Cat peeing or spraying indoors: what to do?
It is far from pleasant when a cat makes a habit of peeing or spraying indoors. It spreads a nasty scent and it doesn’t exactly contribute to the cleanliness of your home. Cats may exhibit indoor peeing or spraying behaviour for various reasons.
What is spraying?
Spraying is not the same as peeing outside the litter box. When spraying, a cat’s tail will stand up straight. The tail may vibrate a little. By spraying, they deposit small amounts of urine on vertical surfaces: especially doors, walls and windows are likely victims. One reason to spray is to demarcate its territory. The cat spreads its scent for other cats to know that this is its personal living space where peers are not welcome. As a result, spraying is a much more frequent problem when cats share a home with other cats or when a lot of other cats are in the area. It is a misconception that only male cats can exhibit spraying behaviour. Female cats can spray too.
Peeing or spraying cat?
It is important to know whether your cat has been peeing or spraying in the house. Because both the difference between the two and solutions to the behaviour vary greatly. You can recognise peeing by the cat’s posture. It will sit down and really deposit a pool of urine on the floor. It will often choose the same spot to do this. Spraying is often done standing up and targeted, with a vibrating tail, preferably against a vertical surface.
Tips for a spraying cat
Once you’ve determined whether your cat is peeing or spraying, proceed to treatment. Punishment usually doesn’t work: it will only make your cat aggressive or anxious, it will lose faith in you and the spraying behaviour will intensify. It is better to find out why your cat is spraying. Do you have a new housemate? This may be another cat, a baby or a new partner. If so, give your cat some extra attention and provide it with a safe living environment. Castration or sterilisation can help combat/prevent spraying as well. Keep an eye on the cat flap; do other cats use it to enter the house? If so, a cap flap with a chip will help prevent other cats from using the flap. Your cat will feel safer in its own territory and the urge to spray will be reduced.
Tips for peeing outside the litter box
Peeing outside the litter box cannot be solved by punishing your cat. Responding with anger will achieve the opposite of what you want. Often the cause has to do with the litter box or the litter inside or there may be a medical reason. Determine when you cat started peeing outside the litter box, especially if there are multiple cats living in the house. Cats prefer to have a (or two) litter box(es) of their own. Make sure you always have at least two litter boxes if you have two cats. In addition, cats enjoy a clean litter box; they will not use a dirty one. Clean it regularly and in time. There may also be a medical reason why your cat is failing to pee where it should. Check your cat’s urine. Does it contain any blood? Does it seem to have difficulty peeing or does it mew a lot while in the litter box? Do bring it into the vet’s office for a check-up. Pay attention to how your cat enters the litter box, a lot of older cats get arthrosis and will find it increasingly difficult to step over the tall edge.
Cleaning the spraying and peeing spots of the cat
There is no point in cleaning spraying and peeing spots with a scented detergent. It will only invite the cat to spread its own scent again. It is better to use a scentless detergent and cover the cat’s favourite spraying and peeing spots with tin foil. Cats don’t like it.
Read more about how to break unwanted behaviour in cats.