8 Nov 2019
Cats urinating in the home is a behaviour owners ask advice about regularly. It’s a distressing situation for both cat and owner and depending on the type of urination, can require a different approach to resolve.
The cause could be due to a urinary infection or other medical condition and may need a medical approach to resolve. However, if your cat is “spraying”, this could be due to a socially stressful situation. Spraying is a coping mechanism used by your cat for stress, and the approach to resolving the issue will be very different to that related to a medical one.
So what’s the difference between urinating and spraying? The classic presentation for spraying involves the cat backing up to a vertical surface, often after intense sniffing of the area, and what appears to be a “grimacing” look on their face. They will stand with an erect tail which will “quiver” whilst they urinate. The amount of urine is usually quite small and can be quite hard to find. You may only be aware of the smell or of a small trickle of a brown, sticky substance on a skirting board, radiator or door. Other favourite targets include electrical equipment, full-length curtains, plastic bags or clothing.
Outside, spraying is a normal behaviour for a cat. You will often see other cats spraying urine against bushes, fences and other objects. However, it isn’t normal behaviour to spray inside the home and finding the cause of the stress that has triggered this behaviour can be difficult. With patience and some adjustments within the home, it is possible to resolve the issue.
Both male and female cats are capable of spraying although it does occur more in male cats. It is also more common in cats that haven’t been neutered and in multi-cat households where stress levels may be higher.
Take a look at this short film HERE for some general advice and if you have an issue with your cat spraying in the home, contact us to book in for a behaviour consultation where, after the completion of a questionnaire, a programme to help with the issue can be developed and support provided by the team.
For more information, visit the ICC website HERE