2001-Tue Oct 23 21:06:25 EDT 2018
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There are several ways to change the marking behavior, but it is important to remember that punishment should be avoided; it will only add to your cat's stress and increase the spraying.
Spay or neuter. The first step to eliminating spraying is to neuter or spay your cat. When sex hormones are decreased, the amount of spraying will most likely decrease as well.
Determine the conflict. Next, assess if a conflict with other cats is causing your cat's stress. If your cat is being chased, bullied or otherwise tormented by a cat or dog in your home, this issue should be addressed with a qualified professional who may recommend techniques like temporary separation, desensitization, counter-conditioning and training to improve the relationship between your pets. If stray cats in your yard are causing your feline stress, limiting his outside view by installing temporary window blockers on the lower half of windows or by pulling down the blinds can help your cat relax. If your cat is allowed both indoors and outdoors, limit him to indoors only, which eliminates whatever stress your pet may be encountering outside.
Clean and soothe. Enzymatic cleaners should be used to eliminate any odors on the bedding and floor that can prompt a cat to respray an area where he had previously sprayed. Once all odors have been eliminated, spray this area with a feline pheromone spray, such as Feliway; this helps your cat feel more secure in the area and may encourage marking with his cheeks rather than urine marking.
Increase the number of litterboxes. Place multiple litterboxes in several locations around your home, so that your cat can have free access to a box without being interrupted by other cats. This can cut down on his stress, especially in a multiple-pet home.
Encourage productivity. Give your cat productive toys to focus on during the day, such as cat food puzzles or interactive toys he can manage even in your absence. This will keep him busy and give him less time to be stressed-out — or to spray in your house.
Provide stability and structure. Schedule a couple of play sessions or trick training sessions with your cat every day to give him structure in his day and stability in his interactions with the humans of the household.
Use positive reinforcement. You can also change your cat’s association with his favorite marking area by doing other activities that your cat finds enjoyable in this space, such as petting and cuddling, to cut down on his stress. Or try feeding him in the location where he has previously sprayed.
If your cat continues to mark, contact your veterinarian; she can employ both medical and behavioral training to help, or she can refer you to a qualified professional to further aid in your training.
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