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All About the Cats: Cat Spraying
Cats and dogs both are wonderful creatures; hence the world too is divided into two parts, i.e. cat persons and dog persons. Here is a little treat for all the cat persons out there. Cats are great, but some people think that they don’t appreciate or love their owners as much as dogs do, while some just adore their attitude. In the end, it all comes down to your taste.
One great thing about cats is that they stay clean. You may call it their nature or their instinct, but they always, always try to stay clean. One clue is that they are often seen covering their little businesses after they are done. They choose to relieve themselves in litter boxes and then later cover it with dirt. Likewise, a litter box is a great place for them to take care of their business while not a dirty and smelly mess all over the house.
This is rather true for both pee and poop. Which is the reason why this article will tend to lean towards the calculated and logical reasons for cat spraying as many people misunderstand that cats spray all over the house only to get rid of the waste which is not at all true. Rather the reason behind this act is something different.
Why do Cats spray?
Like dogs, cats also have a very keen sense of smell. They, too spray to mark their territory as most big cats do in the wild. So don’t be alarmed if a cat sprays on something in your house, it is just claiming it as its territory. The animal way is totally different than humans, who plant flags to mark their land.
Being one of the territorial animals, the cats have to mark their territory too. Animals mark by using the scent produced from their urine. Unlike us two legged creatures, these felines have a very developed and sensitive sense of smell, sensitive enough to detect the difference of their own body odor from another. For us humans, body odor is a sign of poor hygiene, for cats, the same odor can be a distinguished mark.
So, that’s it. Cats spray to mark their territory. Just like our finger prints and irises distinguish us from one another, for cats it is the odor of their urine. Any other cat who walks past somewhere and notices the odor will know that a cat has already claimed it as its own. Most will respect the marking and not try to mark it with their own urine and through this cats claim territories as their own.
By the bye, they do not only mark their own territory, but it is also used to attract mates. As discussed above, cats have keen noses and can easily distinguish other cats from their urine odors. Later they can track this odor back to its particular cat. Hence like humans use tinder to look for mates, cats use scents to look for other cats in order to mate.
Once in a blue, your kitty may also sprinkle due to stress. If the cat is not able to rest properly, or you just changed its diet to something different, or it’s just not getting enough play time, these are some reason for stress spraying. The cat may also spray more often if there is more than one cat in a particular area or home. Simply put, spraying is also a way for them to indicate stress and spite.
Do Female Cats spray?
In least possible words, Yes! As discussed before, cats spray as an act of marking their territory and to attract mates. Hence it is not unusual for a cat of feminine gender to spray. The main reason behind female cat spraying is to attract a mate for her. Female spraying mostly indicates desires of attracting a mate; however some female felines carry a strong boundary urge and may spray to mark territories too. By bringing in a new animal or even a new piece of furniture to the house will prompt strong territorial impulses in your pet.
Do Male Cats Spray?
Male cats spray for two major reasons, i.e. to mark their territory and to find and attract a mate for themselves. As the unique odor of the spray marks their territory while its distinct can be interpreted easily by passing females and lead them to the very tomcat it belongs to. This body odor is equal to perfume for cats. Castrating the tom cat may end most of its spraying instincts; however, the kitty can still spray if it is under some sort of stress or dislikes the presence of other cats.
Do Neutered Cats Spray?
Abnormally, they still do. Spraying has two sides to it, finding mates and marking territories. Since a neutered cat lacks the gender organs which mean that they can’t produce enough estrogen and testosterone in enough quantities to actually mate. But they may still do it to claim a territory as its own. In a nutshell, they do.
When do cats start spraying?
Spraying is a sort of cat communication system. Cat pee also contains many complex pheromones. Pheromones are chemical substances which relay different sorts of messages to other cats. Spraying is a very common thing for cats in which they communicate their availability for mating (both males and females) through pheromones.
The males will mark their territory and his pheromones will tell other cats that this place is his and not to cross his boundaries.
Cats are very habitual creatures and also live and thrive in a familiar and consistent surrounding. If anyone breaches their comfort zone, this may also make cats spray due to stress.
It is very important to evaluate the reasons and situations which trigger spraying as it is essential for the treatment which often needs to define all those anxiety inducing behaviors.
In most cases, the spraying analysis results to the comfort-zone theory as majority of house cats are neutered. Most of the people do not wish to cope with the crazy cat sex drives and messy-heats, so they neuter them before adopting them and bringing them home. Which means that your cat might also be neutered and is spraying because either it is stressed or wishing to mark its territory.
How to clean cat urine?
All the sprayed areas must attentively be cleaned with any commercial household odor neutralizer. Any remaining scent may impulse your cat to spray on the same area again in order to make his message loud and clear.
Any strong citrus or wintergreen scent deodorizer may keep the kitty away from that spot, while it may also make him want to spray on some other area. Many have found success in steering their cat by using Feliway™ on the affected area. Feliway™ is a synthetic facial feline pheromone analogue, which has to be applied on the same spot one to three times a day. This spray has seen many successes with marking cats. If the cat still does not stop spraying, drug treatment is used. Before, Valium® was given to cats to reduce spraying but nowadays clomipramine and buspirone is also recommended in the battle to fight spraying alongside deodorizers. Basically all drugs have both behavioral and physical side effects, one should properly consult the veterinarian before giving such dosage.
Some cats only need these drugs for sometime, while others may need to take them for their whole life, in order to prevent them from returning to their old spraying behaviors if they are anxious or stressed. Note: baseline should be tested before starting the drug treatment, followed by a few checkups to ascertain whether the cat’s organs are not being damaged due to regimen.
Here are a few pointers for dealing with cat spraying:
When your cat is six months old, have it neutered. Although there are many good reasons for neutering your cat, more than 90 percent of them won’t spray in your homes if they are fixed during the beginning six months.
Limit outdoor views for your cat. If it sees another cat of the opposite gender it will make it spray and mark their territory, i.e. your home. Move all furniture away from the windows, cover the lower ends of the windows and pull your drapes properly. Also provide your pet with a play area or cat tree in order to refocus their attention.
If there is more than one cat in your home, develop a good relationship between them. Kitties that get along tend to be less competitive and are more likely not to spray on a regular basis. Give them equal attention and play with them together, make them sleep and eat together as well. Also encourage them to groom one another. You can do this by damping a cloth yourself and wiping them both with it in turns.
Don’t stress your cat. Keep everything in check and in routine. Any kind of change in your house may trigger anxiety and stress for your pets. New people, new cats or new decorations, anything can stress them out. Feed them on the same time you do each day, clean their litter boxes and also keep their beds in the same regular place. If you have visitors, place your pets in a separate room, particularly if they have cats of their own and may also carry their own particular scent. Feliway Spray and Comfort Zone Plug-in have pheromone like substances in them which are designed to calm cats. These sprays may help your cats come over their anxiety, particularly if you have an event planned the following night or when you think that they look stressed.
If your cat has the tendency to spray, make sure to clean the sprayed area thoroughly to prevent from re-marking. CleanAway Pet Stain & Odor Remover, Stainaway and OdorLogic are recommended brands as they contain natural enzymes which devour odors rather than just covering it up with their own scents.
No-Scratch! And SSSCAT Spray drives your cat away as it has an unbearable scent for cats. This is basically to stop them from spraying over your houseplants or any other particular thing that interests your cat a lot.
Another way of dealing with spraying is with cat diapers. But you may only call it a band aid solution. This will only stop the pee from reaching anything in the house, but it does not stop the peeing altogether. The cat is still spraying to their hearts content, only it’s not all over your house, just in the diapers.
Cat Diapers, can be taken as a market, which offers help for elderly cats, and these cat diapers are just another aid option for these old kitties. Even if it seems like just yesterday the cat was playing around your feet, but today he seems a bit slow and limp.
It’s hard to see cats age and their energy levels reaching an all time low, maybe in their aging we see our futures too. Before, it was very hard for cats to reach their 20s but nowadays, these cats easily reach the 20 year mark and in some rare cases they also reach their 30s.
So in their aging years, even with care and nutrition, circulation slows down, grooming has to be done regularly and there are more litter box accidents than usual, these diapers become an alternate.
There are also some products which give cats a better quality of life. Some cat experts say that cats may experience geriatric health problem in their early years too.
It’s a very complex stage of life and your cat may experience many different signs of aging like thin coat of fur, laziness because of arthritis and heart circulation conditions, weak muscles and frequent urination or even becoming incontinent. (Unable to hold urine)
Some age-helping items are very difficult to find, like ramps, while other items can easily be found in pet stores.
Incontinence is uncommon in cats but it can still happen. It can be a bother to your cat too like it can be a bother for you. The more your cat ages, the more pee accidents there are. Place litter boxes in different parts of your house for its convenience. Another option is cat diapers. Entirely Pets also offers such brands, just type diapers into their search box and it will give you a list of many brands.
These diapers have existed over the past decade in which Joybies Piddle Pants are very famous. These overall look a likes are available in hot pink, red and navy blue, with a waterproof lining and a pad to detain small amounts of liquids in them.
Your cat won’t wear the pants at first, but I recommend them as it is better to have your furniture soaking in cat pee or to have your cat put to sleep. The good side is that cats adjust quickly to these piddle pants.
That’s all there is to cat spraying. This is in their behavior and domesticating them won’t do you any good. We can either dull or limit this behavior by different means. Even neutered one will spray. That is just how cats are.
If your cat needs to express himself with urine don’t delay your reply. And if you can’t stop it or don’t know why it is doing what it’s doing, then seek the help of an animal behaviorist to understand the reasons behind your cat’s spraying.
It is more likely that your cat is neutered and is peeing because it is in stress. Find the root cause and deal with it. After all you just love your little kitty and don’t want it to cause more trouble than it already has, right?