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    Spraying and Urine Marking

    Spraying and Urine Marking

    Cat spray, which is a mixture of urine and glandular secretions, is a foul-smelling clear or slightly white liquid. Spraying, or urine marking, is usually done on vertical objects by male cats and should not to be confused with litter box avoidance. Male cats primarily do it to mark out their territories, warning other males away and letting females know whose territory it is. Spraying is most prevalent among unneutered males and can be common in multicat households, where a cat can feel an urgent need to establish boundaries. Some females will also spray, particularly nonspayed females in heat, who use urine marking as a way of attracting a mate. Females also spray as a way of marking territory. Spraying can also be caused by anxiety and stress, which can be triggered by a number of factors. If you have a cat who is spraying, the first step in trying to eliminate such behavior is to have that cat neutered/spayed. In the majority of cases, neutering/spaying will solve the problem. If the spraying problem persists or your cat has already been spayed or neutered, the problem could be caused by anxiety, stress, or a similar factor. For example, the cause could be an invasion of your cat's personal territory by a neighborhood cat. That invasion could be anything from your cat's spying a strange cat walking across your lawn through a window to that strange cat actually entering your home through a cat flap and walking right into your cat's space. In the first example, the solution is simple: pull down the shade or close the blinds. In the second, go more electronic and buy a special cat flaps that can be programmed to only allow incumbent cats in the household to use them. They are activated by a little device on the cat's collar. Such a cat flap could solve a trespassing problem.

    Of course, you may not be able to figure out what triggered the spraying so quickly. Discuss the problem with a veterinarian or a behaviorist and find out what can be done. Depending on the reason for the spraying, your veterinarian may prescribe antianxiety medication for your cat. In addition or alternatively, the veterinarian or behaviorist may recommend an over-the-counter pheromone spray. These pheromone sprays mimic the natural comforting facial pheromone secreted by cats. When cats sense the facial pheromone in areas around their home, they are less likely to urine mark or scratch those areas. These sprays, along with the implementation of certain behavior modification techniques can eradicate Biblespraying issues. (Note: pheromone sprays can also be used for litter box issues.)Whatever approach you take to dealing with spraying, you must be certain to do a thorough cleanup of any area that has been hit by your territorial tomcat (or female enticer). Use a product with an effective enzyme cleaner that will remove all traces of the odor and will prevent cats from returning to the same spot.

    From The Cat Bible, Copyright by Sandy Robins, licensed through ContentOro, Inc and used by arrangement with I-5 Press

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