Have you been concerned or getting frustrated with your cat peeing on beds? Have they been spraying and urinating constantly over your home? Have you been unsure of what to do about the situation or trying to find out the best steps to take to stop a cat, specifically a female cat, from spraying? Well, this informational guide will teach you how to stop a cat from spraying by taking you through the correct actions in order to make sure your cat is as healthy as possible.
Before we move forward with actual prevention methods and types of treatment, it is important to understand why your cat is urinating around the house. First and foremost is that your cat is an animal that is not too far removed from its wild ancestors. As a result, each cat has an instinctive impulse to claim its surrounding environment as its own. How do cats claim these areas? Well, scent is the main form of communication that cats use. They leave their scent to mark territories through a number of ways. They sometimes rub their bodies. Have you ever wondered why your cat is always rubbing against your leg? Now you know he or she is claiming you as his or her human. They scratch, which you should not punish your cat for. Their claws are their main form of defense and allow them to escape predators, so instead of declawing focus on just training them to use a scratching post. It is actually quite easy and will not take long to teach. Finally, they urinate on objects. These practices are used wildly throughout wildlife, because nothing is capable of being in two places at once, and so they need some way to monitor and stake their territories. A scent or a mark lets other animals know that this area has a resident even if it is not within sight at the moment. An example that may be more close to home is that of the times you have brought a new pet home and introduced that new one to the family of pets you already have. It doesn’t matter if the cat you just picked up looks exactly like another one at home. To the cat at home the other one is a stranger because it has a different smell. That is the reason why the new one always receives a prolonged sniffing over; it is the way he becomes part of the family.
Now that we understand the importance of marking territory let us differentiate between the two urine-making methods that your cat(s) use(s).
- Peeing on horizontal surfaces (squatting)
This is when your cat squats to pee on the furniture, the bed, the floor, or any type of object lying on the floor. Basically, they squat over horizontal surfaces and then leave their scent.
- Spraying urine on a vertical surface
This method is a very specific action for a cat. They will back up to a vertical surface with their tail erect and then squirt urine. This action is often accompanied with a quiver of the tail while they spray.
These types of intentional marking should NOT be confused with a litter box issue. If your cat has been trained and is using his or her litter box without issue, then that should be a tip off that what they are doing is marking, and the proper steps must be taken.
To understand the best treatment, you need to understand the underlying cause.
One of the main reasons why cats urinate frequently is that he or she is unneutered or unsprayed. The desire to spray is extremely powerful in a cat that has yet be fixed. The easiest solution is to get your cat neutered or spayed by the time he or she is five months of age. This method essentially takes care of things before there is an even an issue. For an adult cat that you might have rescued or adopted that un neutered/unsprayed, get him or her fixed as soon as possible. Fixing them generally solves 90% of all marking issues, even with cats that have made a habit of spraying.
Another major reason why cats mark is that they are experiencing a high amount of stress. Whenever there is a change in a cat’s environment whether that be a new pet, an animal wandering about, or even a new baby in the house, this causes quite a lot of stress for a cat. How they deal with this stress is by reaffirming their territory and space. Your cat is feeling anxious about what this new addition means for him or her and so leaving urine is your cat’s most powerful way of saying “this is stressful!”
Finally, there can be medical issues at the roots of your cat’s urination issue. Urinary tract infections and blockages (both possibly fatal) may be the cause of why your cat has stopped using the litter box or spends a large amount of time urinating and licking its genitals. If your cat cries in front of you or urinates in the bathtub or sink then they are trying to tell you something is wrong. If you see any signs of a medical issue take your cat to a vet.
In the end, if your cat is experiencing a urination issue then the first step of treatment should be to take them to a vet. If it is anything serious then you caught it early and the veterinarians can take care of the issue. Once you have ensured your cat’s clean bill of health then is the time to figure out what stress at home might be causing the issue if your cat has already been spayed/neutered.