Cats have been domesticated since the dawn of civilization.¬† They‚Äôve been worshipped, owned, traded, bred, and killed over the course of human existence.¬† In short- they‚Äôve always been a part of us, and they still very much are.¬† Housecats are one of the most popular pets in the world.¬† They‚Äôre easy to train, small enough to house, and independent enough to spare your attention.
They seem like the perfect pet, right?¬† Maybe not.¬† Tell that to the tattered corner or your couch, or your urine soaked mattress.¬† There‚Äôs nothing more frustrating that doing everything right, and having everything go horribly and disgustingly wrong.¬†
You‚Äôve taken perfect care of your sweet fuzzy housecat.¬† He‚Äôs had his shots, been fixed, is well-fed, and has a regular bevy of household admirers.¬† In other words, he has no reason to be unhappy.¬† One evening he hops up on your lap, purring like a revved up engine, and being as sweet as any cat can possibly be.¬† You start to pet him, congratulating yourself on being such a fabulous pet owner- and that‚Äôs when you feel it.¬† The warm spray hitting your chest and bouncing up to mist your hair.¬† The feral fur-ball is spraying all over you and your thousand-dollar mattress.¬† You can put up with a cat scratching the couch, but this- this is taking it too far!¬†
No, your cat‚Äôs not possessed- he‚Äôs just trying to tell you something. Unfortunately, he‚Äôs using his pee to do it.¬† Here‚Äôs a very basic guide to some very disruptive feline behaviors:
Those ragged corners of your couch, or that bare spot on your favorite carpet aren‚Äôt there because your cat is angry or trying to upset you.¬† In fact, it‚Äôs not about you at all.¬† Your cat‚Äôs claws are necessary to their survival (because Fluffy‚Äôs so fierce), and they need to keep them in shape.¬† Just like you clip your nails, a cat needs to remove the dead skin from around their claws.¬†
Scratching helps keep their claws sharp, and helps to establish their territory.¬† Cats actually have scent glands in their paws, and they use these to take ownership of parts of your home.¬† If this is a problem, try getting them a scratching post.¬† You may have to get several different models before you find one that your kitty will choose over your couch.
Sharing their Kill
If you‚Äôve ever woke up to find a mouse carcass sharing your pillow- don‚Äôt worry, it‚Äôs not the mafia.¬† It‚Äôs just your cat‚Äôs way of telling you how much they love you.¬† Cats associate food with survival.¬† You feed them, and they may be trying to feed you in return.¬† It‚Äôs their way of saying, ‚ÄúHey, I want you to live‚ÄĚ.¬† That‚Äôs about as sentimental as a cat can get.¬† So, dispose of the ‚Äúoffering‚ÄĚ, clean your pillow- and pet your feline companion a little bit more than usual.¬†
Ignoring the Litter Box
It can be really distressing to discover that your cat‚Äôs been using your laundry pile as their personal bathroom.¬† Cat urine is notoriously strong smelling, and difficult to get out of pretty much everything.¬† Their feces isn‚Äôt much better, and can cause infection.¬†
This can be a sign of a urinary tract infection, and can signal a need to get your cat to the vet.¬† If a UTI isn‚Äôt the culprit, you may need to clean the litter box more frequently.¬† Or, change the litter box altogether.¬† Having options can help.
If a cat is fixed and still spraying, then it may be due to psychological issues.¬† Try to identify any major changes, and try to make your cat feel more secure.