, 2019

Cat Spraying 101: Why Does My Cat Spray? 

Did you know that all cats can spray regardless of gender? 


Unlike us, cats don’t have cell phones, smartwatches, and other high-tech stuff to communicate with each other. They do so by following their age-old instincts which include vocalizing, body language, rubbing, scratching, etc. to show their emotions. 


Additionally, they mark their territory by spraying to keep other kitties away. 


In this blog post, we will go through everything you need to know about your feline friend’s need to pee everywhere. 


Let’s get started. 

What’s the Difference Between a Cat Peeing and Spraying? 

This is where things get tricky. 


It’s hard to tell whether a cat is spraying or peeing since some kitties like to stand (not squat) when urinating. The amount of urine and its smell are better indicators of spraying. 


The spray contains pheromones which makes it highly pungent. 


Yes, that’s the unpleasant smell that makes you want to puke when you enter your home.  


However, the silver lining is that cat spray is less urine. 


When spraying, cats like to back up to a vertical surface while treading with their front paws and twitching their tails. Some cats also close their eyes. 

Why Does My Cat Keep Spraying All Over the House? 

As I mentioned earlier, urine is somewhat of a powerful communication tool in the cat world. 


Did you know that cats can tell a lot of things about each other through urine? This includes status, age, sex, and sexual availability! 


Do keep in mind that male, as well as female cats--intact or spayed/neutered--, are capable of spraying. However, it is usually the intact ones that are more likely to behave this way. 


Intact males have the highest chances of spraying. 


Since cat urine contains a lot of pheromones, these little studs actually try to entice females by spraying. Of course, at the same time, they’re also telling other male cats to stay away. 


In some cases, intact female cats also spray and the pheromones in their urine indicate where they are in their cycle.

But, My Cat is Spayed/Neutered!

While spayed/neutered cats don’t need to find a mate, they still spray to communicate important messages to the opposite sex. 


Some of them include: 

A Reaction to the neighborhood cats

If your kitty smells or sees unfamiliar cats hanging out near your house, they will spray around doors and windows to mark their territory. This is mostly seen in cases when your cat can’t engage with or chase away the intruder. 

Marking boundaries

Have you ever come across a “no trespassing” sign? 


Well, your cat’s spraying behavior is equivalent to that. Cats are territorial by nature and the pungent smell of cat urine lets other animals know that they’re supposed to stay away. 

New furniture

Some cats--like mine--spray on new furniture that you buy just because they feel like it! 

Resolving Conflicts

If you have multiple cats at your house, conflicts may be one of the reasons why your kitty has been spraying. Threatened, anxious, and stressed cats spray to mark their boundaries or communicate status. 


So, in a way, spraying may help maintain peace in your household. This can help keep cats from fighting. 

Stress

Did you know that stress and insecurities can trigger spraying in cats? 


Some cats are more sensitive than the others and start spraying when they’re around other cats, are alone at home, are ill, are moving homes, etc. In some cases, kitties might even start spraying because of changes in their schedule. 

Recognizing their own scents

In some cases, kitties spray inside their own territories in order to smell and recognize their own scent.

Change

Some kitties aren’t open to change and will start spraying if you’re moving, remodeling your place, etc. Other reasons include changes in the schedule, problems between the humans, etc. 

Mingling scents

If your kitty has been spraying on your belongings, the chances are that she’s trying to mingle her scent with yours to create a bond. 


Please Tell Me How to Make it Stop!

In this section of the blog post, we will go through a few ways in which you can make this behavior stop. 


Take a look. 

Don’t punish cats

Punishing your kitty is not a good idea if you want her to stop spraying. In fact, in most cases, punishing your feline friend may even escalate this behavior. 

Close doors

You can try to keep your cat out of the rooms she’s spraying in for a few days. 

Use an enzyme cleaner

You can clean the marked areas using an enzyme cleaner--it may take a couple of applications but the smell will soon be eliminated. 

Use synthetic pheromones

Spraying synthetic pheromones around the areas that your kitty has marked will help calm and relax her. 

Discourage neighborhood cats

It is best to keep the neighborhood cats away from your property. One of the best ways to do so is by placing safe deterrents outside your house. Some people also suggest temporarily blocking your kitty’s view by covering the windows. 

Interaction

If your kitty has been spraying on your belongings, try to spend more time with your feline friend and to play and interact with her every day. 

Address inter-cat issues

Try to reduce competition if you have multiple cats in your home. You can do this by providing more hiding places, vertical territory, toys, and scratchers throughout your house. 


Adding a few feeding stations (away from each other) is also a good idea. 


Also, try to ensure that there are enough clean litter boxes--one per cat is what you should aim for. 

Daily interaction

Make your kitty feel more secure and try to decrease her anxiety by spending time with her daily and doing the things that she enjoys. 

Spay and neuter

As I mentioned earlier, all cats spray but the chances of doing so are reduced of your cat is spayed or neutered. 

Change mental connections

If your cat has been marking the same thing over and over, you should clean these areas thoroughly using an enzyme cleaner. Do some fun activities with her, and provide her with a lot of toys to play with. 



Summing Up

Did we help you figure out why your cat’s been spraying all over? 


Urine is a powerful communication tool in the cat world and can be used to convey a lot of messages. However, no one likes to come home to pungent smell.


Let us know which of these tips helped you the most! 


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