Do all cats spray?

If your pet is an indoor cat, you most probably have one of the common concerns of cat owners – SPRAYING! No amount of litter box training will totally prevent the pet from spraying because spraying is a natural behavior of cats. All cats spray but this behavior is more often seen in male cats.

Spraying is one of the reasons why people are hesitant in getting a cat for a pet. Cats have the natural inclination to back up to a vertical surface like a wall, door, furniture or curtain…raise the tail and with a rapt expression on the face would aim a squirt of urine to the targeted surface that is about two feet from the ground. The cat would spray with a urine-based liquid with a very pungent odor. The smell obnoxious smell that permeates inside the house would be intolerable. But before abandoning the pet or leaving it to an animal shelter, it would be wise to understand why the pet is spraying. All cats spray but it is possible to minimize the incidence of spraying of the pet.

Contrary to what most cat owners believe, spraying is not a litter problem. There are reasons for all the behaviors manifested by cats. Spraying is a primal behavior of cats used to communicate with each other and also to define territorial boundaries. Spraying is used as well to find potential sexual partners. Cats would spray to settle territorial disputes. The urine has the pheromone that is distinct to each and every cat. Spraying is more prevalent in male cats because of their testosterone-driven motivation to mark the territory. As mentioned, all cats have the inclination to spray. Spraying is manifested by intact females that are in heat too. Some cat owners believe that spraying is done by cats for no other reason but to make the life of the owner miserable. Although this can be a farfetched idea, some owners have a valid reason for thinking so. In a multi-cat household, the pets would be more inclined to spray because of their desire to claim their turf. Cats that feel they are neglected would do a lot of spraying inside the house until the home reeks. A new environment, a new baby in the family or the introduction of a new pet would make the cat feel threatened. To gain the attention of the owner, the cat would back into vertical surfaces and do a lot of spraying. Apparently, these pets believe that spraying will reinforce their claim on the territory and their hold on the human family.

Owners would not be concerned by the cat’s spraying behavior if it is an outdoor pet. But if the cat is an indoor pet it is certainly imperative to resolve the spraying behavior. The tendency of the cat to spray can be minimized. Before the owner decides to do some drastic action, it would be a good idea to know what can be done to minimize urine smell inside the house. Cat experts always advice owners to have the pet neutered if there are no breeding plans in the future. Spraying is a hormonal activity thus it can be resolved by neutering the pet. However, the cat must be neutered before it reaches sexual maturity. Neutering may not have the desired effect on a cat that has already learned to spray. Eliminating the stressful situation that causes the pet to spray can solve the concern. Cats have the inclination to reinforce their claim on the territory. Thorough cleaning of the spot marked by the cat urine will prevent the cat from marking the same spot again and again.

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