Stress causes marking, spraying

The SprayAlert Alarm is a tool to define your territory and teach your pet proper boundaries. It monitors real-time urine behavior. It should not be used to add to your pet's stress. 

Pets exhibiting inappropriate urination do so for many reasons. Stress is a leading cause of pets' marking and spraying. Common sources of anxiety for cats and dogs are environmental stressors and social conflict. Interrupting established daily routines or changing a hierarchy in multi-pet homes through challenges to status or by adding or losing pets induces stress.  Major environmental changes such as moving, home renovations or adding new household members will also stress pets, at least temporarily

Often stress will come from animals or strangers outside the home. Pets need to feel comfortable in their own space. To avoid upsetting dogs and cats when perceived interlopers appear to invade their territory, minimize interaction and visible access thru windows and glass doors.

Determine the cause of your pet's inappropriate urination, and reduce or eliminate the problem.

  • Consult your vet to make sure there is no medical cause

  • Spay or neuter your pet as early as possible

  • Do everything possible to reduce your pet's stress

  • Provide cats acceptable litter trays with sufficient preferred litter

  • Provide reasonable, appropriate elimination opportunities and areas for dogs

  • Clean previously marked areas thoroughly with an ammonia-free product, such as OxyClean

  • Consider consulting a Pet Behaviorist

Pheromones in animals' urine communicate their sex and status.  Animals use marking instinctively to establish territorial boundaries. Because of their super-sensitive sense of smell, cats and dogs can detect even the faintest odor of urine inside your home and will mark over a previously marked or sprayed area to make it their own. Punishing dogs or cats for spraying/marking inside the house will increase stress, create mistrust and often cause your pet to become aggressive toward you and/or other humans.

Consistency, positive options reduce stress

Since dogs and cats are creatures of habit, provide consistent times for interacting with your pets (walking dogs, playing with pets). Establish daily routines and standardize meal times.

Reduce cats' marking and spraying from stress by offering them plenty of options, such as scratching posts, pet furniture and easily accessible, high, private spaces. An excellent resource for home design is Catification: Designing a Happy and Stylish Home for Your Cat (and You!)


Cats are instinctively hunters and like to play with their prey, whether real, as lizards and bugs, or toys that roll, bounce or make interesting noises. The favorite is usually one you use to play with them, like a "fishing pole" with feathered or furry objects on the end. There is no substitute for personal interaction with your pet.     

Separation anxiety often causes stress, especially for dogs. You can lessen and eventually eliminate that stress by associating temporary separation with positive reinforcement.  Change separation anxiety to anticipation by consistently giving treats when leaving and/or returning, as well as gving special attention to your pet immediately upon returning, particularly after prolonged absence

Links

You’re Setting Up Your Litter Box All Wrong! by Jackson Galaxy, YouTube

Stop Urine Marking in the House by Whole Dog Journal

Urine Marking in Cats from ASPCA

Urine spraying in cats from International Cat Care

Eliminating Cat Urine Odor Using Oxyclean from International Cat Care

Feline Spraying Cat Spraying Urine from Cats of Australia

Urine Marking in Dogs by SPCA of Texas

Spraying and Marking by the Indoor Pet Initiative, OSU College of Veterinary Medicine

Litter Boxes by the Indoor Pet Initiative, OSU College of Veterinary Medicine

Urine Marking Behavior: How to Prevent It from Humane Society

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