How to Stop a Cat From Spraying in the House

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Have you ever noticed that your cat, for whatever reason, is actually spraying around the house? Given how pungent cat urine smells at the best of times, this can be a real problem, especially if you don’t know how to solve it! Do you desperately want to know how to stop a cat from spraying in the house?

In this guide, we are going to give you some pointers on how to stop a cat from spraying in the house. We’ll explain why cats spray in and around your home, what cat spray smells like, and discuss some ways you can reduce or outright stop your cat from doing this.

» You might like How to Train a Cat the Easy Way and 7 Cat Breeds with Fluffy Tails.

A cat sitting on a table

» Check out what Smells that Keep Your Cat From Peeing on Your Stuff.

Why Do Cats Spray?

Like most of us who have a cat for the first time, you may be wondering what could be causing your cat to spray around the house. It’s an annoying habit that should be broken with attention to the reason for it and a good plan to stop it.

While it’s completely normal for a cat to spray outside to mark its territory and plant its scent around the home, it’s definitely not normal for your cat to spray inside the house.

Cat peaking out of a litter box

There are a few factors that can make your cat start to spray around your home.

  1. One of the most likely reasons is that there is something new causing your cat to feel more anxious and discomfort. This could mean that a new arrival in your home, from a new baby, a new housemate, or even another pet of some kind, re a change that your cat isn’t comfortable with or used to yet. If they haven’t gotten used to the new member of a household, they may express their anxiety and frustration by spraying around the home.
  2. Alternatively, it could be that they are having an issue with their current litter box arrangement. Perhaps they feel that it isn’t clean enough for them, and are choosing to do their business elsewhere. Cats have very high hygiene standards for animals, so this could easily be a cause.
  3. Aside from infection, it could be that your cat simply has a favorite spot that they like to mark as their territory. Spraying on an object marks the area around it as there’s. 
  4. This is often an issue with male cats, but it is not uncommon to find your little girl kitty also making sure that everyone knows that your side of the bedroom is hers as well!
  5. This is also likely to be the case if your cat is a young adult, or has not been spayed or neutered yet. Scent-marking is a way for adult cats to show other adult felines in the area that they are ready to mate.
Cat staring at the camera

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What Does Cat Spray Smell Like?

Firstly, it pays to know when a cat has sprayed in your home so that you know that there is a problem that needs to be solved.

Generally speaking, cat spray will have a very pungent urine smell to it, which is a pretty bad smell, to begin with.

However, you may also notice that it doesn’t smell quite like the litter boxes that you are so used to cleaning out already.

This is because cats also include several other bodily fluids and chemicals in their spray and that composition, and the smell it makes, will vary depending on each cat.

You may have already noticed this for yourself if you have multiple cats in your home. You may have noticed that their spraying is a little different, depending on which one of your furry friends is doing it.

This is certainly a helpful way of isolating whoever seems to make that nasty smell if your household has several of these furry friends!

» You might be interested in 7 Smells That Deter Your Cat From Peeing on Your Stuff

Ways To Stop A Cat From Spraying in the House

A kitten being snuggled by its owner

So, if you have found that your cat is spraying around the house, here are some of the things you can do to try and stop them from continuing to do so:

  • If you have determined that your cat is more anxious thanks to a new arrival in the home, you should try and spend a little more time with them, to reassure and comfort them, which is also a great way of trying to combat any loneliness your cat is feeling, which can also cause spraying.
  • If your cat is spraying to mark a favorite spot, clean up the sprayed area with some warm water and soap to get rid of the scent (do not use bleach or harsher cleaners, or your cat will continue to spray there). Your cat should stop spraying relatively soon after.
  • If your cat thinks its litter box is too dirty, make sure to keep your cat’s litter box as clean as possible, and empty it out regularly. Being very picky with their hygiene, as we have already mentioned, making sure that your litter box for them is up to their standards
  • If your scent-leaving cat has not been spayed or neutered yet, make sure that you do so with your local vet. Not only will this likely stop them from spraying, but it will help avoid unwanted pregnancies.

If your cat continues to spray, consult a veterinarian for their advice.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, cats can spray for a variety of reasons, and they aren’t always clear to us. Hopefully, these tips have helped you narrow down what needs to be done to help your cat.

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How to Stop a Cat From Spraying in the House

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