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If you have a cat in your home, sometimes you need a really thick skin. As adorable as they can be, there are many not-so-cute things that you’ll have to deal with.
Spraying and urinating in different places is a strange tendency in cats, but it’s quite common, especially when you haven’t trained them. Worse still, your house starts smelling like a sewer line and you can’t even find exactly where the stench is coming from.
Do you want a clean house where you don’t need to call in professional cleaners every week because of smelly carpets? Don’t get rid of your cat; simply train it on how to pee in the right places.
Here are the best ways to stop your cat from spraying:
1. Get your cat spayed or neutered.
According to studies, male cats that have been neutered don’t continue spraying like before. Similarly, spayed female cats will also tend not to spray. Spaying and neutering is often an effective solution to stop your cat from peeing all over and spraying on your walls and furniture.
Spraying mostly kicks in before puberty. Make sure you watch your cat’s movements and once you discover the spraying, simply spay or neuter it.
However, keep in mind that neutered and spayed cats may still spray. This often happens if the habit was ingrained in them at an early age. In this case, you’ll need to look for other solutions.
2. Relieve your cat of anxiety.
Did you know that anxiety can cause your cat to pee and spray outside of the litter box? Well, cats also get anxious, just like you. And in addition to spraying, constant anxiety can shorten a cat’s lifespan.
It’s a good idea to help it recover by calming it down. There are homeopathic treatments available to treat anxiety in cats, and calming herbs such as valerian, chamomile and catnip may work as well. We suggest consulting a veterinarian who can advise the best course of action based on your situation.
There are herbal mixes which you can give to your cat to calm it down and relieve anxiety. Once your cat is calm, it generally won’t spray.
3. Don’t punish or yell at your cat.
Yelling or punishment may seem effective, but once you shout at your cat, it will most likely elevate its stress and anxiety and make things worse, possibly creating a disaster.
This is not a good way to stop your cat from spraying suddenly. You need to approach it with love and tenderness, find the causes for the behaviour, and address it. This way, it will feel loved and slowly understand that what it’s doing is unacceptable.
4. Get the litter box right.
Have you ever used a dirty and stinking washroom? How was the experience? I’m sure it was awful.
This is the same way your cat feels when it gets into a dirty litter box. Cats also need clean environments in which they can do their business without feeling like they’re in squalor. Make sure you clean your cat’s litter box frequently, using scented detergents to make it smell nice.
Also, make sure the litter box is well-designed such that the cat can get in and out easily. Cats are clean creatures who don’t like struggling. Make it easy and it will love the box.
The color also matters. Avoid buying a dull-colored litter box that may scare your cat away. You should also place it where the cat can access it easily, preferably indoors.
5. Reduce competition with other cats.
If you keep more than one cat in the house, you could have competition issues. If possible, provide more hiding spaces, vertical space, and toys for all of your cats.
Most importantly, make sure that each cat has their own litter box, and place them in different areas of the home. We recommend putting out an extra litter box on top of this.
If you notice that your cats are territorial or competitive towards each other, keep them separate (especially when they’re eating), and gradually reintroduce them to each other once the competitiveness has de-escalated.
6. Have your cat’s health checked.
Cats spray mostly to mark their territory, but there are also health conditions that may trigger it. These include UTI, kidney stones, liver disease, hyperthyroidism, diabetes mellitus, and many more.
Take your cat to a qualified vet to rule out medical conditions as the cause. In case your cat tests positive for any condition, get it on treatment immediately. Once it recovers, you shouldn’t experience any more spraying.
7. Keep neighbourhood cats away.
New cats can be potential threats to your cat. When it feels unsafe, it may spray continuously to mark its territory.
Stopping other cats in the neighbourhood from coming by can really help. You don’t want your cat’s stress levels to hike, do you? Simply keep it away from all new cats.
Don’t let your cat roam free outside unless it’s in an enclosed space like a backyard with no other cats around. If it is inside, you can lock doors and windows, and also close the curtains and blinds to make sure your cat doesn’t spot other cats outside.
This can help a big deal and solve your cat’s spraying problem. In case you want to introduce a new cat, do it gradually so that your cat doesn’t feel unsafe.
Cat spraying can really turn your home into a stinky mess. The last thing you want is to find your favourite dress or suit urinated on when you were just about to leave for a wedding.
Instead of getting rid of your cat, simply employ the tips and methods above. In the event that none of these methods work, you should contact your veterinarian to discuss next steps. Good luck!