Featured News 2016 What Causes Cats to Spray?

What Causes Cats to Spray?

Some cats engage in urine spraying or marking, commonly referred to as "spraying." In this case, the cat will back up to an object, hold his tail erect and release urine onto an object. The chemical makeup of the sprayed urine is different than the urine a cat releases when they relieve themselves.

Sprayed cat urine is unpleasant; some people say it smells like ammonia, while others say it has a musky odor. Like dogs, cats will spray for territorial reasons, especially when there is a territorial dispute, a female cat in heat, or when they are having a conflict with another cat in their home or neighborhood.

Most of the time cats will spray outside, but they can spray indoors. Often, two or more cats will share a certain territory, called "time-sharing, so their spraying will enable the cats to space themselves out, so they don't encounter one another.

As for indoor spraying, that usually occurs when there are conflicts between cats in the same household, or when an indoor cat will see a cat outside, and feels threatened by it.

How can I stop the spraying?

If you're a cat owner and you feel "enough is enough," your best bet is to neuter your male cat. Usually, the cats that spray are intact males, known as toms, but once in a while a female will spray. If you have a tomcat, neutering should curb the spraying. You should see significant improvements within six months of neutering your male cat.

However, a small percentage of male cats who are neutered before 10 months of age will still spray when they reach adulthood. Also, when a household has numerous cats, usually at least one of the cats will spray, even if all of the males are neutered.

If your tomcat is spraying, please do not punish him by scolding or hitting him. This behavior can teach him to fear you and the additional stress can actually increase the spraying. Instead, contact a local veterinarian for advice.

Related News:

Pet Ownership With A Pet Allergy

Pet allergies are some of the more common allergies in the United States, affecting 15-30% of people with allergies. However, pet ownership is increasing amongst Americans each year, leading to more ...
Read More »

Pet Profiles: Pot Belly Pigs

While most people own cats, dogs, reptiles, or rodents, some decide that a pot belly pig is the animal for them. Thee pigs come in a traditional size, but some breeders will offer miniature potbellied ...
Read More »

Flea Bite Allergies in Dogs

Of all the allergic reactions and skin problems that pets suffer, this one is probably the condition that affects the most pets. If a dog suffers from this condition, they are likely to first exhibit ...
Read More »