When Peppers, my tom-cat was around seven to eight months old, he began to act weird. He started to become more and more aggressive. What's worse is that he began to spray around the corners of the house. A well-trained house cat, who still used the litter box to answer nature's calls, sprayed on the walls and furniture around the house. After speaking to a veterinarian, I learned it was all part of the natural male cat behavior. I had to get him neutered to stop this odd and nasty habit. I took his advised seriously as I could no longer take more of his scratches and bites when he was in heat. Soon, after a month or so, he began to calm down and soon overcame his habit to spray. However, I heard a friend complain about her neutered male cat spraying in the house. Thus, we both visited a veterinarian as I too feared my Peppers falling back on his old habits. The veterinarian spoke to us in detail and explained the neutered male cat spraying causes. I am sure there are many cat owners who too are facing similar problems. In this Buzzle article, I shall discuss the possible reasons for this odd male cat behavior and help you learn how to stop them from spraying.
Why Does My Neutered Male Cat Spray Around the House?
Now, there could be a number of possible reasons about why a neutered male will spray urine around the house. We shall discuss some of the most probable reasons about why your tom-cat is behaving in such a way. Remember, the cat is not spraying to make you angry or take revenge. He is doing just as he is programmed by his genes to do so. You should understand there is a difference between spraying and urination. If the cat urinates on a vertical wall or furniture, it means he is spraying. If he urinates on a flat surface, your clothes, rug, bed, etc., it means he is just avoiding using the litter box. Sometimes, male cats urinate in the litter box and will also spray on a vertical surface. All for a particular reason.
The main reason for spraying is marking the territory. Male cats are prone to develop territorial issues and will spray around to make sure the other cats know, they are on the wrong turf. The territory marking is generally carried out outside the house, where the cat thinks competition will arrive. When a cat reaches sexual maturity, he will start spraying to spread pheromones and let the females know that he is ready to mate. This sexual behavior causing spraying will continue, till you don't get him fixed. He will become more and more aggressive, whenever he is in heat.
Now, if your neutered male cat spraying around the house is an issue, it can be due to any of the above reasons. The main reason is that you neutered him too late. He has formed it as a habit to spray around the house and proclaim his masculinity. Once a cat develops a habit, it is very difficult to alter it. Thus, some owners find that their cats continue to spray for a month, three months, or longer, after getting them fixed. Another reason may be bringing home another cat. He starts spraying around the house to make sure the other cat in the house knows that the particular area belongs to him.
Suppose, you neuter him on time and have no other cat in the house as a pet, yet you find him spraying, the reason may be anxiety. The cat is anxious or stressed and this may cause him to spray in the house. The stress may be due to presence of other cats moving around the yard or house, maybe even a pet cat of the next door neighbor making your boy threatened or anxious. Sometimes, fights between the family members can even disturb the pet cat. It is true, cats do not seek a lot of affection like dogs, but they do need your attention. If you avoid them or ignore their presence for long periods, it may cause depression. This leads to spraying to just get your attention. Remember, all living creatures need to be loved and cared for. Sometimes, a dirty litter box that needs to be cleaned can cause your pet to spray around the house. It's his way of saying, 'Hey human, clean my tray or else I'll soil your dwelling'.
Neutered male cats may also spray when they are angry or displeased about something. Moving the furniture or moving into a new home, may lead to this odd behavior. Cats are sticklers for routine, any changes in their daily clock and they get frustrated. It may even be a sign of a health problem. A bladder infection, urinary tract infection or other diseases affecting the excretory system may cause the neutered cat to spray. You need to take your cat to the veterinarian and diagnose the health problem, if any. If the cat stops using the litter box altogether and just sprays around the house, you need to seek veterinarian help immediately.
How to Stop a Neutered Male Cat from Spraying in the House
As you can see, there are plenty of causes. How to stop this behavior is the most pressing question at this point. It has been found, male cats as well as female cats should be neutered when they are about 4 to 6 months old. This will help control spraying in about 90% of the cases. Apart from that, try to find out the exact cause. Check whether the litter box remains dirty for long periods of time. Clean it regularly and make sure its location is easily accessible to the cat. Also, keep the litter box in an area, where it can maintain the cat's privacy. Cats are private creatures when it comes to their private business.
As mentioned above, cats are sticklers for routine. Thus, make sure you maintain their routine and do not cause any stress to the cat. Do not suddenly change the location of the litter box, or carry out sudden changes in the house furniture location, especially when the cat's away. They have a habit of scent marking every nook and corner of the house and sudden changes or frequent changes confuses them. Cats tend to spray due to a threat or to prove dominance over another cat or animal. Even if your cat is not allowed out, movement of cats outside, causes them to feel threatened. If you have more than one cat within the house, make sure they are introduced to each other. Neuter both cats at the right time, to avoid aggressiveness and competition. If cats from the outside are a problem, you can try to keep your cat away from them. Make sure you keep your cat indoors as much as possible and help it feel that your house is its own territory.
Some cats tend to spray or urinate at the same spot again and again. This is because the smell of their urine lingers in that particular spot. This will cause it to return and urinate in the same area. If your cat has urinated in some place, make sure you use a proper detergent and cleaning solution that will help remove every trace of cat urine smell. Never ever hit your cat or punish him to teach him a lesson. This will only make the situation worse as the cat will feel insecure and stressed which will only make him spray more often.
As you can see, it is important to take steps to control neutered male cat spraying. If this becomes a habit or a way of life for the cat, it will be very difficult to make it stop. Take the cat to a veterinarian and get him examined for any underlying health issues causing this odd behavior. My friend found out her tom cat suffered from a urinary tract infection. Once treated for it, he soon stopped spraying in the house. You too can find a solution for your problem soon and spend happy years with your pet cat.