A Healthy Cat Is A Happy Cat
Dealing with cat pee is just another part of cat ownership. Its normal for a cat to have accidents every once in a while.
However, spraying is a tell-tale sign that something is wrong. Therefore, a trip to the vet is always the recommended first step in addressing this problem.
In general, a cat with a good sense of well-being will not spray. Physically, they should be in good health and at a stable weight. Mentally, they should be stimulated and exhibit a high level of curiosity.
Male cats may start spraying at around six months of age when they reach full sexual maturity. Neutering your cat is the most important thing you can do to curb this behavior.
Ideally, your cat should be neutered before any hormonal changes take effect. Not only will this help prevent spraying, but it will also improve your cats quality of life.
When Do Female Kittens Start To Spray
If trying to guess when a male kitten will start spraying wasnât hard enough, then how about female kittens?
Did you know? Around only 5% of female cats ever spray.
That in itself should tell you how unlikely a female kitten is to start spraying, especially if they are only a few months old. If we had to give you a timeframe, then it would be around 6 months, the same as a male kitten. But remember, thereâs a really high chance that your female kitty will never end up spraying anyway.
But what if they do?
Spaying or neutering your kitten is an option, but itâs not pleasant for anyone. Instead, there is a much cheaper and painless way that doesnât involve surgery.
How Do You Stop A Male Cat From Spraying
If you want to stop your tomcat from spraying, one of the most important things that you can do is to get him neutered. If you are not keen on breeding cats, there is no reason to keep your pet intact. Apart from reducing his need to spray, neutering also offers a few medical and behavioral benefits.
Apart from getting your pet neutered, there are a few things that you can do to stop him from spraying.
Recommended Reading: Pete The Cat Color Sheets
Help Your Cat To Prevent From Being Stressed Or Anxious
There are options that you can try for your cat to ease his anxiety such as homeopathic treatment and calming herbs like catnip, valerian and chamomile. you van also try calming artificial pheromones such as Feliway. You can even use anti-anxiety medication like diazepam imipramine, buspirone or progestins to control spraying among cats. These medications need to be prescribed by a veterinarian.
Why Is My Cat Spraying
Cats who havent been neutered will use spraying as a way to attract a mate. Neutering your cat will reduce the amount of spraying of this kind, if not stop it completely. If your neutered cat is spraying this is called reactional spraying. This kind of spraying occurs when there has been a change in your cats environment, either physically, or with the addition of new cats or people. Theres most likely to be a reaction when the change is in a place where they usually feel safe which is where they eat, sleep and play. It doesnt matter whether your cat is confident or anxious, male or female any cat will spray if they feel like they need to.
Spraying of this kind normally becomes an issue when a cat feels threatened by something in the house and sprays indoors in order to help them feel safer.
Don’t Miss: What Are Cat Years Compared To Human Years
What Age Does A Female Cat Start Spraying
Uncommon in kittens, urine spraying is more often seen in adult cats. Because spraying is often linked to mating behaviors, female cats may start spraying any time after they reach sexual maturity, which is around 6 months of age. Similarly, male cats may start spraying around the time they are 6 months old. For this reason, veterinarians recommend that all cats are spayed or neutered before they turn 6 months old.
Train Your Kitty Before They Start Spraying
Dont be fooled into thinking that a neutered or spayed cat cant spray! Though this can deter spraying behavior, its still possible for all cats to spray. But teaching them good habits as they grow up can help to stop the spray! The best way to stop them getting into bad habits is to create a positive and reassuring environment to make them feel comfortable and happy during their natural development stage from kitten to adult cat. This way, your kitty will continue to urinate normally, and there will be less chance of them developing a spraying habit.
If your cat has started to spray, its important to always clean that area thoroughly with an enzymatic odor remover – this will deter them from returning to that spot.
Also Check: Do Cats Have Two Sets Of Eyelids
How Can I Stop My Cat Spraying
Cat spraying can be tricky to resolve on your own as spraying can be caused by a number of different things.
The most important thing that you can do is ensure your cat has everything they need and keep an eye on the spraying and their general behaviour. This is particularly important if you have other cats in the house as there is a risk that there may be issues between them that you havent noticed. Here are some practical things you can do to help stop your cat spraying:
- Ensure your cats needs are being met. There are certain things that all cats need to be happy and healthy and providing this kind of environment will help to reduce any stress your cat may be experiencing.
Is It Only Male Cats That Spray Urine
Males and females are capable of urine spraying although the frequency is higher in males. The incidence is much higher in intact animals , suggesting it may be facilitated by sexual hormones, providing information about the sprayers presence and reproductive status. Approximately 90% of intact males and 95% of intact females show a significant decrease in spraying after castration/spaying.
Don’t Miss: Why Do Cats Arch Their Back And Walk Sideways
Your Cat Is Stressed Due To Changes In The Household
Cats are sticklers for routine, thus, when there are changes they may become scared, stressed or anxious. Spraying or urine marking may be triggered when there is a house remodeling, the arrival of a new pet or family member or if there is a change in your working hours. Cats spray to deal with stress and comfort themselves.
Why Do Cats Spray What Does Spraying Look Like
Cats, by nature, are typically very neat and tidy when it comes to their bathroom habits.
So if you find your feline friend away from the litter box with their backside raised, tail quivering and marking against a wall, fence or other vertical areas, it can be a little confusing!
But, this is perfectly natural and is, in fact, spraying – meaning your cat may be marking their territory or even leaving a message to let the opposite sex know that theyre available!
Spraying is an often-misunderstood cat behavior it can be confused with urinating and may be done in combination with meowing and yowling cat-speak for Im available for dating!
Our kitty friends can spray for a number of reasons – such as to reduce stress, to comfort themselves, and mark their territory. This goes for both male and female cats, even after neutering or spaying. However, its important to look out for when your cat first starts spraying, as this is a good indicator that your kitten is now an adult!
So when can you expect your cat to start spraying, and what should you do about it?
Read Also: How To Keep Cats Off Outdoor Furniture
The Reasons Behind Cat Spraying
Urine is a powerful communication tool cats can tell a great deal about each other from it including age, sex, status and sexual availability. Although adult cats of both genders, whole as well as fixed, might spray under specific circumstances, intact ones are most often guilty of the smelly behavior.
Whole males, as a rule, are prone to cat spraying behaviors. Pheromones, released into the urine, advertise theyre ready, willing and on the alert for girlfriends. Additionally, cat spraying broadcasts clear messages to other male cats to stay away. Intact female cats spray, too the chemicals in their urine indicate where they are in their cycle.
Spray from intact cats is more pungent than from those who are fixed. The unpleasant smell is easier to detect from a distance important for advertising for a special friend.
At What Age Do Male Cats Start Spraying
Even though spraying is something that both male and female cats can do, male cats are considerably more likely to participate in this behavior. Once you get a new male kitten, its important to prepare for spraying so that you can either prevent it or correct it.
In most cases, male cats start spraying when they are around six months old because this is when most cats reach sexual maturity. Some males can start spraying as early as five months or as late as eight months, though.
Keep reading to learn more about male cat spraying behavior and what you can do about it.
You May Like: Cat Years Equal Human Years
Visit The Veterinarian To Determine If Your Cat Is Healthy
According to Purina, any changes in your pets behavior could have an underlying medical cause. Cats that spray could be trying to mark their territory, or they could have a urinary issue, such as an infection or kidney problems. If neutering fails to solve the problem, the next step is to make sure your cat isnt sick.
What Should I Do If My Cat Sprays Urine Indoors
The first thing you should do is contact your veterinarian. If your cat is young and has not yet been neutered then the most likely cause would be that your cat is becoming sexually mature. Neutering at this time would probably prevent the spraying from recurring and would avoid roaming, fighting and unwanted pregnancies your vet will advise.
Caution should be taken in presuming all urine spraying has a primary behavioural motivation as diseases causing localised pain or discomfort may result in a cat adopting a spraying posture to urinate. Research indicates that up to 30% of cats that present for spraying may have an underlying medical problem, for example, cystitis, also referred to as feline lower urinary tract disease. Your vet may, therefore, recommend analysis of your cats urine or other tests to rule out disease.
Once medical causes have been ruled out your vet will refer you to a behaviour specialist.
You May Like: What Breed Is A Calico Cat
Is The Cat Urinating Or Spraying
Firstly, its important to differentiate between true urine spraying, and inappropriate urination. During true spraying behaviour cats stand with their tail erect, with the rear end elevated. They may twitch the tail, pad with the hind feet, or pull a strange face before spraying a small jet of urine. This is usually only a couple of millilitres of liquid. Inappropriate urination is usually a normal sized urination in places other than the litter tray.
There are some problems that can cause both urine spraying and inappropriate urination, however leaving large volumes of urine in the wrong place can be a sign of more serious illness such as kidney disease or diabetes. Its therefore important that this doesnt get passed off as spraying, and a more serious condition goes unintentionally ignored.
Spraying Solution #: Curb The Stress
If youve recently moved, it may take some time for your cat to feel comfortable in his new home. Start by providing small boundaries for him, perhaps giving him one room.
If a new person has been introduced into the family, make sure to give them and your cat plenty of time to bond.
In addition, pheromone therapy can produce wonderfully calm behavior in cats. I use this diffuser from Feliway in my house. It emits pheromones that mimic those of a nursing cat mother, calming your cat naturally.
For more about pheromone therapy, see this post from Dr. Liz Bales, the Cat-vocate.
Other natural and effective therapies that can be used during transitional periods include Zylkene. This capsule is lactose-free and contains a naturally soothing milk protein. Its safe for both short and long-term use, so its perfect if your cat just needs to get over the hump or if the situation is long-lasting.
Recommended Reading: What Are Cat Years Compared To Human Years
Is There A Medical Cause Of Spraying
Its estimated that approximately 30% of cats will spray urine for medical reasons, rather than behavioural problems.
The most common medical cause of urine spraying is cystitis which is an inflammation of the bladder. This can be caused by bladder stones or infection but there is often no known cause in cats. Theres lots of evidence that cystitis is related to stress in cats, a syndrome known as feline lower urinary tract disease . If left untreated male cats are at risk of urinary blockage. This is where grit or stones obstruct the urethra, or inflammation causes it to go into spasm. If the urethra is blocked the cat cant pass urine, and will quickly become very sick. This is an emergency and needs immediate veterinary intervention.
Some cats may adopt a more upright position to urinate, similar to spraying, due to pain in the hips or spine. This can be due to a previous injury or osteoarthritis developing with age. Other signs may be present such as reduced willingness to jump, sleeping more, and grooming excessively around the affected areas. Joint pain can usually be identified on examination and successfully treated with pain killers.
All cats who suddenly start spraying should initially see a vet to check for an underlying cause.
Why Do Cats Spray
Cats that are not spayed or neutered are more likely to spray. Unneutered male cats and unsprayed female cats spray to let cats of the opposite sex know they are ready and able for mating.
Male cats are more known for spraying urine to mark their territory, but some female cats also spray to claim territory. Although cats that spray for behavioral or sexual reasons are more likely to do so if you have other cats in the house or if stray cats are wandering around your yard, some cats spray even when there are no other cats around.
Any cat, male or female, might spray if they are stressed or upset, whether due to other pets in the household, moving, new human family members, or any number of other reasons. Illness, pain and litter box avoidance can also cause a cat to spray.
Common reasons cats spray include:
In addition to spraying, cats mark their territory by rubbing their scent glands against objects, leaving pheromones behind.
Read Also: Cat Normal Temp
Reasons For Neutering Male Cats
- Control of nuisance. Unneutered male cats are likely to stray over a large area, will mark their territory with a very pungent spray and are much more likely to fight with attendant noise nuisance.
- Health issues. Fighting males are much more likely to spread diseases such as FIV and FeLV to other cats. They are also likely to suffer from fight injuries such as abscesses. Because they wander over a large area they are also at greater risk of suffering road traffic accidents.
- Pet issues. Unneutered male cats will wander from home and may not return. They may also spray inside the home and may be aggressive to their owners. Therefore it is desirable to neuter kittens early enough to ensure that the above problems are prevented. Most people do not want to live with an unneutered male cat.
- Population control. Obviously, male cats do not have kittens themselves and it only takes one male in an area to make lots of female cats pregnant, so neutering a female cat makes a great deal more difference to limiting numbers, but it all helps!
Some Final Thoughts On Cat Spraying
Although cat spraying can happen with any cat, it is a behavior that intact cats are more likely to engage in than those who are fixed. Once the reasons for the smelly behavior are identified, you should be able to stop it or at least reduce the occurrences by addressing the causes and modifying the environment.
This piece was originally published in 2015.
Don’t Miss: Which Side Of A Cat Has The Most Fur
When Do Cats Start Spraying And What Can You Do About It
You should start to look for signs of spraying when your kitten reaches maturity. For most cats, spraying tends to start when they are 6 to 7 months old, although male cats can reach maturity between 4 to 5 months. But dont be fooled and think that your baby female kitty is too young to have babies before they reach this age! It is not uncommon for very young cats to become pregnant, so keep watch for spraying behaviour.
What Is The Difference Between Urinating And Spraying
If you are concerned about your male cat spraying, its important to understand the difference between urinating and spraying. Because spraying is a release of urine, it can be a bit difficult to distinguish between the two if you have never seen it before.
Spraying is distinctly different from urinating because of the posture the cat will be in. Whenever your male cat sprays, the tail will be erect, but it may shake or vibrate a bit. The cats rear end will be elevated too, and most cats have a weird look on their face before spraying.
The amount of urine released can also help you distinguish between normal urination and spraying. When spraying, cats only release a little bit of liquid in a jet-like stream.
Don’t Miss: How To Get Wild Animal In Little Alchemy