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Why Do Cats Spray Urine?

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Cats have some ways of speaking. A few of these methods, like meowing, are extra comprehensible for people than others. Urine spraying, then again, not solely proves rather more difficult for people to understand however can also be a lot much less nice.

Let’s face it: People and cats see urine very otherwise. Sadly, that misunderstanding lands many cats in shelters the place they could by no means get adopted. So it’s necessary to grasp the methods cats talk with it.

Spraying to draw a mate

Intact male cats spray to draw a feminine and to discourage different males from their territory. Intact feminine cats spray to announce when they’re in warmth. The urine cats spray to draw a mate accommodates pheromones, making the odor rather more pungent. Neutering males and spaying females eliminates this cause for spraying.

hissing cat

Spraying to mark territory

Spraying communicates one other message. Different cats clearly perceive the message once they wander into one other cat’s territory that they both want to maneuver on or put together to battle.

“Spraying is pushed by territoriality,” says Gary Norsworthy, DVM, a board-certified feline specialist on the Alamo Feline Well being Middle in San Antonio, Texas. If cats assume one other cat is encroaching on their territory, they may typically reply by spraying “as a way of telling the opposite cat that that is my home.”

Resolving this challenge includes figuring out the supply of your cat’s emotions of encroachment, whether or not it’s a brand new pet within the family or a neighborhood cat roaming your yard. You might must separate family pets and step by step reintroduce them. For neighborhood cats, place cat-safe deterrents in your yard and quickly block your cat’s view of the realm. A pheromone spray can assist calm your cat in each circumstances.

Inappropriate elimination

“Inappropriate elimination might have a root trigger that creates ache when urinating or defecating,” Dr. Norsworthy says. Circumstances that may trigger a cat to urinate or defecate exterior the litter field embrace a bladder an infection, bladder stones, constipation, and anal sac abscess or impaction.

Some illnesses, comparable to diabetes and kidney illness, trigger a big improve in urine manufacturing or diarrhea, Dr. Norsworthy says. An ingrown toenail could cause ache within the litter field when litter will get into the open wound and, because of this, the cat might affiliate the ache with the litter field.

“Arthritis of the backbone, hips or knees could make positioning to urinate or defecate painful, and the cat might affiliate that with the litter field,” he says. “Cats with virtually any debilitating illness that causes weak spot might end result within the cat urinating or defecating the place they’re reasonably than expending the vitality to stroll throughout the home — or up or down stairs — to get to the litter field.”

Dr. Norsworthy recommends first having your veterinarian search for points that trigger ache related to urination or defecation. “This begins with an intensive bodily examination plus urinalysis, urine tradition, X-ray and ultrasound examine. Have checks finished that mirror illness, comparable to a blood glucose dedication and kidney perform checks. A complete blood panel with urinalysis and tradition might reveal severe underlying illness.”

veterinarian holding cat

Circumstances like bladder infections or bladder stones might trigger your cat to pee exterior the litter field.

When it’s the litter field

In case your cat is wholesome however urinating exterior the litter field, a unclean litter field or too many cats per litter field could be the issue. A litter with an antagonistic scent or texture also can repel a cat, Dr. Norsworthy says. He recommends offering not less than one litter field per two cats and to scrub every litter field not less than as soon as per day. Curiously, he says that cats typically see two litter bins in the identical room as only one. “Be certain the cat likes the sort and model of cat litter you’re utilizing,” he says, including that cats often want clumping litter.

If the cat is wholesome and the litter field is clear and you’ve got sufficient of them, take a look at emotional stressors that will precipitate peeing exterior the litter field, comparable to “dwelling with an aggressor cat, a brand new particular person within the family, somebody shifting out of the family, new carpet, furnishings or drapes,” he says.

It doesn’t matter what causes your cat to spray or urinate exterior the litter field, clear the realm and take away the odor. Something that smells like urine to a cat identifies it because the cat’s rest room, and she or he will proceed to pee there. Search for enzymatic cleaners that take away odor in addition to the stain.

Dr. Norsworthy advises immediate motion when a cat begins to overlook the litter field. “Length is a significant factor in reversing inappropriate elimination. I’m profitable about 90% of the time if I get to work with the issue within the first 30 days. If it has been occurring over six months, it’s unlikely that I’ll reverse it.”

aggressive cat

Emotional stressors like dwelling with an aggressive cat or change to the family (particular person shifting in or out) might trigger a cat to eradicate exterior the litter field.

Spraying vs inappropriate elimination

Understanding the distinction between the 2 helps you establish in case your cat marked his territory as a result of he felt threatened by one other cat or just couldn’t make it to the litter field due to a well being cause.

“Spraying is outlined as directing the cat’s urine in a horizontal course,” Dr. Norsworthy says. This could possibly be towards any vertical floor like a wall, door or a window. “Inappropriate elimination means the cat urinates or defecates anyplace besides the litter field, however it’s on a horizontal floor.”

Examples embrace a ground, sofa, mattress, chair or tabletop. A house that’s overcrowded with cats can immediate extra urine marking behaviors in addition to inappropriate elimination.

“Overcrowding is the No. 1 trigger that ends in inappropriate elimination,” says Dr. Norsworthy, who recommends not more than 4 cats per 2,000 sq. ft of dwelling house. He estimates that each family cat will increase the probability of inappropriate elimination by 10%. “You probably have 10 cats, there’s a 100% likelihood it’s going to occur.” In overcrowded households, he recommends rehoming cats that don’t get together with the others.



Pee occurs, and the aftermath isn’t a lot enjoyable to take care of. Listed here are just a few ideas that will help you get the job finished.

Earlier than you begin cleansing, take away as a lot of the urine as potential by absorbing it with paper towels or an outdated rag. Letting a stain sit will make the cleanup harder, and a sitting stain is an invite for the cat to return again and re-mark the spot.
Are you able to scent the urine however can’t really discover it? Black lights, which can be found at pet shops and on-line, can assist you simply spot these sneaky stains.
Use an enzymatic cleaner. Uric acid is what causes that stink, and an enzymatic cleaner breaks down the uric acid and removes the scent. And if the scent is gone, your cat received’t be tempted to mark that spot once more.


  • Adam Johanson

    Adam Johanson is an animal lover and a blogger at Panelpets. He writes regularly regarding pets and how to take care of them, as well as general news stories about animals. When he isn't writing, Adam can usually be found playing with his two dogs or cuddling his cat.