Urine-marking or spraying is one of the most common problems that cat owners face. There are various reasons why cats spray and there are measures that can be taken to prevent it. First lets take a look at why cats urine-mark.
Cats use urine-marking during the mating season. The urine has pheromones that let potential partners know the cats identity, age and general mating status. Urine-marking is also used to mark territory. It lets other cats know that the particular area is that a certain cats territory and to keep away.
All cats use urine-marking. It is most common among male cats. Female cats spray as well. There are two ways in which cats spray. They can stand or use a squatting position. Vertical surfaces are commonly used as spraying places. A cat will back itself towards a particular vertical surface, quiver its tail and then spray a thin stream of urine on the surface. Female cats mostly spray in the squatting position and usually during the mating season.
Indoors, cats normally mark places such as walls, furniture, window sills and curtains. They also mark new things in the house or items that are unfamiliar to them. Though urine-marking is a natural cat behavior, it can be a problem for house owners. This is because cats urine has a very strong odor and is quite difficult to remove. It can ruin walls, furniture, curtains, carpets and floors.
There are a few steps you can take in preventing or controlling your cat from urine-marking. The first thing you should do is to neuter or spay your cat. It has been proven that neutering a male cat reduces urine-marking by at least 90 percent. Spaying a female cat has an even greater chance of eliminating urine-marking.
Sometimes a cat may have urological problems. Get the cat checked by a veterinary doctor to rule out any physical ailments that may be causing the problem.
Cats are very clean animals. Make sure that your cats litter box is always clean. Also remember to clean up any urine markings as soon as you see, or smell them. There are many products available for this purpose.
There are facial pheromone sprays available that you can use to deter your cat from urine-marking. Use them in the places where your cat commonly sprays. Instead of using urine-marking, your cat will use facial rubbing to mark its territory.
Cats spray when they are stressed or they face with other cats. Take note of situations that may cause excessive spraying. Try to reduce your cats exposure to those situations.
Finally, if nothing has really worked to curb your cats urine-marking, there are various medications that can be used to reduce the urge for spraying. The medicines are mostly anti-depressants that decrease anxiety and territorial urges in cats. Most of these medicines have side effects. So try every other method before you put your cat on medication.