Here, we are going to talk you through all things spraying – because we know that it can be super confusing to know if your cat is urinating or spraying. What is the difference between the two?!
Well, here we are going to talk you through just that – and tell you everything you need to know about it… We’re really putting the ‘T’ in T.M.I. here!
What Is Spraying?
So, cat spray is a kind of urine that cats will spray across a surface as a means of marking their territory. It is the most common for male cats to spray in order to mark their territory, however, this is something that both male cats and female cats can do.
It is true that cats will usually spray outside in order to mark their own territory – but this does not mean that your cat won’t occasionally slip up…
You might find that your cat sprays in random places. These places could include inside your home, or this might even be on laundry. There is no way of predicting where your cat might spray – you’re not a mind reader!
Having said this, it is really important to note the difference between urination and cat spray. As a cat owner, you need to be aware that inappropriate urination is by no means the same as spraying.
Why Do Cats Spray?
So, scent is how cats will communicate with each other – and the main reason is to allow them to mark the territory. There might be a few reasons as to why your cat will spray – introducing your cat to a new home can cause them to spray, and stress could be a contributing factor, too.
This could be a huge possibility if you have never noticed your cat urine marking before.
Cat spraying is an especially important aspect of a cat’s mating behavior, and if a cat has not been spayed or neutered, then they will have an increased chance of spraying.
In addition to this, unspayed female cats will spray in order to help a male locate them. On the other hand, males will spray in order to mark their territory.
However, if you get your cat ‘fixed’ before they get to a point where they reach their sexual maturity, then you will be very unlikely to encounter any spraying issues. The majority of male cats will stop spraying shortly after they have been neutered.
There is the rare occasion where a cat will continue to spray after they have been fixed due to the fact that they have learned this behavior – this case will have become a habit.
However, the sooner that you get your cat fixed when it is safe, then the less likely they will be to spray.
When Will Your Cats Start Spraying?
If you are an owner of a kitten or if you have a male cat who has not been neutered, then you might be wondering at what age a male kitten will be sexually active.
A male kitten will reach puberty when it gets to the ages of four and six months.
The majority of cats will start spraying when they reach the ages of six to seven months. It is true that the smell of a male cat’s urine will actually start to alter, and it will smell a lot more musky when they get to their optimum sexual maturity.
Neutering Your Cat
There are a lot of reasons behind neutering your male cat, some of these reasons are to do with avoiding feline overpopulation and also reducing fighting.
The main reason for getting your cat sprayed is to stop male cats from getting into the habit of spraying; this is something that can begin from the age of six months or from even earlier.
How Do You Know If Your Cat Is Urinating Or If Your Cat Is Spraying?
You might now be at the point where you are wondering what the difference is between spraying and urinating, but it’s actually pretty easy to tell these acts apart.
When a cat is spraying as a means of marking their own territory, the cat will be stood with their tail pointing up and erect, and also with their rear pointing upwards.
Or, you might notice that your cat will twitch their tail and move their little feet upwards and downwards. Spray will mark a few inches up on a wall.
When your cat urinates, your cat will squat and lower their rear, so it will be obvious to notice when they are doing this.
You will also notice that the smell of cat spray will be especially strong – but it is not that much liquid in comparison to how strong it smells.
If you are trying to spot the difference between spraying and urination, then you will notice a pretty substantial difference in the quantity of liquid.
Why Is Your Cat Inappropriately Urinating?
If you are noticing that your cat is urinating inappropriately, then this might be an indicator that they are struggling with a serious health condition.
Kidney disease could be the cause of your cat urinating outside of their own litter tray, or a urine infection can cause your cat to have a desire to urinate somewhere that is a much colder temperature.
If you are noticing that your cat is urinating inappropriately, then this can be an indicator that they have an illness of some kind that is really serious. Contact your vet immediately.
Overall, cats tend to be pretty clean and tidy by nature, and this is especially true of their bathroom habits.
So, if you notice that your cat is urinating away from their litter tray then this could be a sign that they have a serious illness.
Alternatively, you might notice that your cat is away from their litter tray with their rear ends raised and their tail erect, and this will be a sign that they are spraying rather than urinating.
However, we know that it can be super confusing to know what your cat is doing and also to know how to tell the difference between urinating and spraying.
However, your cat can start spraying from a young age if you don’t get them fixed when they are kittens.
If you leave your kitten for too long before neutering them, then spraying can become habitual and just something that they are very confident about.
This will not be massively ideal because not only is spraying a sign of marking their territory, this is also a sign of them signaling their sexual availability to the opposite sex – and if you are not in the market for a whole lot of kittens running around then you will want to get your cat fixed sooner rather than later.