Stop Cat Spraying and Save Your Home and Your Sanity

If your cat is spraying in your home, you will want to know how to stop your cat from spraying before you have to make a decision about whether or not to keep your kitty.

I know only too well the aggravation that comes with having a cat who doesn't behave the way you want him or her to. If your cat is marking your home, you want to know how to stop cat spraying now before you have to make a decision about whether or not to keep your kitty.

I know the feeling because I have been there. If it weren't for the persistence of my two very persuasive daughters, I may have given up on our darling black tabby, Cooper. I am glad I didn't and decided instead to tackle this misbehavior and find the solution that saved my sanity and restored my affection for our cat.

Cat spraying, also known as marking, is a very distinct behavior. The cat will back up into a vertical surface with its quivering tail held high and spray a stream of urine. The odor is unpleasant, to say the least.

Although, intolerable to cat owners, this behavior is completely normal and instinctual to cats. It is a cat's form of communication. Spraying is always either a sign of sexual readiness or some form of distress for the kitty. Some common reasons may include a urinary dysfunction or a psychological trigger such as frustration or anxiety.

Spraying itself is a symptom, not the problem. This is where many cat owners get stumped. They use a squirt gun or some other scare tactic to deter the cat from marking.

This negative reinforcement rarely works in the long term. It may scare the kitty and prevent the kitty from temporarily spraying, but more often than not, the marking behavior will persist.

Why is this?

The only way to stop kitty from spraying is to find the underlying reason for this behavior and solve the issue that is causing your cat distress. The most important step is to take your cat to the vet to rule out any kidney or urinary disease. Once a clean bill of health has been established, and your cat is fixed, then you need to observe your cat closely to see what may be triggering this behavior.

Cats are territorial and are creatures of habit. Anything that a cat perceives as a threat in his or her environment can cause anxiety.

Things to watch for:

Have there been any changes in your household such as a new partner, baby or other pet? Or has someone in your family left, causing some separation anxiety for your kitty? Some extra affection and attention may be needed if this is the case.

Is your cat marking near a window or door? Perhaps an outside animal or other cat may be perceived as a threat. Blocking the view or access to the view may help ease some stress for your cat.

If you have more than one cat, make sure there are enough litter boxes and that they are cleaned regularly.

Establish a routine in your home and keep your cats routine intact as much as possible, even if there are any changes in your household. For example, keep the feeding schedule, grooming, playing and other activities that your cat is used to, going on a regular basis.

Knowing what to do to stop cats spraying will give you more control in your home. You and your feline friend will have a long and happy life ahead of you.

Bottom line, a happy and content cat seldom sprays.