Preventing Cat Spraying with Feliway

Cat spraying is a common issue in cats that are not neutered, but may also be a stress related behavior.

Feliway is a synthetic pheromone that can be used to prevent or stop cat spraying. Feliway imitates the pheromone that is released by cats to mark their territory. Therapy with Feliway is recommended if you want to avoid neutering your cat, or if your cat is already neutered but still has spraying issues.

Why Do Cats Spray?

Cats often spray to mark their territory or to send out a signal to other cats. Both male and female cats spray to mark territory, but males spray more frequently.

Spraying is also due to:

  • Stress
  • Lower urinary tract infections (UTI)
  • Changes of litter brand or location of litter

Identifying the reason behind the spraying will help you find the best solution to stop it.

Pheromone Therapy

Pheromone therapy is a recent technique that can be effective for cats. Pheromones are used by cats to communicate and are released by fertile females, lactating mothers or adult males.

Pheromone diffusers and sprays recreate these pheromone scents, and will have a calming effect on most cats. Essential oils made of herbs with soothing effects are used in making these synthetic pheromones.

How Feliway Works

Feliway is a solution to prevent and stop cat spraying that's caused by stress.

Feliway is the synthetic equivalent of the feline facial pheromone. The feline facial pheromone is secreted by cats when they rub their faces against surfaces. However, the existence of this pheromone has not been confirmed, nor thoroughly studied.

Feliway is available as a spray and a diffuser. Feliway actually contains an essential oil made of Valeriana officinalis extracts, mixed with a few fatty acids. Varianana officinalis is an herb that has a sedative, soothing effect.

Before applying Feliway, clean the marked areas with vinegar or other cleaners, avoiding bleach and ammonia that can poison your pet. Plug in the diffuser in the rooms where your cat is frequently marking, and use the sprays on your cat’s favorite places to spray.

The cat sensing the odor of a familiar pheromone will have a calmer behavior, and he is less likely to spray.

Other Methods of Preventing Cat Spraying

Cat spraying can be prevented or stopped by neutering your cat. Neuter your cat before he reaches maturity, and he will never start spraying. More than 90% of neutered adult cats stop spraying within 6 months post castration.

You can also use repellents in the areas where your cat likes to spray. However, this is only a short term solution.

Busiprone hydrochloride is a medication that relieves stress in cats and can prevent spraying due to anxiety. Other stress medications for cats include prozac, valium or diazepam.

Sometimes switching back to your old litter brand or moving the litter box back to its original location can solve the problem.

For cats that spray due to urinary infections, a visit to the vet and proper medication should stop the spraying behavior.