Stop Your Kitty From Spraying!

Dear William,
I am an unfixed kitty and I can’t stop spraying. Now my house smells like a litterbox. Please help!–Un-Spayed and Spraying in Schenectady

Dear Spraying,
If you have started spraying for reasons other than being in heat, having multiple kitties in your household or being an unfixed boy cat coming of age – you may be spraying because you are not feeling well. For example, if you are a female you may be having urinary tract problems. A visit to the vet, although visits to the vet are always clearly, undesirable, is in order. You should also plan to get spayed or neutered as soon as possible.

To prevent spraying, it is ideal to be spayed or neutered before you come of age. Spaying or neutering after you come of age will often stop the spraying but is not a guarantee. However there are multiple benefits to being fixed. One is that it helps stop pet overpopulation. Unlike humans, you do not need to have children to make your life complete (and even with humans the concept of children rounding out your life is questionable — just ask anyone with children.) Being spayed or neutered will also increase your chance to live a longer and healthier life.

So first step, get fixed. The Humane Society offers many low-cost programs for you.

Clean Green Recipe

  • 1/4 cup Murphy’s Oil Soap
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 8 cups (warm) water
  • Squeeze of lemon or orange (optional)

The area that has been sprayed should be cleaned with a commercial cleansing product, like Feliway, or the non-toxic, green mixture my mom likes: 1 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup of Murphy’s Oil Soap and 8 cups of warm water (a squeeze of lemon or orange helps make this smell even better and acts as an antiseptic). Another mixture that works is a squeeze of dishwashing liquid, a 1/4 cup of bleach of bleach and 8 cups of warm water. Beware of this last mixture as bleach can damage some fabrics (including something you might be wearing) as well as certain finishes.

Then it is all about rinse and repeat. Wipe the area clean once a day to get rid of any lingering scent (even if your human can’t smell it) and place a small, shallow, untippable dish full of vinegar in the area. Then each day for a week, wipe down the area again with your mixture and make sure the vinegar has not all evaporated. After the spraying stops, leave the dish of vinegar there for a few weeks in case you have any bad ideas. If you are a rowdy kitty and prone to tip things over, a glass jar with a lid with holes punched in the lid to let the vinegar scent out works as well.

It is very important to take care of spraying immediately. Do not wait before addressing the situation because bad habits are hard to kick for everyone.



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