When you have a domesticated pet, it is easy to forget that they’ll occasionally display behaviours that their wild ancestors used for survival. One wild behaviour that remains in many modern-day domesticated cats is territorial marking. When it comes down to it, cats can be territorial creatures. They tend to roam across multiple territories at once, laying claim to them. However, seeing as they can’t be in more than one place at a time, they will leave their scent on a spot they consider theirs to let other cats know that this is their turf and not to trespass. This is fine when they use some methods of scent marking, but some scent marking includes urination or “spraying”. This can become problematic when it occurs in your home. Let us take a further look into the matter to ensure you fully understand cat spraying and can deal with it if it becomes a problem in your home.
As we have briefly highlighted above, cats like to mark their territory with scent. They will generally do this in one of three ways: rubbing, scratching, or spraying/
- Rubbing - cats have scent glands in their cheeks, paws and flanks. So, they can leave their scent on something by rubbing up against it with any of these parts of their bodies. If your cat rubs against your legs, for example, they are laying claim to you.
- Scratching - most people assume that cats are merely sharpening their claws when they scratch something. While this is somewhat true, they are also leaving their scent on whatever they are scratching, marking it as their own.
- Spraying - this is where we get to spraying. Spraying is an act that a cat carries out by backing up to an object with their tails raised. They will then spray their urine on the surface that they want to mark as their own. They may also urinate on horizontal surfaces to lay claim to these too. This, of course, is problematic in your home, as you do not want cat urine on any surface your cat takes a liking to. People often ask do female cats spray? Or is this just male cats? The answer is that all cats can, and do, spray.
How to Stop a Cat From Spraying?
So, how to stop a cat from spraying? Here are some steps that should help!
- Neutering - cats begin to spray when they reach sexual maturity. If your cat has sprayed indoors, you should consider contacting your vet and discuss having them neutered. This can prevent future spraying, as well as benefiting your cat in other ways, such as reducing chances of roaming, fighting, unwanted pregnancies and more.
- Health checks - sometimes cat adopt a spraying position while simply urinating and this may be linked to a medical condition. Check in with your vet to rule out any potential conditions that your cat may be experiencing.
- Reducing stress - sometimes cats spray because they are stressed. This is something else that you should consult your vet about. They may be able to help you to identify causes of stress and resolve them.
This may seem like a lot of information to take in, but it really can come in useful if your cat does start spraying around your home. In the meantime, make sure to clean up cat urine with specialist cleaners that will eliminate the odour.