Why Do Cats Spray or Mark?

Why Do Cats Spray or Mark?

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What makes cats spray or mark their territory? That’s the million-dollar question. And once you know why they do it, how can you treat the area and prevent further cat spraying?

Spraying is a type of nonverbal communication among cats that utilizes chemicals in urine. Although natural, this action can be destructive and unpleasant for humans. Spraying or “marking” is not a litter box issue; it is related to a behavioral problem.

When cats spray they mark territory with pheromones. These natural chemicals are produced by animals to serve as a form of chemical communication. Several different pheromones are secreted by different regions of the body and communicate different things including a desire to mate, territorial boundaries, and to signal that all is well. Each cat’s pheromone combinations are unique, like a human fingerprint.

If your cat is spraying, there are several things you can do. Please read this article on<a href="https://petplace.uat.petpartners.com/cats/feline-urine-marking/page1.aspx. <br/>" title="'Click here for more information. '" onclick="pageTracker._trackPageview('/tracking/articles/outbound/009383/petplace-staging.mdrkdjq6-liquidwebsites.com/cats/feline-urine-marking/page1.aspx.
‘)”> Feline Urine Marking for more information.

When dealing with spraying, some general guidelines include:

  • If you are unsure if your cat is urinating in the house or spraying – have your veterinarian examine your cat to rule out the possibility of a medical problem. Please DON’T assume that inappropriate urination is spraying if you aren’t sure. Veterinarians often diagnose urinary medical problems which were originally blamed on spraying behavior.
  • If your cat has not been neutered, you may want to consider it. Much marking behavior is related to hormones and neutering may eliminate it entirely.
  • Clean urine marks thoroughly with a product designed to neutralize the odor. Avoid ammonia-based products, which smell like urine to a cat’s sensitive nose. If they can detect even a small amount of this scent it encourages the cat to spray on the same spot again.
  • If your pet is in a stressful situation, try to identify and eliminate the cause of the stress as a first step. These situations can include a new home, family member, or even a change in furniture.
  • Use a commercial pheromone product such as Feliway®. These are peaceful pheromones that reduce anxiety and discourage spraying behavior.

    I hope this article helps you understand and deal with your cat’s spraying behavior. For more information on spraying, please visit a behaviorist’s recommendations at <a href="https://petplace.uat.petpartners.com/cats/feline-urine-marking/page1.aspx. <br/>" title="'Click here for more information. '" onclick="pageTracker._trackPageview('/tracking/articles/outbound/009383/petplace-staging.mdrkdjq6-liquidwebsites.com/cats/feline-urine-marking/page1.aspx.
    ‘)”> Feline Urine Marking.

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