Ahh… a spraying cat is the worst! Anyone who’s smelled cat spray will attest to that. So what can we do to stop cats from spraying? Well, I’ll tell you first what not to do first: Do not punish them.
Keep reading below for tips on how to stop cats from spraying.
Understanding why your cat is spraying is fundamental to stopping this behavior. Un-neutered male cats are for marking or spraying – but what about fixed kitties – both male and female?
Cats will spray to mark their territory if they feel threatened. It’s part of their instinct. Sometimes the perceived threat is obvious, such as when a new person, pet or object is brought into the house. Change can feel threatening to our kitties. But it’s also possible that something very benign – like rearranging your furniture – could trigger this behavior.
Tips for what to do to stop cats from spraying in the house
- Scent swapping. Cats that are threatened by a new object, person or pet in the home can be helped with something called “scent swapping”. This is a technique we learned from feline behaviorist, Dr. Marci Koski, and it’s worked wonders for the spraying in our home. Take a clean sock or a cloth and rub it all over your cats face. This is where they give off their scent (and also why you see them rub their faces against everything). Now rub said cloth all over the item, pet or person to disperse the cat’s scent. When your cat smells the scent he will not feel the need to “mark” it.
- Confidence building. If you can’t detect the reason behind why your cat is marking, it could be because her confidence is shaken. Take your kitty into a separate room, away from other pets, and engage in playtime one-on-one. It may take a few sessions to build her confidence, but it’s totally worth it. 🙂
- Anxiety Supplements. Some cats spray because they are anxious and/or nervous. Natural calming aids can help in these cases as well as routine feeding, litter scooping and exercise times each day. We use Cat Calm for this and it has helped the anxiety in our home tremendously.
- Private litter boxes. Every cat home should have one more litter box than you do cats. And the litter boxes should be 1.5 times the length of your kitty. We use storage bins as litter boxes and our cats love it. When you get a new box, place your cat inside and let him mark it. You may want to use a new litter as well. He’ll feel that it’s his spot and will be more likely to use the box instead of urinating or spraying outside of it.
These are just a few tips that have helped us stop cats from spraying in our home. Stay calm. Take the above steps and leave us a comment to let us know what works best for you too!