Nothing smells worse than cat spray. Along with cat pee outside the litter box, cat spray is a leading cause of cat abandonment, abandonment, or euthanasia. Marriages take enormous strain when one spouse gives up to stop the cat spray problem or abandons the cat. Renters were forced by landlords to either move out or get rid of the spraying cat.
This is very sad because in many cases the problems of spraying cats can be solved or greatly reduced. But first, we need to explain the difference between cat spray and cat urine. Spray is actually some urine mixed with pheromones secreted by your cat’s glands. The positions your cat adopts to spray are also different from peeing – they stand upright and lift their butt high in the air to spray instead of crouching down to urinate.
Both male and female cats spray. Unneutered males are most likely to have this problem, while neutered females are least likely to have this problem. Although spraying is viewed as a problem by humans, it is a perfectly natural behavior for cats.
Be aware that your cat may suddenly start spraying when sick. For example, bladder infections are known to cause cats to spray. If your cat is neutered and suddenly develops this behavior, you should take them to the vet for a check-up before doing anything else.
A primary reason for spraying cats is to attract mates. Female cats in heat spray to indicate ready. Male cats spray to mark their territory – they say “Keep out! The females here are mine!”. This is one reason why you should always spay your cats. Unneutered tomcats are very likely to spray. Once he develops this behavior it is very difficult to stop, even after you neuter him. Many vets are willing to neuter your cat as long as he is at least 6 months old. Some prefer to wait until he is 9 months old, while others are willing to do it even earlier. You should also spay and neuter female cats when they are 6 months old, prior to their first heat.
Bringing home a new pet or family member can also cause your cat to spray. Whether you explain it as stress and insecurity or territoriality or dominance behavior doesn’t really matter. It’s about making the cat feel safe and secure again. Once you successfully make him feel like he’s still numero uno, he’ll stop squirting. While your vet can help you figure out why your cat is spraying, you know the cat best. You’re the best person to figure out why he’s spraying. Asking your vet to play private detective can take quite a long time – he will approach the problem gradually and methodically. Cases were published in veterinary journals where the problem took years to resolve. If you truly love your cat, you are still the best person to get them to stop spraying.
Once your cat has sprayed a specific spot, she will likely go back and spray it again. One way to stop this is to thoroughly clean the sprayed area. Ordinary soap and water will not suffice. Just because you can’t smell anything doesn’t mean your cat can’t smell anything. The best solution is to use a black light (UV lamp) in the dark to find the stains and clean them with an enzymatic cleaner like Nature’s Miracle.
Cat spray is a very smelly problem that has resulted in many cats being abandoned by their owners. However, this is a problem that can be solved. If you love your cat, you have a duty to her and to yourself to keep her from spraying.
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