Why did my cat suddenly start spraying?

  • Sugar my spayed cat started a few months spraying in the house, but she also uses the litter box.  She had never did this for a period of 4 yes.  She is taking medicine for an UTI. She goes back to the vet next week to have another urine analyzes . She goes for awhile not spraying, the she now has started back. 

    A new kitten not a yr old yet was introduced to everyone and it seems to be the time Sugar started this. She gets plenty of one on one attention and love.

    Help, I don't know  if this is still her uti, which she's taken the medicine for 14 days or a behavioral issue marking her territory.

     Thank you for any advice you can give me. Patricia 



  • Hi Patricia, My name is Nicole. I am the Cat Behaviourist with Tuft + Paw. 

    What we do know is when a cat sprays, it is usually an indication that they are not at ease about something or there is a medical issue.
    In your case, since your cat is on medication to treat UTI - it most likely is not the medication itself that is causing her to spray. It will be easier to determine once she has finished the medication, and if she continues to do so. But please check with your veterinarian next week.

    You mentioned that she started this behaviour around the time that the new kitten was introduced - so I believe this to be the most likely cause. This can phase out relatively quickly or can drag on for abit of time. It just depends on her tolerance level. You could try a synthetic pheromone such as Feliway (made by Ceva). It is a synthetic copy of a feline facial pheromone that can help induce a state of familiarity and security within her environment, allowing her to remain more comfortable around the kitten. Does not require a prescription. 

  • When I got my cat at 8 weeks . He started spraying about a month later . He is 5 now . He was fixed at 6 months . He still sprays . He doesnt / hasnt had uti and was on a med for spraying.  His brother who started spraying when he was 1 year old also neutered and checked for uti . Just dont know why they do this and it's not just specific places .

  • Hi Paula,

    Cats spray as a way to mark territory (in the same places and often new ones). And even some cats will continue to spray after they have been neutered. However, there is usually a reason for this and determining the cause is the difficult part. A common reason can be stress. Is there outside neighboring cats in your area? Does someone in the house move around abruptly? Can they hear a dog nearby? By spraying their own scent around can help relay the message to others that this space is theirs and also to comfort themselves with their own scent. 

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