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Tampa Bay Vet Pet Health Care Tip � Handle Cat Spray Problems

27 18:16:37
“A cat spraying problem is not typically a litter box issue,” says veterinarian Dr. Al Paredes. “Rather, it is usually a marking behavior which is a dominant nonverbal communication among cats.” Spraying [urine marking] can signal several different things; commonly to attract a mate or mark territories and boundaries. A cat’s urine contains pheromones, a substance produced by animals that is used for communication and identifies the cat.

While neutered male cats might spray when aroused, intact males have the greatest motivation to mark because of their mating and territorial agendas.

Intact female cats that are in heat can spray to signal potential mates, but they urine-mark more commonly from the squatting position.

Cats do not spray or mark things to irritate their owners. Cat spraying is instinctive genetic behavior that has helped cats survive and reproduce in the wild, and it cannot be bred out of domestic cats.

Many times, adjustments can be made in the home that can solve the problem, especially if you can recognize the purpose that the cat is spraying for – attracting a mate, marking a territory. If your cat is frequently and consistently spraying, here are some things that you can do:

Get an Exam from your veterinarian to eliminate the possibility of a medical problem.

Spay and Neuter – Talk with your vet about the advantages to you and about the health advantages to your cat. Many time the operation will stop the spraying behavior.

Eliminate the Cause If It Is Stress – If your pet is in a situation that puts it in conflict with other cats, or causes separation anxiety, attempt to identify and eliminate the cause of the stress to control the spraying behavior.

Clean up the spray marks – There are specially designed products available that neutralize the odor of the animals urine and clean off the stains. Avoid using household products that contain or smell like ammonia as the smell of ammonia simulates the smell of urine and can cause the cat to remark that same spot.

Use Pheromonal Sprays: They contain substances which discourage spraying behavior when it is applied to the areas the pet has sprayed.

Litter Boxes – Have an adequate number of litter boxes around the home and keep them clean

Restrict the view of other cats outside: It is natural response is to mark its territory when your cat sees another cat. If you can cover up the view of the outdoor area where other cats frequently can be seen by covering windows with blinds or shades and moving furniture away from the window to deny easy access to the view it can help cut down on the spraying behavior.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Cats can suffer from medical conditions that make them urinate outside the litter box. These medical conditions can be life threatening, so if you encounter this problem, see our contact information at the bottom of this article. Better to know for sure that it is just a typical cat spraying problem, especially when your beloved cat’s health is at stake.

For more information about what we can do for your pet, see the resource box at the bottom of this article.

Thank you pet owners,

Dr. Al Paredes - Palm Harbor FL Vet