Why Cats Spray Urine - Territorial Urine Spraying - The Spruce
Cats don’t need high tech devices to . In addition to body language, vocalizing, scratching objects, and rubbing, they use urine to broadcast their intentions and emotions. Spraying, which is one form of urine marking, is not hugely popular with people, especially when done indoors.
Both male and female cats spray with urine, though urine spraying is most common in intact (non-neutered) male cats. When an intact male sprays urine, it will leave the characteristic strong and pungent “tom cat” odor. Neutering will change the odor, and may also reduce the cat’s motivation for spraying, but approximately 10 percent of neutered males and 5 percent of spayed females will continue to spray. While cats in multiple cat households are often involved in spraying behaviors, cats that are housed singly may spray as well.
What is urine spray-marking anyway? And why does your cat stand there with tail held high and vibrating and insist on shooting urine vertically on your curtains and what might seem like any vertical surface he or she—that’s right, females can perform the behaviour too—can find? Even once neutered or spayed, cats can still urine spray-mark for territorial reasons, though fixed or unfixed, cats generally don’t urine spray mark before they are two years of age when they move into social maturity (social maturity happens between the ages of two and four years; sexual maturity at about 6 months). In my cat behaviour book, The Cat Whisperer, I’ve devoted an entire chapter to urine spray-marking, giving answers on why cats spray urine, how to stop the behaviour, and why you need to calm down already. There are several reasons cats urine-spray mark, but for this article, I’m going to discuss the number one reason.Administration of fluoxetine hydrochloride for treatment of urine spraying in cats can be expected to considerably reduce the rate of urine marking. The frequency of spraying before treatment is predictive of the spraying rate when the drug is discontinued.*Medical Alert: Due to painful urination, some cats will actually urinate standing up which can look like urine spray-marking. Please be sure to work with your vet to rule out urinary health or kidney issues that can cause stand-up urination due to pain or discomfort.The behavioural sequence observed may vary subtly between cats. In general, the cat will turn its back on the area of choice, raise the tail and arch the back, then spray a variable quantity of urine onto a vertical surface, whilst spraying the tail may also quiver . Vertical surfaces in the house are commonly sprayed areas, often when they are near access points or windows. Owners also report that targets include objects on the floor such as boxes or bags and electrical items including plug sockets and household appliances.Urine spraying forms a normal part of the cat's behavioural repertoire and can broadly be categorized as either sexual (associated with reproductive function) or reactional (associated with threats to resources) marking . It is shown by both sexes, all breeds and occurs irrespective of neutering, with approximately 10% of neutered males and 5% of spayed females exhibiting the behaviour , , .To date a small number of randomised control trials and one-group, uncontrolled trials have been carried out to evaluate the effectiveness of intervention on the control of urine spraying. The evidence indicates that none of the currently available interventions are successful in completely resolving the behaviour in all spraying cats, for this reason treatment outcome is often defined in terms of number of cats that cease spraying and / or reduce spraying beyond a certain rate. For example, Pryor et al., ) defines success as cessation or a 90% reduction of signs whereas, Mills and Mills report numbers that cease and numbers that reduce.