Your cat holds it tail high, most often from a standing position, and lets fly its most pungent substance. If your cat sprays, you’ll find the evidence about a foot or so above the floor depending on how tall your cat is.
You may ask, “Why does my cat ruin my house?”
The answer is simple: Because your house is your cat’s house.
Cats spray for one reason and one reason only-to mark their territory. Human beings aren’t much different. We set boundaries on land to establish who owns what-only, for the most part anyway, we don’t use piss as markers. Cats do, however, and they have done this for thousands of years so it’s going to be an uphill battle to get yours to stop. But you are not helpless in your quest. Here are some things you can try.
1. Get your cat spayed or neutered
Both male and female cats spray, although males are most often blamed. Spraying is greatly reduced by getting your pet spayed or neutered. Un-spayed females will spray when they are in heat and looking for Mr. Right Now. Spaying greatly reduces this behavior in female cats.
Neutering male cats is almost as effective. Animal experts claim that neutering male cats eliminates spraying in 90% of studied cases. Those are pretty good odds. But don’t dismay if your cat is among the 10% who continue to spray. There are more options.
2. Help your cat protect its territory
Since its 100% natural for a cat to mark its territory, the less threatened your cat feels the less marking will occur. Work with your cat’s instincts rather than against them.
If you have only one cat, then the threat may be present outside your home. Check to see if stray cats or other animals that might be competing for territory near your house. If you let your cat outside, the scents of other animals are certain to be present. Spraying outside probably doesn’t bother you, but your cat may spray inside your house just to make sure that everyone knows this is your cat’s territory.
If you have multiple cats in your household who may compete for territory, then it will be a little more challenging for you to play the referee. One way to lessen tension between opponents is to clearly identify the territorial boundaries.
Too many cats live at my house (I will be the first to admit this) because a friend, my mom and I decided to move in together. We are all cat lovers so we combined three households of cats.
Cats die off but somehow we get new ones. Our cat population averages around 8 cats at any time. Needless to say, cat marking can be a real problem for us. We humans are clear about which cats belong where, and we do what we can to facilitate these territories.
Tru and Kate rule Carolyn’s room. Sassy stays with my mom. Socrates roams the halls and can be found most often in my daughter’s room. And I, alas, have Little Kitty, Sonny, Simone and Sierra in my bedroom. Sierra (female) and Sonny (male) are dominant cats. Both spray from time to time, but by working with our cats’ needs rather than against them helps diminish the spraying considerably.
One way to strengthen a cat’s sense of ownership is to provide each cat with its own litter box placed well within each cat’s territory. This also helps to diminish urinating outside the litter boxes-more a sign of stress than dominance. The goal is to let our cats know they are loved by lavishing them with affection, and to decrease threats to their territory.
3. Never Punish Cats!
Yelling at or hitting your cats is not only mean, it will backfire on you. When you increase your cat’s stress level, they will lift their tails more often, not less. While dogs associate their owners’ displeasure with their own behavior, cats make no similar connection. If you holler or try to smack them, they assume you are the crazy one, not them. Cats, as you probably know, have never been fully domesticated. They merely give us the pleasure of meeting their needs and letting us stay in their homes.