Golden messages are a sign of feline stress

By Susan Aiello • Published: February 1st, 2012
Category: Animal Airwaves

When a cat starts spraying, people sometimes think that Felix has an attitude. But this unsavory habit is usually a sign of stress, not disrespect.

Unsettling changes that can set off a stressed kitty include visitors, a new pet, bringing home a new baby, a family member moving out, or strange noises or smells.

The first step is a vet visit to check for underlying health problems. And in any case, make sure to keep the litter pan clean. If you have multiple cats, you should provide one box for each cat. Early neutering may help in prevention.

If the problem continues, talk with your vet about behavioral therapy. Punishment is a no-no because it increases stress and compounds the problem. The best approach to cats that are leaving golden notes is to figure out what’s going on inside their head so you can understand the message.