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How to Prevent a Cat from Spraying & Marking

Learn how to prevent a cat from spraying and marking from board-certified veterinary behaviorist Dr. E'Lise Christensen, DVM in this Howcast video.


If you're thinking about getting a cat or have one already and are worried about urine marking or urine spraying, you're not alone. Urine marking and urinating outside of the box is one of the major causes of cat owners being really distressed in their relationship with their cats. The problem is it's actually a really normal behavior. A lot of times people think that a cat is urine marking or spraying outside of the box because they're angry or spiteful or upset that the family went on vacation, but the reality of it is, is that spraying is a normal behavior in 10% of male neutered cats and 5% of spayed female cats.

So, if you neuter or spay your cat, you're going to decrease your chances of urine markings, but if you already have a urine marker the most important things you can do are make sure that that litter box is in an appropriate place and sparkling clean. Also, look for stressors that might be making your cat anxious. Anxious cats are more likely to urine mark. Common causes are aggression or social stress with other cats, other animals in the household or people. They also get stressed when there are visitors or if there's changes in the environment such as a remodeling and certainly moving.

Some cats will even urine mark if you've been gone from the home for awhile. If any of those are causing your cats to urine mark then you should definitely speak with your veterinarian because after a medical workup assuming that everything is fine then there are definitely other behavioral modifications you can make besides the litter box and even medications that have really great responses while helping our cats enjoy life in general and keeping your house sparkling clean. That's how you get started working with a spraying cat.

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