Do you know how to deal with a cat that sprays?
I know from experience how hard it is to remove cat urine from beddings, walls, and furniture.
You don’t want to spend all your time cleaning up after you cat, so I’m here to help you.
Keep on reading to discover five tips to stop a spraying cat.
How to Deal with a Cat that Sprays
Most people assume that only male cats spray.
That’s not true.
Female cats also spray, although they do it less often than tomcats.
Both genders use smell as a way of communicating with other cats or animals. The smell tells rival felines that the territory is taken and that they are not welcomed.
No matter how disgusted you feel on the inside, spraying is a normal thing for a cat to do. But there are a couple of things you can do to prevent your cat from spraying.
This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we earn a small commission at no extra charge to you.
#1 Spay/neuter your cat
Intact male cats are the most likely one to spray. Once a tomcat reaches sexual maturity, Tiger uses his urine to attract female cats, mark his territory and warn other toms to keep their distances.
That’s why it smells so awful.
The bad news about tomcats is that they don’t have a “heat cycle” like female ones. Instead, they react to females in heat.
That means a tom might be in the mood for the better part of the year and will spray everything in sight in an attempt to attract females.
Neutering/spaying is the best option and the responsible thing to do.
You won’t contribute to the countless kittens on the streets, your pet won’t get into fights with other males and won’t spray in the house.
You May Also Like
However, you should keep in mind that spraying can become a habit if you don’t act in time. In such cases, neutering/spaying might not solve your problem.
#2 Reduce stress
I saw my Ronnie spraying the walls on the staircase after our neighbor’s cat started hanging around the house. Ronnie is spayed, and until that moment I had never seen a female cat spraying.
Of courses, I talked with the vet, and he said that anxiety and stress trigger spraying in neutered/spayed cats.
So, think about your home situation.
Has something changed recently?
- Maybe you’ve brought another cat/dog into the picture, or you’ve just had a baby.
- You might have lost a beloved pet or a family member.
All these scenarios will affect your cat negatively.
If you want to deal with a cat that sprays, you have to relieve her/his anxiety.
Here are some tips:
- Keep stray cats away from your home. I understand your desire to help them but do not feed them where your furbaby can see them.
- Ensure that your cat has enough space to roam. If you have limited space, you might add some vertical shelves to expand your cat’s territory.
- Block the view from a window if something outside is bothering your cat.
- Introduce new pets slowly and wait for your cat to accept them.
- Talk with your vet about synthetic pheromones like Feliway to calm down your kitty. Or catnip and Valerian.
- Make sure that you spend enough time with your kitty and that he doesn’t feel neglected.
#3 Rule out a medical problem
As I said, spraying is normal behavior for intact cats.
However, spraying might also indicate an illness if your cat is neutered/spayed and has never sprayed before.
It’s never a mistake to get your cat to the vet if you think something might be wrong.
What’s more, sometimes you think that your cat is spraying, but he might have difficulty urinating.
Tomcats sometimes get urinary obstruction due to the anatomy of their urinal tracts. As a result, toms might not be able to urinate, or they might pass a small amount of urine.
Usually, a cat sprays vertical surfaces such as walls or legs of furniture. You’ll see how the cat quivers his tails and sprays without squatting.
However, if you’re not there to witness the act and you keep finding wet spots on carpets or beddings, you should take your cat for evaluation.
#4 Get rid of the smell
Another way to deal with a cat that sprays is to remove all traces of the urine smell from your house.
Cats get triggered to re-spray the area when they smell it.
So, if you don’t clean it so well that the cat can’t smell it anymore, you have a problem.
To eliminate cat urine odors, do the following:
- Locate all the places your cat has marked. You’ll be able to smell most of them, but you might miss a few. So, get a black light and go through your house.
- Use one part vinegar and one part water to clean the spots. While vinegar smells unpleasant, it’s an acid that breaks down the alkaline salts in the urine.
- As an alternative, you might use a commercial enzyme-based cleaner to get rid of the smell completely.
- Do not use cleaning products based on ammonia, because cat urine contains ammonia. So, your Tiger is more likely to spray if you clean with such products.
Check out ►► this video ◄◄ for more insider tips on getting rid of cat urine odor
#5 Don’t punish the cat
No matter what other cat owners might tell you, punishing a cat is not going to work. For one thing, a cat doesn’t make a connecting between the punishment and her wrongdoings.
Your furbaby gets that you’re upset about something, but not what exactly.
For another, punishing the cat might make Tiger more anxious. When Tiger is nervous and scared, he is going to spray again as a stress reliever. So, your “punishments” are counterproductive.
Try to identify the reasons why your cat sprays. If you can’t find a logical explanation, I advise that you consult a cat behaviorist.
When dealing with a cat that sprays, you have to be patient and look at things from your cat’s point of view.
But more importantly, you should neuter/spay your cats as soon as possible to prevent spraying altogether.
What do you think about these five ways to deal with a cat that sprays? How did you deal with yours? Tell us in the comments.
I’ve grown up surrounded by animals – dogs, cats, cows, goats, sheep, and horses and that has shaped me into what I am today – a crazy cat lady who always has a place for one more cat (or a dog). I’ve got two female cats – Kitty and Roni, and two tomcats – Blacky and Shaggy, but I also feed my neighbors’ cats when they come for a visit. I just can’t say no to them.
I discovered that writing is my vocation early in my school years. Since then I’ve taken part in several literature contests – writing horror and fantasy short stories and novellas.
For the past three years, I’ve been an ELS teacher, pouring my heart into showing children and teenagers how important English is for their future and trying to educate them how to treat their pets with care.