March 2018: Vet's Advice

February 23 2018

Cats are territorial animals.

Cats are territorial animals. In the wild a cat establishes a home base (where they eat and sleep) and a home range (where they hunt and mate). The range radiates from the home base. It is important that the home base remains constant and is not breached in anyway. The home range or territory may be shared with other cats but there is often a ‘time share’.

What is territory spraying? It is normal for a cat to mark its territory outside but abnormal to do this inside. The cat will often back up against a vertical surface, tread their hind legs and squirt urine.  Both males and females can spray but not as much if they are neutered. 

Why? Cats spray during socially stressful situations. Therefore spraying indoors, or in their home base, indicates that it doesn’t feel secure. Stressors include: conflict with other cats in household, lots of cats living in the surrounding area, invasion of your house by a strange cat or changes in the house or normal routine, such as a new baby or new furniture.

 

What can you do? 

It’s a good idea for your cat to have a check up with a vet. It may be that a health problem could be the reason for urinating inside. 

• Clean sprayed areas with a 10% biological washing powder solution.

•Try a pheromone diffuser.

• Make sure strange cats are not peering in through the windows.

• Move food stations and litter trays away from the windows and cat flap.

• Increase the number of resources (litter trays and food bowls, etc). Ideally have one more than the number of cats in the house.

Unfortunately, urine spraying is unpleasant and a difficult problem to solve because often the trigger is outside of your control. If you have any questions or want to discuss how to make your house more cat friendly then please come in to the practice for a chat.