Do Female Cats Spray?

Why is my cat peeing everywhere? 🕵️‍♀️

do female cats spray

Do you ever come home to find that your cat peed outside of the litter box? We’re not talking a tiny little spot — it’s all over the place.

That means your cat is spraying, and according to a 2001 study, it’s most common in male cats. However, spraying is actually something female cats do, too.

The Dodo spoke with Dr. Megan Dundas, a veterinarian and practice owner of Lincolndale Veterinary Center in New York, who explained it all.

What is cat spraying?

Cat spraying (aka marking) is when a cat pees on a vertical surface (like a wall or piece of furniture) instead of on the ground or in her litter box. “Spraying happens when the cat constricts the external urethra and builds pressure within the bladder,” Dr. Dundas told The Dodo.

Not only do male cats spray, but female cats spray, too.

Why do cats spray?

Cats spray for three big reasons: illness, stress and marking.

One illness that causes spraying is feline lower urinary tract disease, which is a medical condition that can cause inflammation and pain.

Stress triggers can also cause your cat to spray, and include things like:

  • Changes in the home
  • Competition or aggression from other cats
  • Lack of access to a clean litter box
  • Not enough litter boxes in the home
  • Boredom
  • Lack of entertainment or enrichment

Your cat might also be spraying to mark her territory. This could happen in a mult-cat home, especially if another cat has already sprayed.

How to stop a cat from spraying

If you notice your cat’s spraying, you’ll want to bring her to the vet to see if there’s any sort of medical condition that’s triggering this behavior. Treating that condition should also keep the spraying in check.

But if your cat’s tests come back normal, you’ll need to figure out what’s stressing your cat out to get her to stop spraying.

“I would ask owners to carefully assess the environment at home in terms of possible stressors,” Dr. Dundas said. Once you identify what’s stressing out your cat, chat with your vet to determine what your best move is.

You can also help stop spaying behavior by:

  • Changing litters if she doesn’t like what you’re currently using — check out our guide for picking the best cat litter
  • Cleaning the litter box more often because cats prefer to use clean litter boxes
  • Adding another litter box to ensure there are enough places for her to go, especially in between cleanings
  • Providing more enrichment to prevent boredom as a trigger

How to get rid of cat spray smell

Luckily, there are products designed to get rid of cat pee smell if your cat’s spraying.

“Products that work the best to remove cat urine odor are either molecular or enzymatic odor neutralizers,” Dr. Dundas said. Make sure you always check the ingredients before you buy, because some cleaners can be hazardous for cats.

Try Rocco & Roxie Professional Strength Stain and Odor Eliminator from Amazon for $19.97

Or Nature’s Miracle Urine Destroyer from Amazon for $8.45

So there you have it — female cats can spray, too. And now you know how to keep your favorite girl from peeing everywhere.

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