How to cope with Feline Stress and Urine Spraying

Cats are territorial animals. They mark out their territory using a variety of visual and scent signals. Changes in the environment (such as visits to the vets, return from hospitalisation, moving house, new arrivals, re-arrangement of furniture) can be disturbing for the cat because of the absence or loss of these familiarisation marks; making them anxious and causing stress.

The most likely reaction to this anxiety is a change in the frequency or type of marking. Unfortunately for the owner, this often results in the onset of urine spraying and or scratch marking around the house. These signs are worse in multicat households where tension can occur between animals and lead to intercat aggression.

Urine Spraying & Scratch Marking It should be noted that urine marking and scratching are NORMAL behaviour for the cat, but they can also occur when the cat is stressed or feels threatened. Transport too is a stressful situation for cats and it can show various emotional signs such as agitation, miaowing, vomiting.Signs of stress in cats are different but easy to identify. Urine Spraying Feline urine spraying is one of the primary methods used by cats to mark out their territory.

Whether male or female, neutered or not, it is exhibited by almost every cat that goes outside. But while spraying urine outdoors may be acceptable, most owners find the behaviour difficult to tolerate in the home due to the strong odour and potential hygiene risks. Urine marking is a very specific behavioural sequence where the cat adopts a posture that is easy to recognise: - it approaches a vertical surface (wall, item of furniture.) - it sniffs the surface, treads the floor, then he turns his back, - and standing with his tail erected, he emits a horizontal jet of urine onto the object. During urine spraying behaviour, the cat stands up and marks of urine are generally small and seen above the ground.

Urine on the floor, large volumes of urine or urine in the sleeping area are typically not signs of urine marking. There are several kinds of scratching. Scratching horizontal surfaces when waking up, during play or sexual excitation. Scratching on vertical surfaces to keep claws in trim, scratching on vertical surfaces to send a signal. Only this can be qualified as a marking behaviour. What is Feliway? Feliway is a chemical copy of a pheromone that has a calming influence over the cat.

this helps to reduce stress and the subsequent scent marking as the cat's impulse to claim its territory is reduced. Feliway can also be used to help calm cats. There is a plug in device and a spray, the diffuser emits the scent around an enclosed area, similar to a perfume plug in, and a pump spray that can be used in stressful situations when the diffuser is out of range. Feliway is a safe solution of the feline F2 facial pheromone, which mimics the cat's natural pheromones, creating a state of well being and calm. The placing of facial pheromones is a behaviour that is well known to all cat owners. When a cat feels safe in its environment, it rubs its head from the side of the chin to the base of the ear, against the furniture, the corners of walls or the bottom of curtains.

By doing this, the animal is depositing facial pheromones. These marks convey a message of well being and a feeling of security. When there is a change in the cat's environment (such as visits to the vets, return from hospitalisation, moving house, new arrivals, re-arrangement of furniture) or if the cat is scared, a state of disquiet or stress may develop.

In these situations, Feliway Spray and the Feliway Diffuser combined can be used to restore a natural stress free balance.

Feliway can calm your cat, the pheromone helps soothe and relax all cats within the emitting diffuser area. Feliway spray helps to minimise anxiety and produce a behaviour calming influence when out of diffuser range.

Animal Planet

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