Introduction: What is Cat Spraying?
What and why does a cat spray? Cat spraying is done by cats to mark their territory. The cat releases a special pheromone that other cats can detect.
When a cat sprays, it is releasing a chemical called the Fel D1 protein. This protein can be found in the urine of many different animals, so it isn’t only limited to cats. The Cat Spraying may also release this chemical through their saliva, glands near their anus, or even through their skin pores.
The pheromones are important because they help other felines know what the cat’s gender and age are, where they live, and how healthy they are.
The Science Behind the Behavior
Spraying or urinating outside of the litter box is a behavioral problem that plagues many cat owners. The reasons why cats spray and urinate outside of the litter box can be diverse, but there are common themes among the different causes. If you understand what is causing your cat’s spraying behavior, then it might be easier to solve.
One reason for this behavior is that cats are marking their territory with urine or by rubbing their face on objects with their scent glands. Cats will typically spray or urinate in areas where they have previously been marked with urine. Male cats will also start spraying to mark their territory if they feel threatened by another male cat in the area. Female cats will also start spraying if they are stressed out due to something like a new pet coming into
Reasons Why Does a Cat Spray
The following are possible reasons why cats spray.
1. To mark their territory
Cats can be territorial and want to mark their territory to let other cats know that they are the owners of the area. Domestic house cats will use litter boxes, scratching posts, and furniture as markers of their territory.
Cats might also use a scent gland on either end of their tail. Some house cats will even urinate on a human’s legs or clothing to claim them as theirs.
2. Unfamiliar environment
A new environment can be stressful for your cat and cause it to spray. This is an instinct and doesn’t mean your cat is getting ready to move. A new house can seem unfamiliar and so your cat may mark its territory by spraying urine on furniture or other objects.
3. Feeling unhappy or stress
Cats who are feeling stressed, overwhelmed or unhappy will sometimes mark their territory by spraying a little urine. This is a natural reflexive behavior that helps cats feel better and regain their confidence.
Another is that the cat may feel like they’re not getting enough attention and will also try and communicate this by urinating outside of their litter box to attract your attention.
4. Feel threatened or insecure
One of the main reasons for cat spray is insecurity. Cats have an instinct to keep their territory safe from intruders by marking it with a strong scent.
In cats, this instinct is triggered when they feel threatened or insecure due to environmental factors such as neighbor cats, new furniture, or decorations.
5. Not Enough Litter Boxes
Cats are very particular about their litter boxes, so when they are not available, they may start to spray on furniture.
Cats need to have a litter box available at all times because they don’t want their scent lingering around the house.
Make sure each cat has one litter box each if you have more than one cat.
6. Medical issue
Cats may spray because of a medical condition. One common medical condition is hyperthyroidism, which causes increased production of thyroid hormone.
The excess levels of this hormone lead to cats having an increased heart rate, excessive perming, and overproduction of urine.
At what age do male cats start spraying?
This is a difficult question to answer because male cats will start spraying at a different age depending on their breed, the environment that they live in, and other factors.
Male cat spraying can be triggered by many factors such as territorial disputes with other cats, stress from being left alone too long, or not being neutered at a young age. Certain breeds are more likely to spray than others. For example, males of the Siamese and Oriental breeds tend to spray more than other breeds.
All we know is that cats tend to start spraying around six months of age but it can happen any time before or after that period.
Males start to spray more than females because they are more territorial.
How can you tell the difference between cat pee and spray?
The spray is a liquid that has been atomized into a very fine mist. Spraying is the term used for when a cat squirts urine onto something from its urinary opening. The liquid in this instance will be wetter and the scent might be stronger.
Pee is excreted from a cat’s urethra, which makes it smell less intense than spray does. Pee goes together with urination, which means that it will be found in places where animals often pee like litter boxes or near where there are bushes or shrubs nearby.
How to Prevent Your Cat from Spraying in the House or Outside of the House
If your cat is spraying in the house, it is usually because they are marking their territory. Neutering or spaying your cat will usually help to stop them from spraying.
You can make sure that your cat does not spray in the house by giving them a designated space outside where they can do it. Cat owners sometimes use a tray with sand in it for this purpose, but you can also just buy an outdoor enclosure for them to go into.
Some people think that putting scent-free items around the house will stop cats from spraying, but experts disagree with this notion.
Conclusion: Why Does My Cat Spray and How Can I Stop It?
Cat spraying is a natural way for cats to mark their territory. It is also a sign that the cat feels insecure or threatened.
It has been suggested that many cats feel threatened by changes in their environment, particularly changes they cannot control. When the cat feels threatened, it will start to spray its urine on surfaces in the house, usually vertical surfaces like walls and furniture.
The use of a scratching post will help prevent your cat from scratching your furniture and carpets as well as reducing its urge to spray urine around your home.