Why Does My Female Cat Spray in the House?
When it comes to cats the act of urine spraying is nearly always associated with males however it is possible for female cats to stand and spray as well. Male cats spray primarily as a way to mark their territory and thankfully most tend to confine their episodes to the garden. The problem in female cats is slightly more complex though and the underlying reason for their spraying may be quite difficult to fathom. There are however several common reasons why female cats choose to spray in the house, as you will see below:
A Fear of the Unknown
Unlike male cats, female cats often feel threatened by new ‘entities’ within the house. This means that new pets, people, babies and even furniture can cause distress, and this is especially so if the cat has had a set routine for a good portion of its life. So for example moving furniture around within a room can seem like a small change to you but to a female cat it can be a big deal - and one of the main ways that a female cat tends to cope with change is to spray.
The same applies when a new person or animal is introduced to the household. The change in routine that invariably comes with a new pet or member of the family can cause uncontrollable nervousness in female cats, and their main way of saying ‘this is still my home’ is to scent all of their favourite spots. Hopefully the problem will sort itself as the cat get used to its new way of life but unfortunately sometimes this just doesn’t happen.
Coping with Competition
Nearly all female cats have a bad habit of fighting other females, simply because of their need for a hierarchy. Two female cats of the same age will constantly pick at one another until one stands higher in the hierarchy than the other. Unfortunately when one of the fighting females has a nervous disposition it can lead to them spraying around the house. In this respect the spraying is their way of showing they are still a part of the household even if they aren’t at the top of the chain.
Female cats often suffer from separation anxiety when their ‘mother’ leaves the house. This is most common in married households where one partner has very little to do with the cat but the other partner ‘mothers’ it. When left with the indifferent partner, a female cat can become anxious and unsettled and it isn’t uncommon to find the cat spraying right in front of the human.
Separation anxiety also becomes a problem when a female cat’s owner leaves for a prolonged period of time each day e.g. if they return to work after an absence. This separation can give a female cat the feeling of being abandoned, and again its way of coping is to mark the territory that it feels comfortable and happy in. After a time this reason for spraying normally passes because the cat quickly learns that its owner will return at some point during the day.
If you are suffering with a female cat that sprays and you haven’t made any changes to its routine then there may be a medical reason behind the problem. Therefore it is advisable to see a vet if you can’t rectify the problem as female cats are very prone to infections of the urinary tract.