What can I do if my cat is spraying?
If your cat is either urinating inappropriately or exhibiting spraying behaviour, this may be due to a health or behavioural issue.
While neutering may help, it does not always prevent the development or onset of spraying behaviour, as it can also be linked with health and behaviour problems. The action that you take in order to treat your cat’s spraying behaviour depends on its cause. There are a number of things that you can try in order to treat the problem:
Speak to your vet. They will check that your cat is healthy and rule out any urinary
problems, and can refer you to a recommended clinical animal behaviourist who may be able to help if it is found to be a behavioural issue.
Make sure your cat can reach all the things that it needs (bed, water, litter or outdoors) without having to pass things or other animals that may scare him/her.
Make sure that your cat has constant access to safe hiding places where he/she can escape if feeling afraid.
Try and be calm. A strong reaction to the spraying behavior may increase your cat’s fear and anxiety and so increase the likelihood that it will happen again. As frustrating as the problem can be, it is important not to punish your cat when the behaviour has occurred.
You will obviously want to remove the urine mark and how you do this is another important part of trying to prevent it happening again. Tempting though it is, using strong-scented products may encourage more marking behaviour. Mixing one part biological washing powder to nine parts water is effective in cleaning the area before rinsing with water, followed by a treatment of diluted surgical spirit, which should be allowed to dry naturally and access not be given to any pets until the area is dry.
If you are having difficulty, get your cat checked by a vet to rule out any form of illness or injury that could be causing a behaviour problem. Your vet may then refer you to a clinical animal behaviourist that should have a combination of appropriate qualifications, up to date knowledge, skills and experience and treat behaviour in a way which doesn’t put the welfare of the cat at risk.