One of the biggest concerns for cat owners is territorial issues and marking behaviors. Spraying can be a problem, not only with male cats but female cats, as well. Many factors can lead to this behavior, including sexual maturity, stress, overcrowding, and territory. A health issue can also be the reason why your cat is behaving badly. There are steps to help stop this unwanted problem. Products are also available to help clean up the unpleasant act. Once the habit is stopped, only a small percentage of felines return to marking areas in and around the home. But first, understanding what’s causing the problem can help put a stop to it.
When a cat sprays or marks, it is not because he has to use the bathroom. Cats do it in order to show that this is their home, their territory. Male cats are most commonly known for this behavior. Between five and twelve months of age, male cats sexually mature, and this could be the culprit for spraying. It is a communication system of pheromones between the felines. Female cats usually spray while they are in heat.
Spraying can also be caused by stress or the feeling of being threatened. Cats use spraying to set a boundary zone to help them feel more secure and let unwanted visitors know that this is their area. An overcrowding of cats and jealousy can cause this. Sometimes, however, it can also be a physical problem.
Kidney stones and abnormalities with the urethra can be some health reasons for spraying or marking. Therefore, a vet check may help eliminate or fix the issue. Medication or surgery can help alleviate the cat of the condition. Other surgeries can also help stop spraying and marking behaviors. Spaying and neutering most often stops the cat from feeling the need to mark his area. Hormones no longer give the cat an urge to mate, which is the main cause for spraying.
Removing the odor from the area marked is also important. Vinegar can help to balance out the smell of ammonia, and cleaning products available can help eliminate the remaining smell. Moth balls can also help deter the cat from going back to the site. A strong winter green or citrus scent can also help keep the cat from returning to the spot.
Never physically punish your cat for his or her bad behavior. The problem most likely will not stop, and then your pet will fear you. Spraying them with a water bottle or making sudden loud noises while they are in the act can help stop them. If the cat has already marked an area, punishment will be ineffective. Never ignore the problem, though. If a cat gets away with this behavior even for a week or two, it will become an even tougher habit to break. Hopefully, with the correct process, your cat will stop behaving badly.