Myth: A cat who sprays inside is being naughty…
Cats spray urine to mark areas with their scent and may spray indoors when they’re ill or feeling stressed by a perceived threat or change in the household. It doesn’t mean that they’re being naughty so don’t punish them as it will only make them more likely to spray due to stress.
Cats Protection’s Behaviour Manager Nicky Trevorrow says: “When cats spray in response to something stressful, it’s like leaving a ‘note to self’ that they should be wary in that area.”
The first thing to do is take your cat to the vet for a health-check as it’s important to rule out medical reasons for the behaviour. Your vet may also refer you to a qualified behaviourist to help identify the causes.
Give your cat plenty of places around the home to hide and get up high, which will make them feel safe. Ensure they have access to lots of resources such as food bowls, water bowls and litter trays (ideally one per cat plus one extra) spaced out around the house.
You may also find it useful to read our Behaviour focus blog post on spraying.