Getting a Cat to Stop Spraying Inside

Marking their territory is a natural thing for cats to want to do. This guide is about getting a cat to stop spraying inside.

Spraying cat
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I have a spayed female that moved into our home 4 years ago. I have 2 other cats, all are fixed. She gets plenty of love as our other 2 could care less about affection! We did move recently, but just right next door. She has begun spraying and it's beyond out of control. Like I mentioned she been with us 4 years. What can I do? At this point she's family. She sprays inside and outside it don't matter. She will look right at you and do it! Please help.

    AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    I've had a cat spray my front flower bed and now the front porch and door - 1st time ever (and I'm older!) - why I came to this site and I've gotten some good ideas. But, I have an idea to share... I only have inside cats. I had one that sprayed and when I took the next one (male) to my vet, he told me that if you wait until 9 months to have them neutered, it seems to "take" better - that cat lived 19 years and never sprayed once! (We had a rough time there between 6 and 9 months with him howling in the hall (ha, ha!), but we made it, and it was certainly worth it! I almost didn't post this, but thought may be everyone on this site would benefit from this info.

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    We adopted a rescue cat when he was an 8 week old kitten and he has been a great cat. We have 2 others, in total we have 2 males and 1 female cat. They are 15yrs, 10yrs, and 5yrs in age. When Tank was a kitten we had him neutered, just the like other male cat, and the female is spayed. They all get along and on occasion the male cats with get into a scuffle, but get over it quick. We do live in the woods and they spend time outside.

    When we go to bed or leave for work for the day, we call the cats into the house like dogs and they respond well. What I am saying is that Tank behaves and we have no issues with him except for the fact that he sprays everywhere in the house. He also sprays all over the place outside, which is what we wish he would only do outside.

    We have tried everything and we always clean it up and he goes right back to the area and sprays again. I have tired the aromatherapy, collars, candles, etc. that everyone swore worked and it did nothing. He sprays even if there are no cats around outside. He has been to the vet and he never had an urinary track infection or any other problems. He is healthy and physically active. We do not want to get rid of the cat being he is like one of us in the family, but I am running out of options and it is not healthy for the cat or us humans in the house. Other than maybe keeping him outside all the time ~ what else is their to do?

      AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      It is extremely difficult to stop a cat from spraying once the behavior is entrenched. However, if you give the cat to a shelter no one else will want to deal with this behavior either, and with good reason.

      I suggest that Tank be an outdoor cat from now on. He will need a small insulated doghouse that is somewhat elevated, an outdoor sandpit for litter (or give him a covered litterbox and scoop and change it), and food and water that is in a feeder or bowl set that can't be turned over.

      It will be hard to keep him out of the house at first. Installing a screen door will help.

      I know that outdoor cats statistically have shorter life spans. However, if you give him to a shelter his life will end as soon as they realize he is unadoptable.

      ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      I have had 4 indoor cats for 12 years. All were fixed as kittens. They are 12, 11, 10, and 9, all were rescued a year apart. All of a sudden the male, who is 11 years old is spraying everywhere in the house. The vet says he's fine. He does it right in front of me and tries to cover it up. The 9 year old is a male too and the 11 year old loves him, cuddles with him and follows him all over the house. None of my cats fight. Why all of a sudden is he spraying after all these years? Please help.

      By Nancytoby from FT Myers, FL

      AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
      Best Answer

      Is he stressed out over something? Has something changed? Is he mad at you? We had a male cat (who was also 'fixed'). I found him when I was a teen & he was 1 day old. When I would come home to visit as an adult, he would be mad at me for being gone & would pee and/or spray my suitcase if he could get to it! He also did that around the house when he was upset with my mom sometimes. My mom had to clean up after his 'fits' with one of those odor neutralizers. He didn't start that until he was around 10 years old, did it for a year or two, then quit! He lived to a ripe old age of 19.

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      Our cat Puffy has been driving the entire family crazy with his spraying everywhere. We bought de-scenting sprays and special cleaners, which he ignored and re-marked all over the house. Some advice? I refuse neuter my cat.
      Thank you.

        AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

        Addressing Inappropriate Urination

        When your cat starts shunning its litter box in favor of other places throughout your home, it is definitely not something you want to become a habit. Address the issue quickly with these simple ways to help your cat stop peeing outside of the litter box.

        Define the Problem

        The first thing you need to do when you discover pee where it doesnt belong is determine whether it is the result of spraying or inappropriate urination. Spraying is a result of cats marking their territory, and is generally just a splatter, whereas inappropriate urination will be a larger puddle.

        Tackle the Problem Quickly

        You will want to address any urination outside of the litter box quickly, before it becomes normal behavior for your cat. If your cat is spraying, try making it feel more secure in its territory, as that is often why cats get possessive. In a multi-cat household, it may help to provide separate living areas for each cat.

        Thoroughly Clean the Mess

        Be sure to thoroughly clean all areas where your cat peed outside the box. You really want to be sure youve eliminated the odor, not just for your own sake, but so the smell doesnt draw your cat back to that same spot.

        Add an Additional Litter Box

        One litter box is often just not enough. The general rule of thumb is one box per cat, plus an extra one. Think about it  if you were on the second floor of your house, would you want to run all the way downstairs to use the bathroom? Neither does your cat. Making it convenient for your cat to use the litter box will usually avert problems.

        Address Litter Box Location

        Think about where you have the litter boxes located. If you have multiple stories, you'll want at least one on each floor. If your litter box is too tucked away, somewhere inconspicuous, your cat may not bother to go find it. If your cat keeps peeing in the same spot despite your best efforts, try moving the litter box over that spot, and then slowly moving it back to where you want it.

        Try a Different Box

        An enclosed litter box may fit nicely within your decorating standards, but your cat may not agree. Enclosed boxes can be small, dark, smelly and difficult to turn around in  not conducive to cats doing their business. You will also want to make sure the sides of your litter box are not too high for the cat to easily step over - especially as the cat reaches old age.

        Clean Your Litter Box Regularly

        A dirty litter box is one of the first things that will send a cat peeing elsewhere. Cats are very clean creatures by nature. Would you want to go walking barefoot through your cat's litter box? Well, neither do they. Be consistent about cleaning out the box and changing the litter.

        Check the Type of Litter

        Heavily perfumed litter may seem the better choice (who wouldnt want to smell perfume rather than a dirty litter box?), but cats tend to disagree. They also like to stick with the familiar, so if you adopt an adult cat, it may urinate outside the litter box if you switch up the standard, non-perfumed litter. Studies have shown that amongst cats, the all-around favorite litter type is a loose, clumping, unscented clay litter containing activated charcoal.

        Observe the Social Dynamics

        Conflicts between multiple cats, or the introduction of a new cat, may cause inappropriate urination. Occasionally, the case may be that your cats got into an altercation in or near the litter box and it has left one of them with associated bad memories.

        Consult Your Veterinarian

        If inappropriate urination has become an issue with your cat, the most important thing you can do is make an appointment with your veterinarian. Your cat's doctor will perform a physical exam and urinalysis to determine if the problem is medical. Urinary tract infections and kidney failure are just some of the common health issues that either cause a cat to produce more urine, or add an increased urgency to urination. If your cat is given a clean bill of health, you can then move on to addressing environmental or behavioral issues.


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        I have 4 cats, 2 that are 10+, one that is about a year old, and one that is about 18 months old. In the last 3 weeks my 18 month old cat has started spraying in seemingly random places all over the house, and it is becoming more regular. I have looked at the reasons and how to cure it, but we have not been away for any long times, nor have there been any major changes around the house.

        Please can anyone help and tell me why he is continually spraying and how I can stop him?

          AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

          If you do not have an answer, the problem continues and you want it to stop, a vet visit might be a good idea. It is difficult to provide an answer with so little information.

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          This is my only cat. He is 9 years old. I have had him since he was a kitten. He is neutered; it was done when he was 2 years old. He uses the litter box and marks. He also has access to a fenced in patio it is like a pet run. Only about 22 feet long and 6 feet wide.

          There are feral cats marking the outside of the fence near a bush and he smells it and marks outside which is fine by me. But then he also does it inside.

          I live in an apartment on the bottom floor; it is a cave as it is. Am I supposed to board up all the windows so he can't see the cats and never let him see the outside for the rest of his life? And I am supposed to live in darkness for the rest of his life?

          I clean the areas when I find them, because they are always different spots. I use special industrial urine cleaner. So it does take the smell away from him and I, but he just marks it again or somewhere else. I even try taking him to the spot kinda like you would with a dog that crapped in the house, and let him smell it and I tell him "bad cat". I even go as far as putting him in the glass door shower and leave him for a time out.

          There is no stress around here that I can think of. We are a quiet couple and we love him and spoil him to death, with treats, the good $20 dollar litter
          and the good Blue food. He has fresh water all the time.

          I also have a full apartment, top - bottom, with my rare international collections. I can't have him spraying all over porous materials, that I can't use the cleaners on.

          He once sprayed on my rare collector baseball cards. I had to wipe them all down and store them in a air tight bag with scented baking soda.

          I can't put everything up at hip level so he doesn't mark it. That is ridiculous. I am at my wits end and I refuse to give him up.

          Please help.

          (Yes I know I have a lot of stuff, I like it that way.)

          My Male Neutered Cat Keeps Spraying
            My Male Neutered Cat Keeps SprayingMy Male Neutered Cat Keeps Spraying
            AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

            Our female cat is fixed, and there is lots of love in our home. We have two litter pans for her. She is 2 1/2 years old. These past few months I have been finding she is spraying up the walls and onto our carpet. I've cleaned with the proper cleaners for cats. Yet it still continues. She has been peeing in the tub and on our tile floor on a landing. We are becoming very frustrated. We have taken her into our vets, and she is healthy. They say it's not normal for a female to do this even after she's fixed.

            We clean her box, and clean up her messes daily. And it has been very stressful. We don't know what else to do. Nothing has changed in our home, her temperament is the same. Please help us.

            By Louise D.

            AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

            Spraying on cold surfaces often means bladder infection. Have her checked again for that. Cats can have painful urination from cystitis, and there is not always bacteria present. It is an inflammation of the bladder, but it usually goes away, but can recur. The other thing to consider is she feeling territorial because of other cats outside? This can really drive them crazy but you may not even notice. Other cats will come right up and spray on your front door. Good luck solving this mystery.

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            We have two gingers, one is a neutered tom and a spayed female. The female sleeps in the lounge and sometimes comes in the bedroom to look out of the window in the morning. The tom spends the night on the bed and wakes me in the morning either yowling in my ear or pulling my hair. Now at anytime he has started spraying my furnishings in the bedroom. He is not showing signs of sickness, he is eating the same, drinking, playing with the female, and sleeping. His coat is very glossy. So why is he doing this?

            By Jean

            AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

            You will need to have him checked for urinary tract infection at the Vet. Then check to see if he is watching any cats outside you home that may be making him feel territorial and make him feel the need to mark his "property" (your stuff). You may need to chase other cats off or block his view.

            ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

            Beautiful grey cat with white markings under chin.I have a male 12 year old neutered cat (Stewart) that occasionally sprays. Now this is not a new behavior, but because of this problem, he has had to be an outside cat. I occasionally let him in and as long as I keep an eye on him he's fine. He loves to get on my lap and also sleep on my bed. I would love him to be able to do that without watching him constantly. I am moving soon and will be staying with family. I would like to take Stewart with me and not have to leave him here even temporarily as he is older, very spoiled, won't understand, and will probably feel abandoned.

            So, now that I've said all that, my dilemma: is there anything I can give him (natural remedy) that is safe, that will keep him from spraying my friend's house as he will have to stay inside?

            By cshell

            AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

            I bought Feliway diffuser at a ridiculous expensive price, it didn't do anything to help. I bought a Sentry cat calming collar... no help.

            Clomicalm works. Its brilliant but the cat has to be checked by the vet first.

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            I have a 4 year old spayed female cat that for the past month has just started spraying. I have only found her to be spraying the kid's room. I have a 5 year old and a 2 year old who each have a separate room. She sprays right next to their beds.

            Last night my 2 year old crawled into my bed and ended up peeing my bed and it soaked through his clothes and the sheets. When I awoke this morning I had to give him a bath before taking my 5 year old to school and so I didn't get to changing the sheets. When I come back I see my cat spraying right on top of where my son had peed. Why is she doing this and how can I get her to stop?

            By Trista from IA

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            I have 3 male neutered cats, 11,9,8 yrs old. One goes outside on a harness and leash. He sprays in the house. Unfortunately we live on a street where neighbors don't care to have their male cats fixed and they have sprayed my porch, on my deck, and other areas, garbage cans, and such. Our cat doesn't have any medical issues so I am guessing he's doing it because of neighbors cats.. How can I stop him from spraying inside ??? Or how do I get rid of that awful smell outside my home ???

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            I just got my male, neutered cat today. He is a little over a year old and was neutered 12 days ago. I think he is spraying or at least he just smells really bad! Is this due to the fact he was recently neutered and is in a new environment? Is it likely that he will stop or he will stop smelling?

            By Jenny S.

            AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

            I agree with muttmom. Your cat may have an infection. Get him to the Vet as soon as possible. If you let it go much longer it could be very serious. It is an easy fix if caught early.

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            I have a ten month old tom cat that has just started "spraying". He's going to the vet's on Thursday to be neutered, but in the meantime how do I stop him from doing this, and how do I get rid of that awful smell?

            By Nat

            AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

            The is a product called Comfort Zone with feliway ( and many pet stores. It is pricy. It comes in a spray and diffuser. Cats will not mark where it is sprayed. It works very well (spray is best, diffuser helps) but you must use it daily, or even twice daily. It is the only thing I know of to help break this habit. Natures Miracle is great for accidents that have already happened. If you have clothing/bedding with urine odor, put 1/3 cup Borateem in your wash load to remove it.

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            I have an adult male cat named Smokey. I had him fixed when he was young, and he stopped spraying for some years. I recently moved, and he has started spraying again. Help! I don't want to get rid of Smokey, but I can't stand the smell. Can I get him fixed again?

            By Cynthia C.

            AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

            First, have him checked by the vet to be sure he is not suffering from a medical problem. Male cats especially can develop urinary issues especially if they are fed dry food. It could just be a coincidence that he started the problem after the move. Once a medical problem has been ruled out, make sure you have not changed brands or style of litter. Did you buy a new litter box when you moved or did you bring along the old one? Where have you placed the new box. Perhaps he doesn't like the new location. Did he have privacy in the old house but now his box is in an area where there are more people around?? You might try confining him to one room-maybe the guest room with his litter box. Once he starts using it again you can give more freedom to roam the entire house.

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            I have 8 cats, 5 males and 3 females, all 5 males are fixed. The females will be soon. All of a sudden one of my males (one I've had longest) is starting to spray on my microwave and my entertainment center. I have never had a problem with it before and he has been fixed for over 2 years. Can anyone tell me why he might have started doing this and is there any way I can get it to stop?

            By Tiffanie J B.

            AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

            One of my neutered male cats was doing this. Any flat surface would of microwave, top of dryer, bathtub, storage box lids, etc. Took him to the vet. Turns out he had intestinal ulcers. He's now on "calmicon" and hasn't sprayed or peed on anything inappropriate since he started the tiny little pills. He gets 1/2 a pill, once a day, so the cost is about 10 cents a day.

            ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

            My male cat is fixed and spraying all over his litter box. What can I do?

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