Spraying can seem innocuous for some, especially non-cat owners, but it really holds a heavy meaning for cats and their humans. Whether a breed is prone to spraying or not can be an important deciding factor for a potential owner. So when it comes to Bengals, let’s look further into spraying with these topics:
Spraying is when a cat shoots their urine out in a horizontal motion that is used to purposely cover a surface in the cat’s scent. Spraying is used to mark a cat’s territory and show dominance to other cats that may come across it.
HDW advises that there is a difference between regular marking and spraying. They are both deliberate acts, telling other cat’s who the area “belongs” to, but they are done differently. Spraying is when the urine is shot against a surface, in a horizontal path. Regular marking is done while the cat is squatting and peeing their urine on a horizontal surface, causing the urine to fall in a vertical path.
Both methods of marking are done with urine that contains a fatty ingredient that helps the pee to stick to the surface it is placed on.
Both male and female cats spray, but unneutered male cats usually have a stronger urine scent.
Spraying isn’t something that all cats do, or something all Bengals do. Standard Book (SBT) Bengals aren’t any more prone to spraying than any other breed. F1, F2, and F3 Bengals are more likely to spray than an SBT Bengal would though. This is because they are not as domesticated as an SBT Bengal is.
This doesn’t mean that an F1, F2, or F3 Bengal will definitely spray. But Bengal Cat Helpline also includes that it doesn’t mean that a Bengal of a high filial won’t spray, since spraying and aggression are the most common Bengal owner complaints. There’s no guarantee that a Bengal will spray and no certain way to make a spraying cat quit.
Determining whether a cat is spraying or may spray is easier with an understanding of what brings a cat or Bengal to spray.
There are a varied number of reasons for a cat to start spraying.
HDW wants owners to first rule out any potential medical problems first. Making sure that this isn’t the cause will keep the cat from having to be broken of an urge or physical habit when it is really a medical cause.
A possible medical cause or spraying is Feline Urological Syndrome (FUS). It’s a very common medical cause for spraying that the cat cannot control. This represents as the cat disassociating itself with its litter box.
Stress is also a common reason for a cat to start spraying in their home. It will create a sense of comfort for the cat in knowing that their home smells of them and is, in the cat’s eyes, protected. The cat may be stressed because there are other cats or animals in or near the home, they have recently moved to a new home, their home was redecorated or the furniture rearranged, there are new family members, there are less family members (i.e. someone passed away), or the cat’s humans are spending less time at home.
An unsprayed or unneutered cat is also likely to spray if they sense an invader in that of a cat of the same gender who is also unsprayed or unneutered. A cat spraying for this reason will likely single out the doors and window sills for spraying. The reason for spraying is highly territorial and make the cat feel like it is still in control of its home or the dominate cat in the home.
If the cause of spraying isn’t medical, then one of the best ways to stop spraying is by spaying or neutering the offending cat. Little Leopard Cats says that this works best if it is done before the cat reaches sexual maturity.
Once the cause of the spraying is identified and fixed, Little Leopard Cats says that the home needs to be cleaned very well to eliminate any preexisting urine marks in the home. The best way to do this is with a cleaner that contains an odor neutralizer, but not ammonia. If the odor neutralizer in the cleaner is ammonia, it will just make the urine smell even stronger. A cleaner made specifically for cleaning up pet urine is a safe method because it will container a non-ammonia based odor neutralizer.
Training can be an effective method to cease spraying, but only when it works and is done right. Training for spraying can be difficult to do because the owner needs to be present at the time of the spraying.
Check out the video below for one fix to spraying:
Spraying can be a very smelly and difficult situation to deal with for any cat owner. Figuring out the cause of the spraying is the first part to making the behavior cease, getting the home back to smelling normally, and reestablishing the cat the way it used to be.
So, what do you think about spraying Bengals? Do you agree with what was said here? Comment below to let us know!