Questions: Why do cats spray? How do I stop it?
Answer: First and foremost, one must differentiate if the cat is spraying (also called marking) or having inappropriate elimination. This differentiation is extremely important in order to diagnose the correct cause and administer the appropriate treatment. Urine marking consists of the cat standing with the tail up and twitching and usually has an underlying anxiety component such as moving to a new house. Where inappropriate elimination consists of the cat squatting to urinate and is due to either medical abnormalities like a urinary tract infection or undesired environmental factors like a dirty litter box. One must understand that urine marking is NORMAL feline communication and that the cat does not know it is undesirable to the owner therefore, punishment is NEVER acceptable in any circumstance! Thankfully, treatment is available and consists of environmental modification and/or pharmacological treatment which may include antibiotics or anti-anxiety medications. The sooner that treatment is initiated, the greater likelihood we have a chance to stop the inappropriate behavior.