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Stop Cats From Spraying

Cats “spray” or pee on things to mark their territory. As domestic as cats are they are not that far removed from their wild ancestors. Marking their territory is part of tapping into those ancient roots.  Cats mark their territory by rubbing, scratching and urinating.

albuquerque catThe reason cats mark their territory is because scent is the primary way they communicate. This is why when one cat comes home from your Albuquerque vet the other cats might treat them like a stranger until they get in a good sniff to establish they are who they say they are.

Cats have scent glands on their cheeks, paws and flanks. So every time they rub against something they are putting their scent on it…and yes this includes you. When they rub against you they are claiming you as their own and telling all other cats to back off because you are claimed.


Peeing, aka. spraying is another way for a cat to mark their territory. Both male and female cats do this. Sometimes spraying can be an sign of a medical issue. If your cat suddenly stops using their litter box, it is likely that they are not spraying so much as having a health problem and should be taken to the vet.

Spraying is the most common way to announce to other cats that your cat is ready to mate. Kittens start spraying when they start becoming fertile and ready to mate. If you get your kitten spayed or neutered before they are 5 months old you can often avoid spraying behavior. The longer a cat goes without being altered the more likely their spraying behavior becomes ingrained.




Stress is also a common reason for spraying. When you move their environment, like move into a new house, or introduce a new person or animal into the household, it can cause a lot of stress and spraying becomes your cats your way to deal with it. If your cat is stress spraying try to addressing their anxiety. We have some great resources for dealing with pet anxiety.

How to deal with Spraying

  1. Clean the soiled area thoroughly. Use a cleaning spray like natures miracle which will remove the stain and all odor from the urine. Cats like to come back to previously marked areas, so cleaning it properly can help reduce the likelihood of them trying to spray the area again.
  2. Keep areas that they like to mark out of reach. Put guest belongings behind a closed door, or new purchases in a closed closet.
  3. Restrict your cats access to windows where they can see other animals outside if those animals are causing your cat stress.
  4. Try using rescue remedy or using lavender to help reduce anxiety.
  5. Spay or neuter your cat.
  6. If nothing is working, speak to your Albuquerque vet about other options like anti-anxiety medication.
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2510 Main St. NE #1 Los Lunas, NM Phone: (505) 865-0662

Veterinarian Clinic Website: www.loslunasvetco.com


The information provided on this website is written by Vetco staff. All information is meant to be informational and is not meant as veterinary advice. If you have a health question regarding your pet, their treatment or anything concerning their veterinary care, please call Vetco to consult with a veterinarian.