There are many different reasons for urine spraying – some are physical, some are behavioural. The first thing we want to do is a full physical examination and urine analysis, to eliminate any medical problems.
Having done this, we can then approach the behavioural causes.
Some cats may urine spray because they are feeling anxious. In these cases you will need to do some extra things to make areas the cat is urinating in less attractive or unsuitable, while making the litter tray as attractive and accessible as possible.
1. Clean the soiled area to eliminate smells of previous urination with cleaners such as the laundry powder, Bio Zet and neutralise rather than mask, the smell with a product such as Bac to Nature, Nilodour or Enzstain. When possible, clean with 90% alcohol prior to Bac to Nature to further reduce odour. Avoid bleach and ammonia as these have a residual smell that can actually enhance the urine odour.
2. Confine the cat to a small area that has previously not been sprayed in. Gradually allow access to more of the house once the spraying diminishes.
3. Change the significance of the soiled areas by placing there such items as food (superglueing some dry cat food to a paper plate placed on that spot), toys, double-sided sticky tape, lemon-scented soap, citrus peels, mothballs, or Snappy Trainers. Cover the area with thick plastic or plastic hall runners or place the cat’s bedding in that area or simply denying access to certain areas until the cat is reliably urinating appropriately. Another alternative is to place a tray in the area the cat prefers and then gradually move it to the area that you consider acceptable. Spraying a pheromone spray on all soiled areas daily for 30 days may help.
4. Spray the cat with a water pistol if it is caught in the act of urine spraying.
5. Provide one litter tray per at and an extra one in another area, to allow easy access.
6. Clean the tray at least once daily with warm soapy water and preferably every time it was used.
7. Vary they type of litter or add an empty litter tray, as cats have different litter and/or privacy preferences. Modifications to the tray itself can also be useful, for example, providing a covered tray for more privacy or a tray with a cut down side for an arthritic cat for easier access.
8. Spend 10-15 minutes per day at a set time, playing, grooming and otherwise interacting with the cat on its own.
9. Grow an indoor garden of safe plants such as catnip or catmint for the cat to use.
(SEE ALSO TIPS FOR FELINE FUN and Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease.