Cat urine behavior can be a downside to owning a cat. Yet, these eccentric but wonderful creatures make excellent pets and provide years of loving companionship. But, as any cat owner will tell you, they can have some strange, and often messy, habits. The most perplexing of all habits can be "spraying", or marking their territory.
The first thing to understand is that cats by nature are not malicious creatures. Many of the habits they have developed have come from behaviors that were needed to survive and reproduce. Out in the wild, cats will spray or "mark" their territory as a way of communicating or claiming ownership. What our pets don't understand is that their owners don't always know this, and many times cats are abandoned due to excessive spraying in the home.
There is a difference between cat "sprays" and cat urination. Urination is used by cats as a way of elimination. They normally will do this on a flat surface like their litter box or out on the grass in your yard. When cats spray to mark territory, they do this vertically, facing their backside to the object they want to mark. Cats will also use this technique to let other cats know they are ready to mate.
Male cats that have not been neutered are usually the worst perpetrators of spraying. This is another good reason to have kittens spayed or neutered at 6 months. It is important to know, however, that neutering you cat may not guarantee that he will no longer spray. Spraying can often be a sign of stress in you cat. For example, of our cat Sheba had an "accident" one night on daddy's leg when we were in the process of moving out of our apartment into our new home. Poor Sheba did not understand why all of the furniture she was use to sleeping on had suddenly disappeared.
If your cat is spraying a lot, the first thing you should do is take them to the vet to ensure there is not an underlying medical issue. If this is not the case, try to figure out what stresses may exist in their lives and do what you can to eliminate them. Eliminating their stress, will in turn eliminate your stress from dealing with the odors and stains that come from your cat spraying throughout your home.