If you've ever seen a cat spraying you may have been intrigued. It's a strange looking activity where the cat stands with a vertical tail (sometimes quivering at the tip) and delivers a squirt of urine against a vertical surface.
Urine spraying is considered a normal part of a cat's scent-marking. It is thought that the spray contains information about sex, age, hormonal state and general health and it may also deter other cats from coming into a cat's territory. Both male and female cats will spray - cats that are not desexed may spray more often.
Cats will also spray when they are frustrated, upset or feel threatened by another cat. It's fascinating feline psychology and by marking with a squirt of urine and leaving a familiar smell, a cat feels a greater sense of security in his or her territory.
Most cats won't spray indoors as they feel sufficiently comfortable in their own territory. However, sometimes this can go out the window and simple changes may rock the boat.
WHY MIGHT A CAT START SPRAYING INDOORS? TRIGGERS INCLUDE:
• The arrival (or departure) of a new cat, dog or person in the family (or next door!)
• Changes in the home area such as a new piece of furniture or new carpets
• Disruptions such as building construction next door
• An addition of a cat flap which can suddenly make the cat feel insecure indoors
Medical problems such as urinary tract infections or inflammation can also cause a cat to suddenly start spraying urine indoors. This highlights the importance of getting your cat checked with your vet as the treatment for a urinary tract infection will be very different to the management of behavioural spraying.