If your cat has suddenly started spraying out of the blue — there might be numerous reasons for the behavior.
In this blog post I’ll try to briefly touch on the most common reasons, but also offer you a solution you could try out to eliminate it as soon as possible.
First and foremost, I feel like clearing up the misconception that inappropriate urination and spraying are the very same thing. They’re not — they are two entirely different behaviours. I’ll be adding an image that clearly shows you the difference below. It’s really all you need to figure out what your cat is doing.
Cats urinate by squatting onto a horizontal surface, often leaving a puddle; spraying occurs standing up. The cat makes a treading motion with her back feet and quivers her tail, leaving her scent mark on a vertical surface.
Not all cats are territorial, but the ones who are often end up marking their territory. As you probably know by now — the single most effective you can do to stop a cat from spraying is to neuter it. Once you desex a cat — the testosterone can take up to 6 months to get flushed out of the system. When that is done, you can expect less of the spraying behaviour.
It’s also very common for cats in multi-cat households to mark their territory for obvious reasons (there being many different cats in the home, and by spraying and marketing their territory — the cat feels more safe). Some cats even go as far as to start spraying instinctively upon seeing another cat, even if all they do is catch a glimpse of another cat through the window.
The reason why cats need to mark their territory with their scent is because it’s a way of proclaiming that they own the territory. It’s also common for male cats to try to attract a mate during mating season.
Besides spraying, they also accomplish this by leaving scratches and rubbing their faces against your furniture, walls, and other places. Sound familiar?
You might be asking yourself — if cat spraying is instinctive and a way for cats to mark their territory — then why aren’t all cats doing it? It’s simple — some cats simply have a stronger instinct than others.
Experts have found a correlation between a cat’s anxiety level and how much they end up spraying. If your cat has suddenly started spraying (and never has before) — this is most likely due to a change in its environment. That’s why cats start marking their territory — it makes them feel calmer.
Cats need to feel as if they own the place the space they’re in most of the time.
One of the most common reasons a cat starts spraying is because of a conflict with another cat. If you’ve just introduced a new cat into your household — or if there’s stray cats roaming around — that is most likely the reason for the cat’s new spraying behaviour. It’s sometimes that simple.
Cats can also feel nervous when there’s a change to their routines — not necessarily the environment they’re in. If there’s new people around — a new roommate, a new cat sitter, even a new baby! — that can be enough to make a cat feel insecure and start marking its territory.
Another common reasons for sudden spraying behavior in cats is when their owners take long vacations. By leaving your cat alone — it can sometimes start feeling unsafe and insecure and feel a heightened anxiety and start spraying as a result of that. The reason being the cat most likely sees you as a member of the pack — and being without you, and the food/water you provide can really make a cat scared.
If your cat has begun spraying unexpectedly, it may also be time for a vet visit. Please heed my advice.
Now that you know why cats sometimes start spraying all of a sudden — please allow me to suggest a solution should this become a problem.
First and foremost, make sure you at least skim through some posts on this blog as I’ve probably published over 100 unique tips on how to get a cat to stop spraying in as little as 30 days.
Secondly, make sure you 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 Cat Spray Stop with great results, and also published a review of it over here.
Good luck! I hope this post taught you something new and that you’re able to eliminate the behaviour.
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