Urinary marking is typically identified by a cat is backing up onto a wall, or another vertical surface, and releasing urine. This is a form of communication, triggered by territoriality or anxiety. With the right stressors, both male and female cats can spray.
Cats who are not yet spayed or neutered will often spray to mark a territory. Hormones take a few weeks to get out of a cat’s system, so if your cat is not already altered, do it immediately! It’s best to spay or neuter before your cat reaches sexual maturity and before spraying behaviors start.
If your cat is spraying, thoroughly clean the soiled area with an enzymatic cleaner. Block off these areas and provide your cat with additional litter boxes. Make sure to keep those litter boxes very clean! Synthetic cat pheromones, like Feliway, can be sprayed around the house to decrease anxiety.
Boost your kitty's confidence by giving your cat extra praise when they use the litter box and schedule time for cuddles or play sessions. Provide additional hideaways, scratching posts and interactive toys to keep your cat busy. A relaxed and confident cat is a happy cat!
Consider keeping a journal of your cat’s habits and any changes or conflicts that may arise in the home. This will help you identify and hopefully eliminate your cat’s stressors. If the urine marking continues, please consult with your veterinarian or a professional behaviorist.
Need further assistance with a pet displaying unfavorable behaviors? BARCS is here to help! Please email us here for more help with a training or behavior-related issue with your pet.