Interpreting Behaviours: Spraying

April 21, 2017
feline behaviour

“I caught Freddy spraying on the wall! My last cat did this and I had to get rid of him. I don’t want that to happen again. What should I do?”

That is really distressing when cats do that! It is very important that you bring this to your veterinarian’s attention immediately. It is a lot easier to correct when it is discussed early so the cause can be identified and corrected. It is also a lot easier for you to keep loving him; the longer it goes on, the more likely you are to resent him and maybe even stop wanting to have him around. And that isn’t good for either of you.

Whenever cats urinate: squatting or spraying (or defecating), somewhere in the house other than in the litter box, they are trying to tell you something. It is never spiteful behaviour, but it could be their way of communicating that they feel stressed or have pain. Your veterinarian will first look for physical reasons and check a urine specimen for illness. If everything looks normal on physical examination and urinalysis, then she/he will ask you lots of questions to discover the reasons that Freddy might feel the need to mark territory or what environmental or social requests he has. With that information, you will get a treatment plan that will hopefully make both you and Freddy happy again.

It takes courage for a cat to behave in this way! After all, they know that you won’t like it…but if they just kept using the litter box, you wouldn’t have known they were having a problem.

Check out this resource – a PDF full of tips on helping with cats soiling your home. 

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