Cat urine and your curtains probably isn’t the best combination, is it? In this blog post, I’ll try to go through some of my best tips on how you can stop your cat from spraying on your beloved curtains.
No matter how much you love your cat(s), damp curtains are not the way to be greeted when you come home from a long day of work. It’s literally the last thing you need at that point. However, by just implementing a few of the tips I share in this blog post you just might be able to stop the spraying behavior permanently, sometimes as quick as in 7 days depending on what solution you pick.
Schedule an appointment for neutering or spaying
In case you didn’t know, urine spraying is a very common way for both male and female cats to alerting to opposite sex of mating availability. Cats tend to do this on vertical objects and surfaces unfortunately — such as your curtains, doors, windows, old walls and furniture.
If you want to eliminate your cat’s hormonal urges — which is the number one cause of cat spraying — make sure you fix him as soon as possible by scheduling an appointment with a veterinarian.
Keep in mind that it might take the annoying spraying habit some time to completely disappear due to the testosterone needing to get flushed out of the system.
Minimize anxiety & stress for your cat
Not a lot of cat owners know this, but stress & anxiety can really make a cat spray like crazy — even after they have been fixed. The reason being is that a lot of cats respond to stressful situations and circumstances by avoiding their litter box and spraying your beloved curtains and furniture that you’ve spent a fortune on.
Cats have a reputation for being calm and cool — this is far from the truth. In reality, they are very anxious and can sense tension and change from a mile away.
They are really, really emotionally intelligent in that regard which is actually quite cool.
Try to help your stressed out cat if this is the case. Give your cat attention, no matter how busy you are and be careful with making large changes in your home.
How to minimize anxiety and stress for your cat
Here’s a 3 examples on what you could do:
- Play “fetch” using his favorite catnip mouse.
- Stroke his back for 15 minutes every night.
- Set aside a calm and quiet “sanctuary” within your home where he can go to escape chaos and unfamiliarity, especially if a lot of things happen to be going on at the moment, such as a move or the introduction of a new pet. A new pet not only is stressful for cats, but also can trigger territorial urine marking behaviors.
Analyze your cat’s litter box situation
Urine spraying can also be a way for cats to communicate with their owners.
If your cat is unhappy with his current litter set-up for some reason, he’ll make sure you know it in the most annoying of ways — by spraying all over your curtains and furniture.
When a cat starts to roam around the house and spraying everywhere — sometimes, the solution is as simple as a litter box that just isn’t ideal.
Maybe it’s not clean enough, me it’s too small and makes your cat feel claustrophobic? Perhaps it’s the location right near your front door that bugs him.
He may even resent having to share the litter box with another cat in the household.
The texture and smell of the litter may be enough to upset your cat and set of a spraying behavior that can, and most likely will, come to affect your curtains at some point.
Make sure you go over all the possible reasons that may be causing him to not use his box and figure out what you need to change as soon as possible.
Consult an animal behavior specialist
If you already have an existing relationship with a veterinarian, have them recommend a qualified animal behavior specialist in your area. Although veterinarians know a lot about how to stop cat spraying as well, animal behavior specialists are the real MVP’s.
The specialist might be able to give you some excellent advice, such as the book Cat Spray Stop, or suggesting products like an artificial pheromone spray that curbs inappropriate urinating by emulating the soothing actions of feline facial pheromones. These types of relaxing and “happiness-inducing” sprays not only aim to eliminate or decrease spraying, but also other undesirable feline behaviors, such as scratching. Artificial pheromones may be effective especially in situations where unwanted behaviors are caused by anxiety or territorial strife.
Scrub the sprayed curtains exhaustively
Make sure you really clean your curtains after your cat has sprayed on them.
When a cat sprays, and it doesn’t get cleaned up — it acts as a reminder for them and they usually spray the very same spot again. I have blogged about this a lot throughout the years.
This is the single biggest reason why enzyme based cleaners have gotten so big. Because they eliminate the cat spraying smell that humans can’t smell, but cats can!
So make sure you really clean your curtains after your cat has sprayed on them.
2 Last Crucial Tips
- Don’t rule out some sort of health problem with your cat when it comes to inappropriate spraying. Always be ready to take your car to the veterinarian for a thorough checkup. You should have one on speed dial as a cat owner in my opinion. The spraying and elimination issues could be related to anything from diabetes to a urinary tract infection which my cat has had before. I’ve written a blog post about this very thing. Make sure you read that. Also, make sure you speak to the vet about the possibility of anti-anxiety medicines, if you think that your cat has a stress issue.
- Reducing outdoor stimulus can be extremely effective in stopping the spraying behavior once and for all if that’s what provokes your cat to spray inside your house.
Like I’ve said numerous times before, a cat just taking a glance at your cat through the window can make your cat anxious enough to start marking its territory. Keep the blinds closed if this is an issue, especially if your cat hasn’t gotten fixed yet.
Whatever you do — do NOT punish a cat for spraying. It’s very easy to think cats understand the world like us, but they do not. They are simply animals, however cute you think they might be.
More importantly — never EVER lay a hand on a cat, no matter how much the behavior annoys you. I’ve read numerous stories of people hitting their cats in order to try to punish them. This is wrong.
Speaking harshly and sternly will only invoke fear of you in your pet, rather than get him to stop a certain action. Cats can’t understand why they’re in “trouble,” so punishment essentially is fruitless. Always act as calm and cool as possible when dealing with tough pet situations.
Be a strong role model for your fluff ball!
If you’re looking for a more permanent way to get your cat to stop spraying — which I recommend most of my blog readers to do — give Cat Spray Stop a try. Created by Susan Westinghouse, a vet and cat specialist, Cat Spray Stop is an all-encompassing guide designed to help you stop cat spraying in your home in as little as 30 days using a unique method called the TTS method.
I have tried it with great results, and have also published a review of Cat Spray Stop over here. Good luck!
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