Cat Scent or Territory Marking
Urine spraying is also called urine marking and is not an elimination problem. Urine or scent marking is normal behavior which cats use to define their territories. It usually starts at 5 to 6 months of age when kittens become sexually mature and hormones become active. Cats stand, (not squat) back up against a wall, raise their tail and spray small amounts of urine on vertical surfaces like walls, windows and curtain. Intact, non-neutered males are most prone. But neutered males and females also occasionally spray.
* Normal territorial behavior
* Behavioral Disorder – caused by stress, fear, and anxiety often induced by any change in the environment. Stress and anxiety can occur because of any changes in the home, like the addition of a new person, pet or item of furniture;, even a dietary change. Cats spray if they feel threatened by the presence of another cat. Frustration can result in spraying such as an indoor cat that would prefer to be outside.
WHAT YOU AND YOUR VET CAN DO
* Since this is a natural behavior with a hormonal influence, neutering generally solves the problem. Hormone levels take 6 weeks to decrease once cats are neutered. Cats neutered prior to sexual maturity at 4 to 6 months old, have a much lower incidence of spraying.
* Remove the odor: Use products to effectively eliminate the urine such as Elim Odor, K.O.E., Anti Icky Poo or remove the item if possible, i.e. carpet.
* Modify behavior by eliminating the source of conflict; frustration or stress.
* Give cat more private time and personal space, close curtains or shades if indoor cat wants to go outside. Don’t rush introductions between new cats or between your cat and a new dog.
* Try Feliway: Feliway ™ is from France. It is an artificial pherome spray approved for reducing urine spraying but also seems to calm cats down, and promote a relaxed setting in which introduction of new cats may be more successful.
ANIXETY REDUCTION WITH FLOWER REMEDIES
* Flower remedies help reduce stress. With an older cat that is very attached to his owner and home introducing a new cat might make your cat afraid he’s losing his territory and therefore he might become more possessive. Use “Mimulus: for fear of losing home and possessions and “Holly” for jealousy and suspicion. If you adopt a timid cat who is petrified of the new environment, use” Rock Rose” for terror.
* Bach Flower Rescue Remedy: Bach Flower Rescue Remedy is the most popular and well-known Bach Flower Remedy available. Health food stores carry it already mixed. It is made of five flowers. It may be used for injury, crisis, and shock or just to calm a nervous cat down. 2 to 3 drops, 2 to 3 times daily in mouth or food: or 4 drops in water bowl if you are not going to be home.
* Valium and Alprazolam must be prescribed by your vet but are effective in 75 percent of cases and eliminate spraying due to anxiety. They do have side effects, if used long term.
A combination of Behavioral Modification methods and medication are often most effective to solve urine spraying.
Neutering at a young age is the easiest way to prevent most urine spraying.
TIP: Feliway, a pheromone spray approved to reduce urine spraying. It also calms cats down.
URINE SPRAYING/ SCENT MARKING ACTIVITY
Scent marking activity is also commonly called urine praying. This may occur when kittens become sexually mature (five to six months of age). They start to spray urine. Spraying is a natural territorial behavior. The cat generally stands up to spray urine on vertical surfaces like walls, windows, and furniture. (Normally cats squat to urinate.) Non-neutered (intact) male cats spray urine to mark their territory while intact (non-spayed) female cats spray when they are in heat. In both cases, this is a
natural behavior with a hormonal influence, and neutering or spaying the cat generally solves the problem.
Occasionally, neutered cats spray because they are upset or stressed. Stresses can include changes in the environment, like the addition of a new pet or family member, and/or a lack of personal space, which is not uncommon in multi-cat homes.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
At home you can give your cat private peaceful personal space. For example, his own private room with his own private litter box. If necessary your vet can relieve stress with medication, either psychotropic drugs or flower essences such as Rescue Remedy.