Why Do Cats Spray and How to Stop it

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You have a long, tiring day at work and the thought of cuddling up with your cat as soon as you get home brings a smile to your face. But alas! The moment you open the door, you are greeted with a not-so-welcoming, foul odor. Once again you find your cat’s territorial marks all over the place.
Many cat parents will be able to relate to the above-mentioned scenario and must be looking for solutions for this conundrum. To find one, we first need to familiarize ourselves with this peculiar behavior in cats.

What is cat spraying and how is it different from a cat urinating?
When you find your cat squatting and releasing urine in a large quantity on a horizontal surface, that’s when you know it is urinating. In contrast, when you find your cat squirting a small amount of urine on a vertical surface in an upright position, what you witness is called spraying.

Why is your cat spraying?
Although the most commonly understood reason for cat spraying is to mark their territory, cat parents are unaware of many other causes for this behavior. A cat spraying can be an indication of an underlying health problem, such as a urinary tract infection, bladder inflammation, or urinary incontinence. Spraying is also a sign of stress or anxiety in cats. By spraying, cats feel secure. Stray cats outside your house or your neighbor’s pet cats might be intimidating your cat and making it anxious. Your cat may also be spraying if it is having conflicts with a new pet you’ve recently introduced in the house. Spraying can also happen when you shift houses and your cat is not yet accustomed to it. As cats are extremely clean creatures, filthy litter box may also cause them to spray.

How to stop your cat from spraying?
If your cat sprays once in a while, you can choose to ignore it. However, if it starts happening frequently, it can create quite a nuisance for you, as a cat’s spray is much more pungent than its urine. If after a medical examination it is established that your cat is healthy, you need to get to the root cause of your cat spraying. First, do not punish your cat for spraying; it will only aggravate the stress. Check if stray cats or your neighbor’s cats are bullying it, and cover your windows temporarily to avoid their contact with your cat. Seek professional help to help your cat get along with the new pet. Make sure the litter box is orderly and clean. And most important of all, play with your cat and make it feel loved to reduce anxiety.

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