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How do I find where a cat has been spraying? Oh please help.

(22 Posts)
tharsheblows Thu 13-Feb-14 19:51:33

I think a cat has been coming in the cat-flap - I mean a cat other than ours - and spraying somewhere in the house. I can't figure out where! I know where it kind of smells stronger but I can't pinpoint the location. I have one of those UV flashlights which is fun but hasn't helped. What am I looking for? How do I find it?

I don't think it's our cat - this started recently and we've had him over a year and not had a problem before. Plus he's been neutered.

Help me... it's embarrassing when people come in and you see them wrinkle their nose. Plus, yuck.

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 13-Feb-14 19:56:05

I go round sniffing everything if I can't find wee.

You need a cat flap that reads your cats microchip so only your cat can come in.

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 13-Feb-14 19:56:33

Neutered cats can spray too, and females.

cozietoesie Thu 13-Feb-14 20:03:13

Yes - it could be your own cat who doesn't like the intruder. And definitely get a chip cat flap to stop intruders. They're about £60-£70 online but worth the money.

I'd look on walls - if it's your own cat, it may very well be near his litter tray if he has one.

Have you tried doing it with the light out?

tharsheblows Thu 13-Feb-14 20:03:50

I'm definitely getting one of those microchip doors. I was worried that it would malfunction when we are away but I can just leave it open then if I worry too much (or have the cat sitter check it!).

Would a neutered male suddenly start spraying? How would I tell? I mean, other than the spray... grin We've seen another cat come in sometimes, so he's getting the blame.

And this is a stupid question but : the spray is going to be about ankle height, right? Maybe a little bit higher than ankle height but in that region? And it will be on something like a wall or side of a chair <shudder>?

Thanks.

tharsheblows Thu 13-Feb-14 20:05:26

Oh thanks - cross post there. I'll try with the lights out. It will look like a spray, right? I have that cat smell remover stuff, so am hoping all I have to do is find it then spray that on.

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 13-Feb-14 20:06:55

Walls, furniture, the boxing around the pipes in the ensuite...it's all fair game.

About cats bum height, which is mid calf on me.

Yes, neutered males can suddenly start spraying unfortunately.

Optimist1 Thu 13-Feb-14 20:11:16

I'd say it's a bit higher than ankle height ... about a foot from the floor would be about right. The UV flashlight sounds a great idea (very CSI!), but personally I'd be using my nose as I haven't got such a hi-tech item. If you tackle one room at a time - suggest you start with the kitchen if that's where the cat flap is - and then give your nose a rest before going on to the next room you'll track it down. Febreze is your Friend! [smile}

cozietoesie Thu 13-Feb-14 20:15:18

The shape depends. It's often a fast jet which comes out but they shoogle their nether regions while they're doing it - so probably look for a fairly narrow plume with a high point and then getting a bit broader as the liquid flows down.

I'd be looking at about a foot off the floor but it will depend on where the spray has gone - if it's a wall, it will flow down, if on absorbent fabric, it will tend to stay more where it's been sprayed.

Best of luck.

tharsheblows Thu 13-Feb-14 20:16:51

I've just ordered a cat flap!

Thanks for all your help. I'm going to go and look for it again now...

BigPawsBrown Thu 13-Feb-14 20:19:11

We accidentally shut the door to our cat's litter and he went in the dirty washing and in the duvet on the spare bed - both things he could dig in

cozietoesie Thu 13-Feb-14 20:19:17

PS - if it's your own cat, and he has a litter tray, look around lower level areas at the tray. They sometimes can't help using their tray environment but then get overcome by hatred and annoyance and do their spray but at a lower level around the back of the tray. That may be why you can't find it.

tharsheblows Thu 13-Feb-14 21:01:00

He had a litter box for about a year but never used it. He was a stray - he's this stray in fact.

I've narrowed one place down and am doing a fabric test for colourfastness as it's on the back of my chair that I love. But if all goes well, I'll spray the cat spray remover stuff tomorrow! I've also randomly sprayed some walls and assorted other things. Now I can't smell anything except that stuff!

cozietoesie Thu 13-Feb-14 21:04:07

I'd give it a rest now until you receive and fit the new flap - and, if it's your own boy, until he realizes he's back to being king of all he surveys. The you can tackle things without anyone coming along and re-spraying over your efforts.

Best of luck.

thecatneuterer Fri 14-Feb-14 00:28:28

I sympathise. You wouldn't believe how much time I spend on my hands and knees sniffing things grin

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 14-Feb-14 07:26:30

How many cats have you got at the moment TCN?

Lilicat1013 Fri 14-Feb-14 13:06:45

I remember that thread! I remember being pleased at the time you let him in and I am so glad you have given him a home. That is lovely.

Cybercat Fri 14-Feb-14 13:10:45

My neutered female started spraying indoors due to territory/other cat issues. My laptop, the sofa & the oven door/kitchen cupboards were her favourite places.

tharsheblows Tue 18-Feb-14 10:56:42

Lilicat, he's a lovely cat! He's very much my husband's cat - he sleeps on his chest every night and misses him when he's gone. I'm his drug pusher (catnip - he's a fiend). smile

I have received the cat flap and will install it very soon (I hope I am not lying about that - it will depend on how hard it is to install). I think I got the cat spray from the other day but smelled some more in a different place this morning - it was morning rush so I need to go back and find it later.

He is a slightly neurotic cat, so I think it will help his peace of mind not having any other cats come in.

Do you leave it reading the chip when you're away? That was my main fear - that he would get locked out when we're away. It would really upset him, he still needs a bit of reassurance and some cuddles every time he comes back in from being out.

cozietoesie Tue 18-Feb-14 11:28:08

If it's functioning correctly (and most brands are pretty reliable) then Yes - it should just read the chip when you're away. For your peace of mind though, you'll maybe want to install it on an evening when you have a few days at home to check that it's working fine. Friday night, say, before the weekend?

figgypuddings Tue 18-Feb-14 11:30:57

What do you use to get rid of spraying smell? <eyes smelly neutered cat>

cozietoesie Tue 18-Feb-14 11:35:11

There are some good potions on the market, figgy, but perhaps the first thing to do is work out why he's doing it in the first place and see if you can stop it? (No sense in cleaning up to have it re-sprayed directly.)

Maybe start your own thread on that so that it has more prominence and gets more replies?

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