Spraying behaviors in your cat can cause problems for you and your family. Not only is the behavior itself irritating, but spraying can also ruin furniture and cause your home to smell really bad.
At times, it may seem like all hope is lost, and your house is destined to forever smell of cat urine. Before you give up hope and force yourself into believing that a fresh smelling home is overrated, just keep reading. We’ll help you learn what spraying behavior is, and how to stop a cat from spraying.
Why Do Cats Spray?
Spraying is a natural cat behavior that is most common among males, but some females have also been known to spray. When a cat sprays an object, he backs up and literally sprays urine all over, which is why it leaves such a pungent odor. Cats that aren’t neutered or spayed are likely spraying to communicate with other cats.
Male cats like to mark their territory to let other cats know he has been in the area. Males also use spraying behaviors to communicate with female cats, which is why your male cat may spray more often if a female cat is lurking around outside your home.
Some cats may also spray because they feel anxious or stressed. Urinary tract infections can also cause your cat to spray.
How to Stop a Cat From Spraying
The easiest way to stop a cat from spraying is to have the cat spayed or neutered. Because cats most often spray to communicate with females, neutering your cat reduces his need to find a mate. If you are able to neuter a cat early, before the spraying habit forms, you can actually prevent your cat from spraying altogether.
Because stress and urinary tract infections can cause spraying too, neutered and spayed cats can be caught spraying furniture and walls in the home. When determining how to stop a cat from spraying, make sure to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to determine whether there’s a medical cause for the behavior. If your cat has a urinary tract infection, your vet will likely prescribe medication. If your cat’s spraying behavior is anxiety related, your vet can provide you with advice on how to reduce your cat’s stress levels.
Removing Cat Spray and Urine
Now that you know how to stop a cat from spraying, it’s important to know how to deal with the aftermath. If your cat has sprayed or urinated in your home, it is extremely important to take care of the mess right away in order to prevent further problems. If a cat can smell where he has sprayed or urinated before, he’ll go back to the same spot again and again, even if he has been neutered or the urinary tract infection is gone.
First, blot up the mess with a disposable towel or paper towels. Avoid rubbing the area as this can saturate the carpet or upholstery even further. Add water to the spot and continue to blot the area. You can even stand on the towel in order to soak up as much of the fluid as you can.
Then, clean the area with a specially formulated pet stain cleaning product. Products targeted towards pets contain an enzyme that removes urine compounds while regular cleaners do not. You will also want to scrub walls that your cat has marked with urine.
So now that you know how to stop a cat from spraying, just remember that punishing your cat will not cause him to stop spraying in your home. It is important that you get to the root of the problem and address the cause in order to get rid of the behavior for good.