Welcome to the Happy Tails Blog!


Shelley Beyer

Preventing Cat Spraying
December 29, 2021

Did you know that both male and female cats are known to spray? Either way, there are few smells more unpleasant to come home to than cat urine. This instinctive urge is all part of your cat marking their territory, but it’s very unpleasant for humans. There are several reasons your cat may have decided to resort to urine marking. Mating behavior, a new pet in the home, stress, or medical issues can all be to blame. How do you determine what the problem is, though?

Identify Potential Causes and Solutions

If you have introduced a new pet: Make sure your resident cat is not sharing a litter box with any new cat. If your new pet is not a cat, make sure to introduce them gently, with everyone having a safe place to hide.

If you have not had your cat fixed: You should make sure you have your cat fixed! The longer you wait, the more likely it is that they will get into this marking habit.

If your cat seems to be in pain: It could be a medical problem. Sometimes, your cat may be very obvious about the pain by urinating in front of you while meowing, though that is just one way they are trying to let you know about the problem. Going in the bathtub or the sink could be another indicator. Take your cat to the vet immediately! They may have a urinary tract infection or blockage. It will NOT get better by itself and can be life-threatening within hours if there is a blockage.

If your cat’s environment has had sudden changes: Even things like a strange cat in the yard, missing or additional family members, or rearranging the furniture can stress your cat out. Often, you may be unable to control these factors, but you can help reduce their stress in other ways, such as pheromone sprays. If the methods below don’t help, talk to your vet about options. They may prescribe a small dose of anti-anxiety medication.

Proper Clean Up and Prevention

  • Make sure you clean all soiled areas very thoroughly.
  • Do not use strong-smelling cleaners, as it may provoke them to mark it again to get rid of the aggressive smell!
  • Remove access to previously soiled areas if possible.
  • If you cannot remove access to those areas, give them another purpose. Feed, play, and give them treats in that area. Animals do not like to urinate where they eat, so it will naturally discourage them from spraying in that area.
  • Keep offending objects out of sight. If you notice they like to pee on specific things, hide them somewhere out of sight.
  • If seeing other animals outside is a trigger for your cat, limit the visibility through the doors and windows.
  • Use a soft cloth to pick up your cats’ facial pheromones and wipe it on new and unfamiliar areas to help them feel comfortable without feeling the need to spray the new object.

When in doubt, you should always refer to your vet for their advice. As we mentioned earlier, if there is a urinary tract infection, it can be a dangerous and life-threatening issue!!! DO NOT wait to take your cat to the vet if you suspect a medical condition! Your cat is relying on you, so don’t just ignore it because your cat needs you!