Do you have a spitting cat? This behavior can be due to many reasons. Understanding the causes makes it possible to put an end to these spitting. Find out everything you need to know in this article.
Cat spitting: The different causes and their solutions
Cats have other ways of communicating than we do and spitting is one of them, especially when defending against a potential threat. But this behavior can come from many causes.
Here are all the causes that make your cat spit abnormally and for each, the solutions to implement
A warning sign
In the vast majority of cases, a cat starts spitting as a sign of threat. He will do this when he senses potential danger or perceives something he doesn’t like. He will generally have his ears glued back and a murderous gaze.
It may also be ready to pounce on its prey. If a new animal has arrived in the house, he can take it as a potential rival.
He may also want to avoid a situation and may for example think that you want to give him a bath.
What to do ?
Reassuring your cat is key. If he spits when he sees a new animal, play with both equally and release pheromones that will soothe them so they can tame each other.
Also separate their corner (bowl, bowl, litter…), because cats are territorial animals.
If he spits when he sees you doing something he doesn’t like, reassure him and don’t force his hand. Forcing a cat, even for a good cause, is not a good idea, because it will no longer trust you.
In any case, finding the element that causes these spitting is essential.
When in pain, cats will often economize their movements and may spit if they see someone approaching their wound. He won’t want anything to touch him because it could hurt him even more and aggravate his injury.
A cat in pain will also be in a bad mood and will not want to play. He will generally be in a ball and will do nothing all day, even going so far as to stop eating and drinking.
What to do ?
The wounds are not always visible and if you see him spitting as soon as someone approaches, he is probably in pain and does not want to be touched. In this case, it is best to go to the vet if nothing happens within 48 hours. Only a professional can prescribe a treatment adapted to the health problems of the cat.
The veterinarian will ask you questions about these spitting (context, parallel symptoms, against whom are they directed, etc.). To help him the best, you can take your cat on video when he spits and show it to him so that he can form a precise opinion.
He is anxious
This behavior is quite related to the first reason, your cat may start spitting because he perceives a change, which cats hate. A move, for example, can stress a cat, as can the arrival of a new person or a change in the home.
What to do ?
It is essential to reassure your cat in the face of this change. For example, you can reward the moments when he is the calmest so that he associates calm with a reward. Food that it loves is often a cat’s best reward.
To calm another cat
A cat may spit on a younger cat to tell it it’s time to stop getting excited. Mothers sometimes do this when their kittens become unmanageable.
What to do ?
If the young cat needs to expend a lot of energy, play with him or give him something to expend his energy without disturbing the other cat. A wheel for cats or an intelligence game to allow them to develop their hunting instincts are perfect games to occupy them in the apartment.
He needs to be alone
Cats are social animals but need time spent alone, especially when they want to sleep. If he is disturbed too often during these times, he will be more aggressive and your feline will start spitting to tell you to stop this behavior.
What to do ?
Leave him alone when he is in his space (cat tree, basket, etc.). He will then feel calm in his personal space and will no longer spit. He will also regain his confidence in you, which he can lose if he is disturbed too often.
He has a fur ball stuck
If your cat is spitting up without seeming aggressive or fearful, he may have a stuck hairball. Cats lick themselves very often during the day and accumulate hair that eventually turns into a ball. He will often cough as if he is going to vomit and may even vomit bile. He will sometimes refuse to eat if the hairball is in his esophagus.
What to do ?
Do not attempt to remove the hairball as it may be attached to one of its organs and you could seriously injure it. The first instinct is to give him catnip so that he can heal himself by purging himself.
If this is not enough or he has been spitting up for a while, go to the vet to have him removed without taking any risks. You can also get him an anti-pea ball paste that can help him dislodge it.
What if nothing works?
If your cat is spitting up for no logical reason and he is not sick, then it is vital to take him to a behaviorist. Some cats, especially those found in shelters, can be aggressive following a painful past and only a feline behavior professional can offer you a solution.
There are many special cases that often go unanswered regarding cat spitting. Here are all the most common special cases:
Cat spitting on a kitten
If the kitten is the cat’s child, it’s like he’s angry with him for his behavior. If this is not the case, the cat perceives the kitten as a potential threat to its territory and will spit on it until it understands that the youngest is not a threat at all.
Cat spitting when playing
Young people play to hone their natural predatory instincts and learn how to use their bodies. If your cat spits up while playing, he’s probably getting too excited about the game and starting to get aggressive. It will then be essential to calm him down.
Cat spitting and growling
These two behaviors are linked to a very strong aggressiveness and a very defensive attitude of your cat who feels in potential danger and is ready to pounce on his prey. He will usually have his ears set back and will be in a position to jump at all times.
Cat spitting on a baby
A cat can spit on a baby because its cries frighten it. Isolate him from the baby as long as he is suspicious of it for your child’s safety.
Cat spitting on another cat
The cat feels in competition with the other feline, often because it is new and seems to threaten its territorial balance. There may also have been a conflict between the two. These behaviors are especially present in unsterilized cats.
Cat spitting water
It actually spits out bile, which may look like water but also contains gastric juices contained in the stomach. Usually this happens when he is not eating and since a cat cannot fast for a long time, it is essential to help him eat by implementing different solutions .
Cat spitting on a dog
The cat perceives the dog as potentially hostile and spits on him to push him away. Whether it’s a cat, a dog or a human, if the cat spits on it, it’s to keep it at a distance. I’ve dedicated an article on the subject to make sure your cat and dog get along.
When to see the vet?
It is difficult to sort through all the causes that can cause the problem, so if your cat is not eating, is listless or shows signs of illness, it is advisable to visit the veterinarian, as these are elements which lead to the suspicion of a potential disease.
When to see the behaviorist?
If your cat is aggressive and conventional remedies aren’t enough, then the root cause is probably too deep to fix on your own. If nothing helps, the behaviorist is essential.
The final word
A cat can spit up for different reasons, generally related to its state of mind or to a pathology. If you have any doubts, go to the veterinarian and if the problem is not medical, a behaviorist can help him behave much better.