Dear Christopher Cat
Now that the good weather has returned, our cats, Sam and Omie, are enjoying the screened porch again. However, I’m not, because they are spraying the screens, window shades and curtains, and the urine odor is unpleasant. How can I discourage this behavior?
Sam and Omie may be marking their territory to signal their presence to free-roaming cats parading by your screened porch.
To be sure it’s just that, and not a urinary tract infection or other physical problem, have your veterinarian examine them and test their urine.
While you’re awaiting the results, make sure the basics are in order:
• Both cats should be sterilized.
• The two cats should have at least three litter boxes, with a box stationed on each floor of your home.
• Scoop litter boxes daily, so they remain immaculate and inviting.
When I sprayed urine in our family room, Mom plugged a Feliway diffuser into a nearby electrical outlet. Feliway contains a facial pheromone that relaxed me and suppressed my urge to mark.
She also kept me away from the area with a SSSCat compressed-air repellent. Other options are a plastic carpet runner with the nubs facing up, aluminum foil or wide double-stick tape on the rug.
In addition, she soaked the carpet with an enzymatic cleaner that eliminated the urine odor, which discouraged me from repeating my performance -– and improved the atmosphere for her. Look for products like Anti Icky Poo, Nature’s Miracle and Simple Solution.
To prevent the neighborhood cats from visiting your screened porch and inciting your cats, install a motion-activated sprinkler, such as the Scarecrow. Its infrared detector senses intruders and blasts them with water, using two to three cups per activation and covering up to 1000 square feet.
If these ideas don’t work, talk with your veterinarian about medication to suppress your cats’ urge to spray.