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7 Methods On How To Stop A Cat From Spraying In The House


In this post we are are going to show you 7 different methods on how to stop a cat from spraying in the house. Cats will feel an instinctive urge to mark territory which comes from their wild roots. Cats will usually choose a vertical target to spray such as doors, walls, or furniture. Spraying is mostly done by males which done deliberately and shouldn’t be confused with a cat urinating.

In this article we are going to cover what is the difference between spraying and urinating?, Why do cats spray?, and how to stop a cat from spraying in the house.

Is Your Cat Spraying Or Urinating?

Scent-marking is a lot different to urinating to empty a full bladder. Urinating involves squatting on a horizontal surface releasing a higher volume of liquid than that of a spray. Spraying involves standing up with their backside raised in the air whilst shaking their tail to deposit a small volume of urine.

This us usually done against vertical surfaces such as a wall which leaves a scent mark. Now you know what actions to look out for, you should be able to clearly see if your cat is urinating or spraying.

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Why Do Cats Urine Mark?

Before you learn how to stop a cat from spraying in the house, let’s first take a look at why cats spray in the first place.

#1 Old age

Older cats will suffer from things like stiffening joints and may not want to venture outside, especially if the weather is bad.

#2 Presence of strangers

If strange people are in your house such as friends or family members that your cat is not use to, they will feel vulnerable and mark an area that has a strong scent of their owner. A popular place to do this is your duvet, so always make sure to keep the bedroom door closed.

#3 Litter tray problems

If your cat has suddenly started using other locations in your house instead of the litter tray, this may be because of the following issues:

  • Dirty litter tray: Cats hate to use dirty litter trays. Make sure to clean every couple of days.
  • Litter tray too clean: Washing the litter tray with disinfectants or even using scented litter may put your cat off using the litter tray. Cats may also lose association that the tray is an area to pee if it over-frequently cleaned.
  • Wrong type of litter: Changing the consistency of the litter may put your cat off using the litter tray. If you plan on changing litter then make this gradual by mixing the new litter in with the old one. Do this slowly over a week or two.
  • Litter tray position: Your cat may feel vulnerable if the litter tray is out in he open around children or other animals. Place it in a quiet location away from any noise or distraction.
  • Type of litter tray: If you usually use an open litter tray then it may be worth trying a closed one which will give your cat more privacy.
  • Bad association: Something may have scared them whilst using the litter box such as another cat, dog, or children and now they associate the tray with something bad.

#4 Medical issues

If your cat is urine-marking in the house then this may be due to a medical issue such as urinary tract infection.

#5 Mating behavior

Intact cats will have a higher urge to spray. The simplest solution to stop them spraying is to get them neutered. (More on this later)

#6 Stress

Cat can react badly to even the slightest change in their environment as they are creatures of habit. A number of things can trigger stress such as a new pet or even a new baby coming into the house. The way your cat deals with stress is to mark their territory with urine.

How To Stop A Cat From Spraying In The House

This section will provide you with proven methods you can use if you are learning how to stop a cat from spraying in the house.

#1 Help your cat avoid anxiety

There are a number of solutions available to help your cat deal with stress.

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How To Stop A Cat From Spraying In The House 3

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Cat Pheromone Products

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Anti-anxiety medications

As a final option if everything else fails, you can seek the advice of a veterinarian about using anti-anxiety medications.

#2 Keep strays away

Spraying is territorial, so shooing stray cats away instead of feeding or petting them may prevent your cat from spraying in the house.

#3 Keep objects likely to cause marking out of reach

Items which are of value or easily stained should be placed in a cabinet, draw, or closet away from your cat.

#4 Restrict your cat’s view of other cats or animals

Cats are curious creatures who love to look out of the window and watch the world go by. This is great for them and we have even suggested in some of our other posts about setting up cat trees in front of the window which will allow them to look out.

This is fine but if you are having issues with your cat spraying in the house then it’s a good idea to restrict their view of the window. If your cat cannot see other animals out of the window then they will not feel the need to spray to mark territory.

#5 Get your cat spayed or neutered

Un-neutered cats are going are more likely to spray in different locations around the house. The best thing you can do is to have them neutered or spayed before they reach the age of 6 months. A small percentage of cats will still spray after this procedure, but it increases the chances drastically of them not doing it before the behavior becomes too deeply ingrained.

#6 Give your cat a lot of attention

Some cats spray because they are not receiving enough attention. Although cats are very independent, they are all unique and very individual so some will love a lot of fuss and attention. Petting and interacting with your cat can have a great positive effect and build a deep bond between the two of you.

You should also be having daily play sessions with your cat which provides them with physical and mental stimulation. Cat furniture also provides an excellent way for your cat to climb, rest, and somewhere to hide.

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How To Stop A Cat From Spraying In The House 6

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#7 Positive relationship between your cat and another

A lot of people have more than one cat in the house, but it’s important they get along and have a great relationship. During play sessions, get them to play together with the same toy. It’s also important to have separate food bowls, water bowls, cat litter, and everything else you can think of.

Cats are independent and love their own things, so if you create an environment like this then there is less chance of them spraying.

Correcting Spraying Behavior

#1 Finding the culprit

If you have multiple cats then you will need to isolate one cat at a time to see if the spraying stops. A more accurate method is to add food-safe fluorescent dye to your cats food. Holding a black light of the urine will allow you to see the glow and you will know who the culprit is.

#2 Rule out a medical issue

A number of medical issues can cause your cat to spray. These are:

  • Diabetes
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Feline lower urinary tract disease
  • kidney infection
  • thyroid or liver disease

Book an appointment with your local veterinarian to rule out any of these issues.

#3 Find your cat’s favorite areas to spray

You’ll find that your cat will have certain areas or objects in the house that they love to spray. You will visibly see spray marks or even smell them out. Sometimes this may be a little tricky, but there is an easy solution. A black light which is available from many retail stores will quickly reveal where your cat has sprayed.

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#4 Clean up any urine or spray spots regularly

  • Use hot water and soap (enzymatic wash) with a cloth to wipe down the area.
  • Use an enzymatic neutralizer on the area after you have cleaned it. This should deter your cat from spraying on the same area.
  • Do not use this spray on your cats litter box or this may put them off using it.
  • Avoid using any cleaners that contain ammonia or bleach.

How To Stop A Cat From Spraying In The House Conclusion

Hope you enjoyed this article on how to stop a cat from spraying in the house. If you have successfully managed to stop your cat from spraying in the house, let us know your stories in the comments section below.

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