Cat spraying, which is one form of urine marking, is not hugely popular with people, especially when done indoors. Catster Magazine Is Here: Subscribe Today! What Exactly Is a Mackerel Tabby Cat? Why Do Cats Lick You? A tabby kitten getting a vaccine shot at the vet.
Video: What Exactly Is Feline Distemper? An older gray cat asleep on a couch. Video: Do Cats Dream — And If So, What Do They Dream About? It’s National Feral Cat Day! It can be difficult to tell the difference between urinating and spraying because some cats stand instead of squat while urinating. The smell and the amount of urine indicate whether it’s urinating or a marking behavior.
Spray is highly pungent because it contains pheromones. This unpleasant smell sometimes is the only indicator that cats have sprayed in the house. One positive note is that less urine is deposited when cats spray than when they urinate. Kitties are sometimes caught in the act — backing up to a vertical surface, treading with the front paws, and quickly twitching their tails while spraying. Simultaneously they may close their eyes. Cat spraying is a form of communication: broadcasting availability and emotions of the spraying cat.
Urine is a powerful communication tool — cats can tell a great deal about each other from it including age, sex, status and sexual availability. Although adult cats of both genders, whole as well as fixed, might spray under specific circumstances, intact ones are most often guilty of the smelly behavior. Whole males, as a rule, spray. Pheromones, released into the urine, advertise they’re ready, willing, and on the alert for girlfriends. Additionally, cat spraying broadcasts clear messages to other male cats to stay away. Intact female cats spray too — the chemicals in their urine indicate where they are in their cycle. Spray from intact cats is more pungent than from those who are fixed.
The unpleasant smell is easier to detect from a distance — important for advertising for a special friend. Kitties are territorial — the far-reaching effects of the pungent urine lets other animals in the hood know the extent of their stomping grounds. Inside cats sometimes spray around doors and windows when they see or smell unfamiliar cats hanging out around their homes. They spray to mark territories and because they can’t reach the intruders to chase them away or engage with them. Often, the unwelcome visitors leave their own calling cards, which the resident felines smell. Cats sometimes will spray inside their territories so they can smell and recognize their own scents. Some cats will spray new furniture or objects that are brought into their homes.
Insecurities and stress can trigger the unpleasant behavior. Do Cats Experience Separation Anxiety? Some cats will spray their favorite people’s belongings in an effort to mix scents together and create a bond. Another reason is for security. Stressed, fearful cats will sometimes spray objects that smell like their owners, helping the cats feel a little more secure. Some cats do not adjust well to household changes, including problems between the humans residents, a new baby, schedule changes, moving and remodeling.
Conflicts in multicat households can cause marking. Stressed, anxious and threatened felines will spray in order to communicate status and territorial boundaries. In theory, the smelly behavior might keep cats from fighting. Cats who engage in hostilities often are scratched and bitten. Settling wars through spraying is much safer. The person’s whose items are being sprayed should play and interact with the cat. Never punish cats when they spray. Don’t yell, rub noses in the urine, or hit them. Those responses will cause kitties to feel more stressed and escalate behaviors. Sadly, it also breaks the bonds between them and the punisher. Kitties aren’t being bad — they have good reasons for marking. Instead, identify the causes for the behavior and address them. Thoroughly clean marked areas with an effective enzyme cleaner. It might take a couple of applications until the smell is eliminated.