One of the great things about cats is they are typically very clean. They usually like to keep their toilet behaviors to a litter box or a garden. This means that if you smell cat urine in your house, somewhere other than the litter box, or find cat poo in the corner of the room, this can be a cause for concern.
There are a number of different reasons a cat might have an accident.
Marking– Cats use urine as a way to mark their territory. This is more common with unaltered males, so make sure to get your boy cats neutered. Sometimes even if your cat is neutered and you get a new cat your old cat may be feeling a bit encroached upon. They may start spraying their scent, aka urine, in corners of rooms or on furniture, to let the other can know whose house it is. If they are doing this you will want to use a cleaner that will get rid of 100% of the cat smell. Cleaners like Natures Miracle work to get rid of the smells you can smell and the ones you cant. If there is a lingering smell, even if you cant detect it, your cat will be more likely to continue to spray in that area.
How can you tell if your cat is peeing or marking?
When cats urinate to relieve their bladder they squat down. Typically they will have a fair volume of urine and will prefer to pee on a flat surface. If a cat is spraying they will stand up and often make a treading or running in place motion with their hind legs. Their tail will be up an quivering or twitching. Typically it will be a small amount of urine and it will be sprayed straight behind them onto a vertical surface like a wall. They will often pick spots near doors or windows. Curtains are often a favorite.
Retraining Your Cat
If your cat is spraying you will need to retrain them to use the litter box.
- Keep the litter box very clean. If they poo, remove it immediately. Leaving a little bit of urine in there so they can identify their own smell can help.
- If you see your cat getting ready to pee, pick them up and put them in the litter box. Doing this means you can only have your cat out when you are able to watch them because success is based on catching them doing it every time.
- Place litter boxes in all the places they spray. If you can’t catch them every time, the make sure you have litter boxes everywhere they spray. As they get use to standing in the litter box, start moving it away from the spray area and get them use to only going in the box.
- Keep it clean. Any area you do not want them to spray you must keep it very clean and make sure all smell of previous sprays are gone. You need to use special cleaners such as Natures Miracle to get out all the odors.
- If your cat is spraying because of anxiety due to new people, new pets, or new enviornment, you will want to help quell their anxiety. Do not leave them alone with the new person of cat. Offer gentle and supported introductions. If you are in a new environment, keep them in one small room and slowly let them explore the new house a little at a time. Putting things out around the house that have your scent, like shirts and blankets that you use, can help your pet start to feel more at home.
- If your cat is spraying because they see a neighbor cat outside you may want to consider putting up blinds that go up from the bottom so he can’t see the neighborhood tease.
- Feeling secure. Cats are less likely to spray if they feel secure in their environment. Give them places to retreat too, like boxes or perches up high.
Spraying can be a sign of a health issue. If your cat won’t stop spraying make sure to speak with your Albuquerque vet about it.