Why do Cats Spray?

Wondering why do cats spray? Cats can spray for a variety of reasons but it’s not the same as just urinating in the house. Spraying has its own reasons, and your cat may be stressed, sick, or trying to claim it’s own space. Let’s dive into why cats spray, and what you can do about it!

What’s the difference?

Some people look at spraying as just urinating outside of the litter box but actually it’s something else entirely, the Humane Society says, “Spraying is when a cat backs up to a vertical surface with their tail erect and squirts urine. Their tail often quivers while they’re spraying. Regular urinating is when they squat to pee on the furniture, the floor, things lying on the floor or any other horizontal surface. Both males and females can (and do) spray and squat.” So before you get angry, check to see if they are peeing outside the litter box, or spraying, as the ways to resolve the issue can be different!

I’m stressing over here!

Cats may scratch up furniture for a variety of reasons, whether stress or getting their scratching desires met. If they feel stressed they may be more skittish or they may spray. “Moving to a new place, a home remodeling project, changes in routine or the arrival or loss of a human or pet sibling can all make a cat feel insecure and stressed. The changes don’t have to be big, either. Even moving around the living room furniture can upset a more sensitive kitty. ” according to Preventive Vet. For these reasons take change slowly, or give your cat time to adjust to a new place, they may be spraying out of reaction, and may stop soon. However, spending more time with your cat and making sure they have a safe space to rest and play can help them relax as well.

I’m just sick about it!

Cats can be curious creatures but sometimes a change of habits or behaviors can indicate that something is not quite right with them. By keeping them up to date on shots and vet appointments you can usually stay on top of their health, but that doesn’t mean they can’t get sick. Feliway mentions, “Sometimes spraying can be caused by an underlying health or medical condition, such as a bladder infection which is no fun for your pet! Arthritis or age can also create discomfort getting in and out of the litter box and cause your cat to urinate outside the litter box.” Tuning into our cats’ health helps us make sure they are feeling good, and prevent future accidents as well.

So what do you do?

So your cat sprayed, how do you clean it? According to PetMD, “Many find that vinegar, while a bit smelly itself, works to remove the lasting odor of sprayed cat urine because vinegar is an acid that neutralizes the alkaline salts that form in dried urine stains. A solution of one part water and one part vinegar can be used to clean walls and floors.” There are also many companies that sell cat urine cleaners that will deflect your cat from wanting to mark the same place again.

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