What is Cat Spraying?

Cat Spraying


During cat spraying the cat backs up to an object, this object is about head level to cats, he will hold his tail erect while quivering it, and will release urine out backwards on an object. The spray differs from the chemical composition of urine because it also contains oily secretions from the anal glands. It also contains pheromones that will attract or repel other cats depending on the situation. This type of urine spraying is very pungent and has a very strong ammonia-musky odor.



Spraying is a normal innate territorial marking behavior that has nothing to do with litter box problems. It is important that you accept this as a natural response of cat behavior. Cats will spray during territorial disputes, aggressive conflicts and sexual encounters. Both male and female cats will spray, but it is more common in males.

A majority of cats who spray will spray outdoors. They do this to mark their territories. Marking territories enables the cats to space themselves so they would not make frequent encounters with each other. Some cats may spray to mark territories inside their homes. This is usually caused by conflicts between cats in the home or from an indoor cat seeing and feeling threatened by a cat he sees through a window.

Most cats who spray are reproductively intact males, known as tom cats. Spraying may also occur in multi-cat homes. In multi-cat homes the spraying may occur on vertical surfaces like drapes and furniture.

How to Stop Cat Spraying

There are various methods you can use to stop cat spraying. You may need to use more than one.

• Neuter of spay your cat. More than 90% of cats will not start spraying if you have them “fixed” before the behavior begins. I have three males and one female in my house and I have never had a problem with cat spraying because I have always neutered or spayed my cats before sexual maturity. Studies have shown that cats who have been spraying and were then neutered showed a 75% reduction within six months. Most cats stop immediately.

• Restrict your cats view to other cats. If your cat sees another cat through the windows his natural response is to mark his territory which is your home. You need to block your cats view if he is reacting to sights. Close the drapes, the blinds, or tape something on the bottom part of the window like foil or poster board. If your cat is reacting to scents of other cats from a screened door or window keep them closed.

• Stop cat spraying in multi-cat homes by creating a positive relationship between your cats. Cats that get along with each other are less competitive and are less likely to spray. Give each of them plenty of attention and play with them together. You can encourage them to groom each other by wiping them all down with the same wet wipe or wet cloth.

• Clean the sprayed areas. Cats can smell a hundred times greater than humans and they can easily detect odors that have been cleaned by conventional means. First blot the area with a towel to remove dampness. Than treat the area with aurine odor remover that uses natural enzymes to break down and neutralize the odor. You can get these at pet stores.

• Use a pet repellent . If you cat prefers certain areas, spray it with a type of product that they don’t like to be around. You can get these products at pet stores.

• You can stop cat spraying by keeping your kitties in a routine. Sometimes change may cause spraying. Cats are very habitual creatures by nature. Keep feed timing the same each day and keep food, water, and litter box in consistent locations. 

• To stop cat spraying reduce your kitty’s anxiety. This can be done in a couple of ways. You can take your kitty to a veterinarian and ask for advice. There are many types of anti-anxiety medications that your vet can prescribe to your kitty to help reduce anxiety. There is also a product called Feliwaythat you can spray in areas where your cat is spraying. It is a synthetic pheromone that brings out a calm and friendly behavior in cats. It can help reduce inappropriate elimination by reducing anxiety and fear. 

• Whatever you do, NO NOT punish your cat. Hitting and spanking your cat for spraying or taking him to the area and scolding him does NOT work. This will only make him afraid of you. This may cause him to be more stressed and increase the spraying. Have you ever heard of a cat eliminating on a person’s clothes, chair, or inside someone’s shoes? Your might think that the cat is getting even for having been punished or that the cat may not like that person. But cats don’t get even. What is happening is that the kitty smells the persons scent on these objects and become anxious and scared causing the kitty to eliminate on them. Do not punish your kitty!

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