Why Cats Start Peeing Outside Litter Box
Why Cats Start Peeing Outside Litter Box Nothing smells worse than cat spray. Together with cat pee outside the litter box, cat spraying is one of the leading causes of cats being given away, abandoned or put down. Marriages have come under enormous strain, when one spouse puts down their foot to stop the cat’s spraying problem or give up the cat. Tenants have been forced by landlords to either move out or get rid of the spraying cat.
This is very sad, because cat spraying problems can be solved or greatly reduced in many cases. First, though, we need to tell the difference between cat spray and cat urine. Spray is actually a bit of urine mixed with pheromones secreted by glands in your cat. The positions your cat takes for spraying is also different from peeing – they stand straight up and lift their bottoms high up in the air to spray instead of squatting to urinate.
Both male and female cats spray. Unneutered males are the most likely to have this problem, neutered female the least likely. Although spraying is considered a problem by people, it is a perfectly natural behavior for cats. Why Cats Start Peeing Outside Litter Box
Do be aware that your cat may suddenly start spraying when he is sick. For example, inflammations of the bladder are known to cause cats to spray. If your cat is neutered and he suddenly develops this behavior, you should take him for a check-up at the vet before doing anything else.
On major reason for cats spraying is to attract mates. Female cats in heat spray to advertise that they are ready. Male cats spray to mark their territory – they are saying “Keep out! Females here are mine!”. This is one reason why you should always neuter your cats. Unneutered tomcats are very likely to spray. Once he develops this behavior, it is very difficult to stop even after you neuter him. Many vets are willing to neuter your male cat as long as he is at least 6 months old. Some prefer to wait until he is 9 months old while others are willing to do it even earlier. You should also spay female cats when they reach 6 months of age, before their first heat.
When you bring a new pet or new family member home, this can also cause your cat to spray. Whether you explain it as stress and insecurity or territoriality or dominance behavior, it does not really matter. The point is to make kitty feel safe and secure again. Once you successfully make him feel that he is still Numero Uno, he will stop spraying. While your vet can help you to investigate why your cat is spraying, you know kitty best. You are the best person to figure out why he is spraying. Asking your vet to play private investigator can take quite a long time – he will take a step-by-step methodical approach to the problem. Cases have been published in journals for veterinarians where it took years to resolve the problem. If you really love your cat, you are still the best person to make him stop spraying. Why Cats Start Peeing Outside Litter Box
Once your cat has sprayed a particular location, he is likely to go back and spray it again. One way to stop this is to thoroughly clean the area he sprayed. Normal soap and water will not do the job. Just because you cannot smell anything does not mean your cat cannot smell anything. The best solution is to use a blacklight (UV lamp) in the dark to find the spots and clean it with an enzymatic cleaner like Nature’s Miracle.
Cat spray is a very smelly problem which has caused many cats to be abandoned by their owners. However, this is a problem which can be solved. If you love your cat, you have an obligation to him and to yourself to stop him from spraying.
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What You Need to Know About Cats Why Cats Start Peeing Outside Litter Box
Oh my, you’ve been there and done that haven’t you? Especially if you happen to own a cat (pardon me – if they own you)! Spraying in the house is the number one behavior that is guaranteed to drive you right up the wall and right around the bend. It makes you just want to tear your hair out in frustration. There MUST be a way to stop this!
First let’s look at why cats spray in the house in the first place. You probably know they’re marking their territory, but honestly they aren’t doing it just to ruin your day. They aren’t hiding what they do and they haven’t spent their leisure hours plotting to upset you. This kind of behavior is instinctual and genetically programmed into your Cat. They spray because it’s their way of telling other cat that this spot is theirs. Call it a form of staking claim to ownership – ownership of your house. While they mean no harm and are operating innocently, this just can’t happen inside, and you’re getting mighty tired of Fluffy backing up to the new couch and letting fly.
Don’t despair, there is a way to make this stop and it usually starts by making a few adjustments in your house.
Spraying or Urinating?
You might not care too much right now whether your Cat is spraying or urinating as all you know is you want it to stop. Well, you need to know if they are simply taking a pee or are really marking their territory. So take a look and see what is happening. If they’re just taking a pee, they will be doing that in the usual manner, butt down in the litter box (or outside in a hole they dug for the same purpose).
If they’re marking their space, they literally turn their backside to the object, back up, twitch the tail and take aim at a spot just about where another cat’s nose would be if one were standing there. Cat urine contains pheromones (chemical substances) that give off certain messages. So it’s either spraying or sending a clear “I’m ready to mate,” signal. And, if you’re wondering if all cats spray, the answer is yes they do, although it is more common in un-neutered males. As for intact females, they usually don’t spray, but there have been instances where they leave a marker for a tom letting him know they are in heat.
This kind of behavior rarely happens if the kitten was fixed at about six months of age. Having said that though, being spayed/neutered is no guarantee that spraying won’t happen later in life, as it is usually stress related. Stress can be due to a move, a new person in the house or a new animal added to the mix. And yes, males are the heaviest sprayers. If your cat is urinating on the floor, carpet, bedding, clothing lying about, this is not spraying. This is peeing where they should not pee, or inappropriate elimination. There are a couple of reasons why this may be happening, and the first one may be due to a bladder or urinary tract infection because of crystals that have formed in their urine. If they make pained sounds while doing this, head for the vet to get them checked out.
If you don’t think that’s the problem, then you have a cat that is generally speaking “peed off” about something. This could also be because of several things such as rivalry for the affections of another cat or they totally have a hissy fit over another cat being in their space. Just because you may have a multi-cat house does not mean all cats get along together. They all have their own individual personalities.
The other problem could be litter box related. Cats are really fussy about having a clean box in a private place to do their business. They also like to have a spare box around somewhere in case the main one is too busy or doesn’t smell like they want to use it. Litter boxes need to be cleaned on a regular basis and totally emptied at least once a week. This is sort of like a numbers game. If you have one cat, one box should suffice. Two cats, three boxes will work. Eight cats? Ideally four boxes, but you could squeak by with three that were cleaned religiously. Chances are though if the boxes are busy one of your brood will take exception to the toilet facilities and find an alternative spot (one you WON’T like). By the way, have you changed your brand of litter lately? Or moved the box? Felines are notoriously fussy about things being where they expect them to be and as they like them. If you have changed the brand of litter you use or moved the box, try putting things back the way they were and see what happens. It’s a little like having a two-year old pitch a fit over having to eat peas isn’t it?
How to Stop Spraying
The first thing you need to do is figure out if there is any kind of a pattern to your cat’s spraying behavior. In other words, where is the cat spraying? In the same location – say right by the back screen door? Near patio doors that lead outside? This may mean there’s been a visitor who left their own calling card and your feline is laying down a challenge and saying (spraying) “Bug off, this is my place”. The easiest solution to something like this is to try and block access to the door/window and see if that makes any difference.
There are commercial sprays on the market that claim they will stop cats from spraying and really, all you can do is give them a try. Some of them may be effective and some of them may just encourage the behavior. But, before you try something like this, figure out why your Maine Coon Cat is spraying where they are spraying.
Castration is usually touted as the best route to stop this behavior, but as we have already read, it’s not a hundred percent guarantee that the habit won’t develop later in life. If you neuter after spraying has started, it usually acts to reduce the frequency. Here’s a few statistics you might find interesting. It was apparently done on older cats and it said roughly 87 percent of all males stopped spraying after castration, 78 percent stopped right away, 9 percent stopped within a few months and 13 percent kept right on spraying. Well despite the numbers, castration/neutering has good odds going for it.
Another option, and one that many cat owners would rather not do, is put your cat on anxiolytics (anti-anxiety drugs) such as Clomicalm and Valium. Although they are used to treat spraying, many who have tried this route say their cats became zombies while on these drugs. If that isn’t something you want to consider for your feline, then you may want to try the pheromone approach.
Using herbal therapies may be something else to contemplate as well. For instance one of the best-known remedies to calm pets is Rescue Remedy used approximately 2 to 3 times a day. It won’t stop the spraying, but it may calm your cat and as a result reduce or stop the spraying.
Using pheromones is a natural approach rather than chemical. Feliway is a product you might be interested in trying. By all indications, it seems to work rather well by diffusing a placating pheromone into the air that conveys a sense of well being and safety to your Cat. You could also try orange or lemon oil on cotton balls, either placed in the areas they spray or wiped in those areas. Cats aren’t particularly fond of either smell.
Another approach is something called SSSCAT that combines a motion detector and an aerosol can that spits out a harmless spray. The theory is that if this is repeated often enough it will keep you cat away from where they are spraying.
Or you might take a fancy to Scatmat that releases a harmless static pulse when your cat touches it. This works when your pet walks across the mat and small pulses of electricity move through wires in the vinyl emitting a small “zap”. Your cat (or dog) will learn quickly to stay away from those areas.
If your cat always seems to let loose in one or two areas, change what that area is used for. This may divert his attention and the spraying will cease. For instance if you put food, bedding or a scratching post in the spots where your cat sprays, this may make them stop. Cats rarely spray in their sleeping, eating or scratching areas. There is the possibility they may move along to another spot, but once again, try diversion tactics.
And if all else fails, see if you can find “stud pants” or even a re-useable baby swim nappy and modify it to fit over the tail. Both these alternatives will allow the urine to pool in them.
How to Clean the Mess
Clean the areas with alcohol. Do not use bleach because bleach has ammonia in it and that is the primary component of urine and will only encourage them to re-offend. Or you can use laundry detergent with enzymes. Then use 50% white vinegar and 50% water in a spray bottle and spray the area.
For carpets use baking soda, white vinegar (the acid neutralizes the ammonia in cat pee), and warm water. Here’s how this one works. Use paper towels to get as much urine as you can up from the carpet. Keep doing that until you hardly get any moisture up. Wet the area with 50/50 white vinegar/warm water- enough to get down to the carpet backing. Sprinkle with baking soda and let it foam. Now let it dry to a hard surface. Then vacuum up the spot.
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Although you may have read that soap and water or baking soda will remove cat urine odor, they will not. Some of the compounds in cat urine are not water soluble and require an enzyme cleaner to remove the smell completely. You may need to repeat the process several times until all the odor is gone. Your nose will tell you when the job is done.
While we may think that stress only affects humans, the fact is that cats can easily become stressed and show this by inappropriate elimination. The intelligence and sensitivity of cats makes them susceptible to stress, and when you begin to find puddles on furniture or rugs, it could well be the result of an upset and fearful cat.
Cat Spraying No More is a system that has all you need to understand why your cat is doing what it’s doing, and how to bring about a peaceful solution that will not only fix the problem, but will serve to bring you closer to your cat.
Spraying, or peeing, around the house is a big no-no, for obvious reasons; and sometimes, cats that regularly use their litter box turn to other areas of the house to urinate or spray. As a result, owners tend to focus on the issue of the mistargeted urination, rather than on why the behavior is occurring – the key element to Cat Spraying No More.
The Cat Spraying No More System carefully outlines various scenarios of unwanted spraying and targets possible causes in an easy-to-understand and well-laid out format. The system eases the reader into the topic and playfully chides with owners about the author’s own unfortunate experiences, how the author was able to overcome them, and how you can, too.
The author’s encouraging voice helps cat owners understand their cats better. There are underlying reasons for why cats do what they do, and when things are not quite right, they react. This system helps cat owners understand their cats better by discussing the reasons why cats urinate outside their litter box.
It then outlines a system for owners to follow, based on their specific situation, so results are targeted and more effective. Depending on each scenario, there are detailed step-by-step instructions that are easy to follow. The author guides cat owners with reassurance and support.
There really is no risk in trying out this product. With a no-questions-asked money-back guarantee, if things don’t work out as you expected you get what you paid back.
Without risking anything, you will give yourself and your cat a chance to fix what’s wrong and grow a little closer in the process. It’s a deal worth every penny. Why Cats Start Peeing Outside Litter Box
The smell of ordinary cat urine is strong enough, but when a cat spray marks, the odor will be even more overpowering and unpleasant. Unlike urination, which does leave a message for other cats to an extent, spray marking is more like a billboard with lights. The whole reason for marking is to inform other cats of a particular cat’s presence. And, while urine is simply the waste that has been filtered out by the kidneys, marking includes other bodily chemicals with information about sex, health, and undoubtedly other important cat messages.
Unlike normal urination, which is made by the cat squatting down, spray marking is done when the cat is standing and the deposit will be made on a vertical surface such as a door frame or the front of a sofa or chair. The cat will back up to the chosen area, and wiggle its tail as it delivers the spray behind it. The volume of the spray is much less than is produced when the cat urinates. Why Cats Start Peeing Outside Litter Box