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How To Make Clean Up Easy When A Cat Sprays in the House
Male domestic cats and some female domestic cats sometimes spray their area in order to mark their territory. They may also spray out of fear, anger or because they want attention.
For many cats, neutering will cut down or reduce the number of incidents of spraying, but for some cats, especially cats that are neutered well into adulthood, this may not be the case.
If you have a cat that is spraying in the house there are things you can try to reduce the amount of spray. But first, you need to clean up the spray that is in your house.
Cats spray on vertical surfaces so, if there is a urine smell in the area, check all the walls, furniture and other surfaces for signs of spraying.
The spray is usually a small amount so it may take some investigation to find the spot.
You will then want to clean the area with cleaner specifically designed to remove urine stains and odors.
An enzymatic spray bottle may work best. Spray the wall all the way down to the floor (assuming that some of the spray may have dripped down to the floor).
Allow the enzyme cleaner to set for the allotted time on the instructions then clean up.
Clean It Up and Look For Solutions
Cats often come back to places that they have marked so removing the evidence may help to discourage the behavior.
There are other products you can try such as calming collars and Feliway.
These products specifically produce synthetic smells that mimic the chemical produced when a kitten is around its mother.
For some cats, this will have a significant effect in how the cat reacts to its environment and for many cats it will alleviate the problem.
The key is to make sure everything is cleaned up so they won't be reminded to continue to spray.
A Squirt of Water Discourages Bad Behavior
You can sometimes teach a cat that this behavior is not wanted.
If you catch your cat in the act of spraying, a squirt of water from a spray bottle will not hurt the cat and will begin to discourage that from this behavior.
Although it may be time-consuming to follow your cat around all day, this is a cheap and easy way to begin training the cat.
Prevent the mess: If there is a spot the cat keeps spraying
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, there is a spot that the cat is continually attracted to and he or she will continue spraying.
After following the instructions for cleaning up the spray, I have found an easy solution to these favorite spray spots for your cat.
House training pads, usually used for dogs, make a great, new target for your cat and make clean up easier.
They also absorb the spray and keep it from running down the surface. They can cut down on the smell as well and are easy to replace. Over time, it will help your cat to forget to spray that surface.
Here's what to do:
Put a Dog Training Pad On The Wall
- Center the pad over the spot where you cat likes to spray.
- Attach to the wall with adhesive or painter's tape.*
- Check several times a day for any spots of spray.
- Replace the training pad with a new one as soon as you notice the spray.
*Note: Some training pad come with peel-off adhesive.
Over time your cat will not notice the spray smell (because you are removing the whole pad) and may begin to not associate that spot with spraying. Plus clean up is easy and quick and cuts down on odors.
Spraying can be a frustrating experience for a pet owner. Even if your cat does spray less often after trying these methods, it is still a smelly and messy problem to deal with.
Many cats are given away or placed in shelters or outside because of this problem. But the cat is not being bad on purpose and giving the cat away will only stress it out more and may make it a target for abuse or neglect down the road.
Pets are a lifetime commitment.
If your pet continues to spray, talk to your vet about trying some anti-anxiety medications such as Prozac. Some cats do much better with medication like this.
Your cat may need it for a short period of time or for the rest of its life but prescriptions are usually very cheap.
The Best Way To Prevent Spraying From Ever Starting
There are several ways to prevent spraying from ever happening in the first place.
- Neuter or spay pets before six months
- Keep cats inside.
- Introduce new pets slowly.
- Create a calm environment for the cat.
Cleaning up after your cat and looking for ways to change your cat's behavior will help restore harmony and happiness to your house and your pet.