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Inappropriate Elimination

PPt-Inappropriate Elimination


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   Feline Spraying or Urine Marking

What is it?

Spraying is when cats place urine on surfaces to mark territory. Usually cats back up to a surface, tail straight up quivering in the air and spray urine. Some cats show this behavior without spraying urine. Both male and female cats mark but marking is more common in male cats.

Cats may also mark territory by leaving small amounts of urine and occasionally stool on horizontal surfaces.

Marking may be triggered by the stress of seeing other cats outdoors, or from feeling competition with cats that live in the same household. Cats mark territory when they feel threatened or stressed.

Cats do not mark out of spite. They do not have a large enough prefrontal cortex area of the brain to process that level of thinking. They do mark in response to changes such as the arrival of a new pet, new baby, changes in household routines as well as in response to other environmental and social changes. In general, cats don't respond well to change.

What to do?

If a male cat is not already neutered, and is not a potential breeder, castration is recommended.

A urinalysis should be performed to rule out medical problems.

The location of the urine spots should be determined, then a little detective work is indicated to determine possible stressors. Treatment is aimed at decreasing the motivation for spraying.



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