You are about to discover how to stop a cat from spraying and get rid of that cat spray smell for good.
If your cat has begun spraying around the home, it can be incredibly frustrating. Not only does it create more work for you because you must clean it, but the smell of cat spray can be incredibly hard to get out. Sometimes it may even feel as though the smell is determined to linger forever.
Unfortunately, the number one reason cats are sent to the shelter or given up for adoption is that of spraying. This is sad when realizing it is often an issue which could be solved simply with just a small amount of time and effort on your own part.
A cat does not spray to be bad or obnoxious. There is always a definitive reason behind their spraying, and to them that reason obviously makes sense. Once the problem is addressed, the spraying almost immediately ceases and you don’t have to suffer the cat spray smell anymore..
Continue reading for more information on how to stop a cat from spraying. There is also a section of useful tips on how you can get that pesky spray smell out of your home or furniture.
How to Stop a Cat From Spraying
The very first step in getting your cat to stop spraying or peeing around the home is to figure out what the actual cause is. Contrary to widely held belief, cats do not pee outside their litter box because they want to. There is always a reason behind this behavior.
Interestingly, the litter box is the usual culprit in the matter. A few reasons the litter box may be to blame include:
- The litter box has a lid, which can make a cat feel trapped, cornered, or otherwise unsafe
- The box is too small for your cat’s size, or the sides are too tall for them to comfortably enter
- There are not enough litter boxes
- It is not cleaned often enough, and/or is allowed to get too dirty
- The location is in an area with heavy foot traffic or somewhere your cat does not feel safe
- The type of litter being used may be irritating or even causing actual discomfort when your cat uses the box
Outside of problems with the litter box itself, causes for urinating in inappropriate places might include:
- Medical issues
- Separation anxiety
- A need to comfort themselves
- Changes around the home
- Tension between household pets
- Feeling fearful for an array of reasons
- Marking their territory
- Hitting sexual maturity and/or going into heat
Depending on your cat, their personality, and your home, the situation could even be something different than those most common items mentioned here. You know your furry friend the best, so try to pay attention to their clues. It may take a little bit of trial and error, but you will eventually figure out what is wrong.
Once you find out what is wrong, you can move forward with addressing the issue. This can be done in a few very simple steps. Remember, however, to have patience. While the steps in addressing your cat’s unwanted behavior are simple, they may have to be repeated a few times to fully solve the issue.
Step One To Remove Cat Spray Smell: Clean The Urine
Cleaning the urine is the very first thing you should do. Cats will pee where they smell their own urine or that of another cat. This should be done immediately so the smell does not linger.
This is a particularly crucial step in households with multiple cats. When your other felines smell the urine, they will also be tempted to spray that specific area of your home with their own smell. This could result in a much bigger mess, and a lot more stress for yourself, other family members, and the cats.
To learn how you can get that strong cat urine smell out of your home, you can check out the tips near the end of this article. There is a lot of useful information guaranteed to assist in ridding your home of the smell.
Step Two: Address Any Solvable Problems
If you can see a plausible reason for your cat’s spraying, do your best to solve it using our guide on how to stop a cat from spraying. If the issue is the litter box, for example, take the necessary steps to fix it. Perhaps you need to purchase a new litter box which is larger or has shallower sides, or simply add one to your home. Many people are unaware, but you should always have one more litter box than you do cats.
If you feel your cat is spraying due to separation anxiety, try to spend time with them at the end of each day. No matter how busy you are, it does not take much effort to play with a string toy or pet your feline friend for ten minutes.
Life does get busy, and we understand it is a hard task to solve the cat spray smell. But cats are like babies in that they do not understand you are busy, and only wish to spend their time with you. This is not them being selfish, but the way they share their love for you.
If there are tensions between resident felines, you should solve the problem by temporarily separating the two and slowly reintroducing them. During this reintroduction period, the use of calming products like Feliway can help make it less stressful on both cats. Less stress for them equates to less chance of spraying.
Generally, the idea here is to do what you can meet your cat’s needs. Sometimes there may be more than one problem at play, and each item will need to be fixed. Some of you may now be asking yourselves, “But what if I can’t find a cause?”
If you cannot find a plausible explanation for your cats spraying, you should take him or her to the veterinarian. Not only can they rule out any medical reasons for inappropriate urination, but they can also offer valuable information based on your specific feline.
Step Three: Make Your Cat’s Favorite Spray Spots Undesirable Or Inaccessible
The third step is to make your cat’s favorite spray spots undesirable or inaccessible. Cats are creatures of habit and, as such, they will probably only be spraying on between one and three places constantly. Usual places your cat may spray include:
- Furniture (Couch, chairs, beds, and even tables)
- Corners of rooms
- Dirty laundry or clean clothes
- Boxes (including toy boxes) or drawers
Making a favorite spray spot inaccessible is the best choice when possible. For example, you can place an item like a shelf over a corner where your feline likes to urinate. Or, you can keep the door to the bathroom closed to avoid spraying on the dirty laundry. Keep all dresser drawers closed and put laundry away immediately to avoid spraying on clean clothes.
Making something inaccessible is not always possible, however. This is when you can utilize a few different techniques to make the place undesirable instead. A few ideas include:
- If a cat is spraying on a vertical surface, such as the leg of a chair or sides of the couch, you can use sticky tape. This is a two-sided tape which cats do not like the feel of. Since the feel of the tape is displeasing to them, they will avoid spraying on that area.
- Ensuring areas your cat normally likes to urinate are well lit can also help. Cats prefer to relieve themselves in dark areas, as this feels safer to them. Add a floor lamp near the couch or use bedside lamps to light up the bedroom.
- Feed your cat near the areas they have been spraying. Cats generally do not like to eat in the same area they relieve themselves.
Step Four: Reward Positive Behavior
As frustrating as spraying may be, remember that your cat does not feel as though it is doing anything wrong. They are simply following instinctual urges which are heavily ingrained in them through genetics. No matter how upset you get, remember to never scream at your cat or physically reprimand them. Not only is this ineffective but frightening and potentially dangerous to your feline.
Instead of stern discipline, you should reward positive behaviors. This will show your cat that you expect them to use their litter box instead of spraying in the house and will not hurt your relationship with your cat in the process. Enthusiastic verbal praise and treats when your cat uses the litter box are effective rewards for good behavior.
Getting Rid Of Cat Spray Smell
It’s no wonder that so many cat lovers worry about how to stop a cat from spraying. The smell is pungent, pervasive and thoroughly undesirable. Heavy with an ammonia-type smell, cat urine is incredibly difficult to get out. This is especially true when the smell is attached to a porous fabric like your clothes, couch, or bed.
There are many different things you can do to help rid your home of that strong smell, however. Look at the quick tips below to find something that will work for you and your preferences. There is something on this list for everyone, and all methods are both cat-friendly and effective.
To get rid of the smell of cat urine in your home, you can:
- Use an enzymatic cleaner which will neutralize the enzymes causing the smell. Do not use an ammonia-based cleaning agent, as this may actually cause them to urinate in the spot again, because cat urine has a very heavy ammonia-type smell.
- After carefully blotting up as much urine as possible, sprinkle the area with baking soda. This is a natural odor eater which is entirely non-toxic and safe for your pet, as well as any small children you may have in your home. Allow the baking soda to sit overnight and vacuum it up in the morning.
- For clothing items that have been sprayed on, add a quarter to half cup full of distilled white vinegar to the washing machine. The vinegar smell will both help to neutralize and overpower the smell of cat urine.
- Another option to get cat spray odor out of clothing is to add a small scoop of baking soda to the washing machine. Baking soda will neutralize the cat smell as the clothes wash.
- Open the windows to let air out in the room that is being sprayed in. This can help during the interim while you are waiting for other methods to work.
- You can also spray an air freshener containing sodium bicarbonate, as this can trap odor particles in the air. While not as effective, you can also light a candle or incense if the odor is too heavy while you clean it. This is only a very temporary solution, however, and does not get the smell out of actual fabrics.
You can also make your own homemade cat spray cleaner if you prefer not to purchase one from the store. Here are a few ideas on recipes which other people have found successful in ridding areas of the smell left by cat urine:
- One part distilled white vinegar to two parts water
- 5 ounces hydrogen peroxide, 1 tablespoon baking soda, 1 drop of dish liquid like Dawn (please note, this method may not be safe for use on carpeting. Prior to spraying large areas of carpet, be sure to test a small area for staining or bleaching)
- One part apple cider vinegar, two parts water, plus 1 drop favorite essential oil and 1 drop dish liquid
- 5 ounces hydrogen peroxide, 2 tablespoons baking soda, 2 cups of water, 2 drops favorite essential oils (also may not be safe for some carpeting)
Finding More Information
You can find a lot of resources on how to stop a cat from spraying and getting rid of the spray’s odor. These can be found online or through books, but one of the resources generally agreed to be the best is Cat Spraying No More.
Cat Spraying No More is an eBook featuring 66 pages of in-depth information on everything pertaining to cat spraying. Yes, this includes a lot of highly detailed information on the topics of how you can stop the behavior, as well as how to get the smell out of items which have been sprayed on.
Some of the spraying subtopics discussed in the book include:
- What the root cause of your cat’s spraying may be
- How to correct your cat’s behavior in a healthy way that will not only stop current spraying, but also future spraying before it happens
- Signs that your cat’s spraying may be something more serious, such as a medical or behavioral issue
- Tips and tricks which the author has found works firsthand
- Information on all-natural methods of cat correction and deterrence, which are proven to be both safe and effective
- A section discussing many methods which pet owners have been led to believe are effective, but which do not work – and can, in fact, only make the issue worse
The author of Cat Spraying No More is Sarah Richards. She is an ASPCA veterinarian and long-time cat owner who has experienced the frustration of spraying first hand. After a prolonged battle of trial and error to figure out what worked – and a lot of research – Richards realized that many other cat owners were dealing with the same issue. In fact, recent statistics tell us that one out of every ten cats will spray at some point.
Sarah Richards has combined her firsthand experience, medical background, and research to provide readers with what has quickly become the leading authority on cat spraying.
To help you take better care of your feline friend overall, there are also four great companion gifts which come with your purchase. These include:
- Cat Training Bible – This is the authorities source for training your feline. It is equipped with tips, tricks along with detailed steps on what it takes to train typically stubborn cats.
- 101 Recipes for a Healthy Cat: Free Application! – Provides nutritionally complete recipes to satisfy your cat’s hunger without all those harmful added ingredients.
- Cat Blueprint (eBook) – Provides essential information designed to answer all questions you may have about your feline friend, including details on illnesses, behavior problems, feelings, and more.
- Pet Medical Recorder Software – Maintains your cat’s medical records in one easily accessed place. Can keep track of age, weight, upcoming appointments, past visits, and other pertinent details that you may need quick access to.
You can get more information on this product by clicking here.
While nobody wants their cat to spray or urinate outside their litter box because of the unwanted cat spray smell, it is often a problem with a straightforward solution. It just takes a little investigation to figure out the main cause of the cat’s behavior, and once that has been figured out you can move forward with solving it.
Just remember that it may take a little time, and a few tries, to correct the situation. It may also take up to three cleanings for the cat spray smell to be fully gotten rid of. Alternatively, you can pick up a copy of Cat Spraying No More to expedite the process of getting rid of spraying behavior in your cat.
Now you know how to stop a cat from spraying you can take action today.