You notice a wet spot on the side of the sofa, or the drapes, or maybe running down the front door. Hmmm, is that . . . ? Yep, it looks — and smells — like cat pee. Uh oh. What’s going on? Is your cat trying to tell you something?
Actually, when your cat sprays, they are trying to send you (or another cat in or around your home) a message! It’s usually either, “I was here”/"this is my home,” or “I’m stressed out.”
You see, spraying (or “marking”) is all about communication for cats. It’s different from fully peeing or pooping outside the litter box (a.k.a. “inappropriate toileting” or "inappropriate elimination") — which, though could also be due to stress or problems between the pets in your home, is most often related to a problem with your cat’s litter boxes (e.g., the type of litter used, the location or number of boxes available, or another of the common problems with litter box setup and maintenance). And, just to keep things interesting, both “spraying” and “inappropriate elimination” can also be brought on by, or worsened by, an underlying medical problem (e.g., arthritis, urinary tract inflammation (“cystitis”) or infection (“UTI”), kidney failure, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, or a host of other problems). This article is going to focus on helping you with a cat that’s spraying or “marking.” Read on to see if that might be your cat, and what you can do about it.