Urine spraying is a cat’s way of marking its territory, which is why your cat might spray urine in certain areas of your home. Both male and female cats exhibit this behavior, which is most common among intact, or unneutered, male cats. Felines mark territory to signal ownership and to “advertise” their sexual availability. They may also spray urine because they are stressed due to recent changes at home.
Can male cats still spray after being neutered?
Yes, male cats still spray after being neutered. Approximately 10% of neutered males and 5% of spayed females will continue to spray and mark their territory for at least six months, according to cat experts. This is because testosterone still remains in the cat’s system, and the behavior can be expected to reduce gradually and, eventually, stop.
However, if the spraying continues, there could be an underlying health issue such as a urinary tract infection. If you suspect this, consult your vet for a proper diagnosis of your cat’s behavior.
How to stop a neutered cat from spraying
See to it that cats have all the resources they need.
Cats tend to spray urine when there are insufficient resources; this usually happens in a multi-cat household. To resolve this, see to it that each cat has its own food and drink bowls, toys, bedding and litter box. Provide cat trees and hiding places where they can escape in the event of confrontations with other cats.
Make sure the litter box is clean.
Cats are very particular when it comes to their litter boxes. They only like to use them if they are fresh, clean and accessible. If a litter box is not cleaned regularly, your cat may resort to urinating in other areas that are cleaner or more convenient.
Resolve conflict between cats.
Cats in a multi-cat household may become stressed by one another. Their stress and anxiety may be manifested through urine spraying to assert their territory. Check that you are providing adequate resources and safe hiding places, as mentioned in point 1, above. Such stress may also be due to outside cats that your cat can see through the window, which may also spark territorial behavior. To resolve this, close the curtains or blinds so that your cat cannot see other cats outside.
Remove any spray marks in your home.
Clean up existing urine spray marks in your home, because if they linger, the scent will encourage your cat to repeat the behavior. Use an enzyme-based cleaner instead of an ammonia-based one to clean the spray site and keep your home smelling good.
Establish a routine and create a reassuring environment for your cat.
Aside from providing your cat with the resources that she needs, see to it that you are creating a reassuring environment for her. Provide a consistent feeding routine, give her attention, and have interactive play sessions with her. Also, limit stress factors like new pets and new people to reduce the likelihood of stress and anxiety. You can also use a Feliway diffuser, which mimics cat pheromones, to help keep your cat calm and relaxed.
Consult your vet.
If you have already tried the above measures but your cat continues to spray urine, it might be time to visit the vet. Certain health issues can also cause this behavior, so take your cat to the vet for a thorough diagnosis and treatment.
Cats tend to spray urine when they are stressed or anxious, to mark their territory, and to advertise their sexual availability. Male cats may still spray urine after being neutered; this can continue for about six months while there is still testosterone in their system, but the habit should eventually stop. However, if the spraying continues, your cat may have an underlying health issue such as a urinary tract infection.
To discourage spraying in neutered cats, make sure that you provide them with adequate resources, such as their own food and water bowls, litter box, bedding and toys. See to it that the litter box is clean, and resolve any conflict with outdoor cats or other resident cats. Also provide them with a reassuring and stress-free environment. Most importantly, consult your vet for a thorough checkup and diagnosis if the spraying continues, so that the right treatment may be given.
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