Tuesday, February 28, 2017

How to tackle spraying behaviour

How to tackle spraying behaviour

Never ever punish your cat for this behaviour, they are not doing it to spite you or because they are mad at you.

Always consult your vet if this is a new behaviour as this can be a sign of an underlying medical issue.

Mandy Cooper

To prevent your cat from spraying indoors, you first need to pinpoint the cause and identify what you can do to tackle it. If you think the spraying is through stress, do as much as you can to remove the stress for your cat.

Using a pheromone diffuser can go a long way to help calm things down.

If the spraying seems centred around 1 place, try moving your cats food bowl to that area, he is less likely to spray where the food is. It's important to clean the sprayed area thoroughly, the cat might keep spraying if they can smell a residue odour.

Stay away from ammonia based products because they can mimic the smell of urine and trick your cat into thinking another cat sprayed there.

Some environmental/behavioural factors to consider

    Is there something about the litter box itself that might be a problem?
    Is the box cleaned frequently?
    Are there enough boxes?
    Is the location of the litter box where other pets or children might go?
    Have you tried using different types of litter so you know which one kitty likes? (some cats might not like a change to their litter)
    Have you tried moving the litter box?

Some other suggestions

    Have your cat spayed or neutered (this can significantly reduce the need for spraying)
    If you can, restrict your cat from seeing other cats outdoors (if your cat sees another cat, their natural response is to mark their territory).
    Give all your cats equal attention so they are not competing for your attention. Have them eat and sleep together.
    Keep to a routine (changes in routine often causes spraying).
    Change your cats association where they spray such as playing with them or petting them.
    Put toys and scratchers near the spray spots to encourage your cat to stop spraying in that area.
    If you can, temporarily keep your cats out of the room they are spraying in.
    If you cat is spraying a person or their things, encourage that person they are spraying to feed, play and interact with the cat
    Provide more hiding spaces, toys and scratchers throughout your home so that your cat has a safe place to go in multicat places
    Help your cat feel more secure and less anxious by doing things they enjoy every day
    Newly adopted cats should be separated from other cats to start with so they can be gradually introduced.

It is important to remember that your cat isn't doing this to make you angry or to be difficult. There is a reason they are doing it and if you can tackle that reason and work with your cat, you can come to a solution together. Your cat is trying to tell you something so listen to them.

There are many products that claim they will help your cat stop spraying online. Consult your vet first and see what they recommend. 

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