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Urine spraying is one of the most common problems associated with owning a cat. This behavior is normal in cats, as they spray urine on places or objects which they consider part of their territory.
But as soon as a cat owner recognizes signs of cat spraying, it is best to take the cat to the veterinarian right away. Urinating or defecating outside the litter box can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition. Not to mention, urine spraying can damage home furniture. The following are some tips on how to stop urine spraying in cats.
1. Spray or neuter
A spray is a common surgical procedure performed both in cats and dogs. It involves the removal of the uterus and both ovaries. This is usually performed to prevent unwanted pregnancy, but there are other benefits including prevention and treatment of uterine infection and cancer. It also leads to a decrease in sex hormones in cats, which consequently reduces the chances of spraying.
2. Determine the root cause
Finding out the root cause of spraying is important to put an end to the behavior. One of the first things to check is whether there’s a conflict between the cat and other pets inside the house. There may also be cases in which the cat sees other cats or animals outside the house, making it feel anxious.
The typical response is to mark its territory by spraying urine. Because of this, it’s recommended to limit the outside view of the cat. In multi-pet households, it’s best to ensure that the relationship between all animals is harmonious.
3. Clean and eliminate odors
When a cat sprays a particular area of the house, there’s a good chance that it will re-spray in the future. To avoid this, use enzymatic cleaners to thoroughly eliminate odors. Afterward, the area should be sprayed with a feline pheromone spray. This allows the cat to feel more secure and less threatened. The cat might still try to mark the territory, but use its cheeks rather than urine-marking.
4. Increase productivity
Increasing the cat’s productivity is an excellent way to take its mind off stress. This can be easily achieved by giving the cat productive toys such as cat food puzzles. These interactive active toys should keep the cat occupied, which is great in times when there is no one to attend to it.
It’s also recommended to introduce structure and routine in the cat’s daily activities. Even slight changes in the cat’s environment can cause anxiety, which then leads to spraying.
5. Use positive reinforcement
Positive reinforcement can also be used to change the cat’s association with the marking area. Cat owners can pet or cuddle their cat in the area, or feed the cat in the location. Doing these things can help make the cat feel more comfortable and less threatened.
Behavioral training can go a long way when it comes to stopping a cat from spraying in the house. But remember that cat spraying may be a sign of a serious medical condition. Consult the veterinarian right away for a proper diagnosis.