If you’re struggling with cat behavioral issues, you may mistakenly believe that there is nothing you can do, since cats are not capable of being trained. Fortunately, cats are indeed trainable, if you know some simple techniques. In this article, we discuss some methods of dealing with one of the most annoying cat behaviors: cat spraying.
Cat spray is a substance composed of a combination of urine and a musky substance secreted by cats. Generally, male cats produce cat spray; however, females are sometimes implicated. Cats spray for a variety of reasons — most commonly in order to “mark” their territory and keep other cats away.
The first thing you need to do if your cat sprays is to get him a thorough check-up by the vet. A cat with a bladder problem can sometimes begin spraying. In addition, you will want to make sure your cat is fixed. Both male and female cats are much more likely to spray if they are intact. Spaying or neutering is quick and inexpensive, and will often solve cat spraying problems.
If your cat has no medical issues that could cause cat spray, you can begin to attempt to stop cat spraying through behavioral modification. One simple solution that is often successful is to buy a special spray that mimics the smell of cat pheromones. To humans, it is odorless. But to a cat, it signals that another animal has already “marked” an area.
Because this area appears to be “marked”, a cat will be unlikely to spray. That’s because spraying is your cat’s method of marking an area as belonging to him or her. If she or he can be tricked into believing that the area is already marked, he will be less likely to spray it, and may in fact tend to avoid it. Cat’s market their territories in many different ways, one of them is scratching at furniture. One way to avoid this is to buy a cat scratcher.
Another potential way to stop cat spraying is to address the reasons that your cat is spraying. Most cats spray because of territorial issues and redirected aggression. Territorial issues occur when there is more than one cat in the household, and they are battling over the position as alpha, the most desirable areas in the home, the scratching posts cats, and/or access to food.
Redirected aggression occurs when cats have the same kind of problems over territory, only the cats they perceive as a territorial threat are outside, viewed through a window. In the case of redirected aggression, it is important to block your cat’s view out of the window. In the case of in-home territorial issues, you must allow time for these issues to work themselves out if you want to stop cat spraying. When the older cat and the newer cat become more friendly with one another — usually after a month or longer — they may discontinue spraying. In some unfortunate cases, one cat in the household will need to be rehomed.Read More →