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Wool Chewing and Spraying - What You Should Know About This Common Cat Health Problems

Paul Kramer

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Some cats are wool chewers. This is a loose description that encompasses cats who not only chew wool but chew towels, socks and blankets as well. Most chewers are either Siamese or part Siamese and they start chewing as soon as they have teeth.

The easiest solution is to remove temptation by either putting these possessions away or by not letting your cat into areas where they are kept. It is just about impossible to stop a wool chewer from chewing.

And sometimes he will chew on himself. Some cats, and not just Siamese, suck on their tails muck like a baby sucks on his thumb. He may also nurse on himself or other adult cats.

You can break him of this habit by applying a bitter tasting liquid to his tail and other areas where he chews. If you let him chew on his tail unchecked, he could cause mutilation that part of the tail is chewed off.

Spraying is an instinctive natural act whereby cats squirt urine on vertical surfaces, generally to mark territory. It is most common in an unaltered male who will spray to attract females and warn off other tomcats.

Unaltered females spray to a lesser extent, usually to attract tomcats. There is really nothing that you can do to stop an unaltered cat from spraying. A neutered male or a sprayed female may not spray for the same reasons as an unaltered cat, but could spray on occasion.

If you move, change your routine or go on vacation, your altered pet may chow his frustration by spraying on your furniture. Other things that might induce him to spray are the mating seasons, spring and fall, when he can hear and smell unaltered males and females mating.

Another common reason altered cats spray is because you have acquired one cat too many, or one of your cats has a new litter of kittens. They spray because they are stressed. This is an instinctive reflex on their part and you should not punish them.

They will stop spraying when the kittens go to their new homes, or when, in time, they have accepted the addition of the new cat. If spraying continues to be a problem, contact your veterinarian for advice.

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