How to Stop a Neutered Cat From Spraying. The ultimate guide.
Cats are without a doubt the cutest, cuddliest pets on the planet! They are incredibly fun to play with, and you’ll have to admit ― they are very clean. Cats clean themselves, and they prefer to have a clean place where they can eat and sleep. Honestly, it’s no wonder they are one of the most popular house pets.
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How to Stop a Neutered Cat From Spraying
If you have a cat, then we’re sure you are already aware of how clean these pets are. Unfortunately, you are probably also aware of the fact that cats can spray.
Overall, it’s safe to say that all pet owners are interested in finding out how to stop a neutered cat from spraying. If you’re one of those people, then you’re in luck! We’re here to give you some tips on how to fix your cat’s unwelcome behavior.
What does it mean when cats spray?
Since cats cannot communicate with us verbally, they need to use other methods. Unfortunately, sometimes that involves some not-so-pleasant ways of communication.
Namely, most cats tend to use spraying as a way of communicating their emotions. Although some people may think it’s difficult to tell whether a cat is urinating or spraying, there’s a way to differentiate the two.
Basically, cat urine is already quite strong-smelling. However, when your cat sprays, you’ll notice that the smell is far more pungent than when it urinates. That’s due to the fact that it contains plenty of pheromones. Furthermore, you’ll also notice that there is less urine when it sprays than there is when it urinates.
Ultimately, if your cat is spraying, that means it has something to tell you. But, that’s not all. There are more reasons why a cat may be spraying.
The reasoning behind the spraying
You may not have known this, but cats can tell the age and sex of other felines just from the spray. Neutered male and female adult cats can spray under certain circumstances, however, un-neutered cats are usually the ones that produce the smelly discharge.
When it comes to males, the pheromones that are released with the spray indicate whether the cat is ready to mate.
On the other hand, when a female un-neutered cat sprays, it’s usually because it’s on its cycle.
Do all cats spray?
In short, yes, all cats spray. If they didn’t then this guide on how to stop a neutered cat from spraying would be pretty pointless!
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter whether they are neutered or not, spraying is normal for all felines. It’s actually quite a common misconception that neutered cats don’t spray.
So, if you’ve taken your cat to get neutered just to stop it from spraying, you’re in for a nasty surprise. And that’s where the trouble begins. People think they’ve fixed the problem, but in most cases, cats just continue their spraying routine, as usual.
Yes, it’s unfortunate, but you’ll be glad to hear that there are ways to fix the problem. The first step in finding out how to stop a neutered cat from spraying is to identify the problem.
Why do neutered cats spray?
The question of why neutered cats spray is a pretty common one. Obviously, neutered cats aren’t interested in mating, so why would they spray?
Here’s the thing, spraying is a behavior your cat has learned. If you take your cat to get neutered before it’s six months old, you may be able to prevent the problem. spraying can be a sign of maturity, and about 90% of cats won’t start spraying if you neuter them on time. Basically, you need to neuter them before they even learn how to spray.
On the other hand, if maturity isn’t the reason your cat is spraying, then neutering won’t help. You’ll need to do a bit of spying on your cat in order to determine why it’s doing what it’s doing.
Before we explain how to stop a neutered cat from spraying, there are several reasons why your cat may be spraying.
Reacting to other felines
If you live in a house, you most likely have a few stray cats lurking around the neighborhood. Even if you may not see them, trust us ㅡ your cat can definitely sense when there is an unfamiliar feline nearby.
Basically, cats will spray around doors and windows to mark their territory and tell the other cats that they are on another felines turf. In fact, you could even say that spraying is the feline version of putting up a keep out sign.
However, it’s not uncommon for strays to leave some spray of their own, especially if they want to provoke your pet. No matter who’s doing the spraying, though, it’s you who will be left with a smelly door!
If you notice that your cat isn’t spraying the doors and windows, but rather your furniture, or even some of its toys, there is a simple explanation. Basically, when a cat sprays around your home, it’s doing so in order to surround itself with a familiar smell.
In fact, if you’re planning on buying new furniture, you may want to think things through. Cats tend to spray like crazy when you introduce a new object into your home. To them, it’s quite normal. They’re just adding a familiar smell to something unfamiliar.
Unfortunately, that smell isn’t at all pleasant!
Just like humans, cats can get stressed as well. In fact, there are several reasons why your cat could feel stressed.
For example., if you’ve recently moved to a new home, your pet is probably feeling a bit anxious because of the new surroundings. Cats deal with stress in several ways. They can be aggressive towards you, or they can act out by scratching your furniture and even go on a hunger strike. But more often than not, they tend to go for the spraying method.
Furthermore, if you recently bought another pet, and are giving it a lot of attention, your cat may be feeling insecure.
Some other reasons may include changing your daily routine, rearranging the furniture, leaving your cat alone in the house for several hours, etc.
The bonding ritual
You love your cat. However, it may seem like you love your cat more than it loves you. After all, cats can be pretty selfish at times. You need to remember that your pet loves you in its own way.
If your cat keeps spraying your clothes, shoes, or other belongings, then you should know that it is doing so for a good reason (even if you’re sick of washing out the smell).
Cats like to spray your possessions in order to mix their smell with yours. That way they think they’re creating a bond with you. If you think about it, it’s actually quite sweet!
Now, if only it smelled better.
Most guides on how to stop a neutered cat from spraying neglect to mention the empathy-factor.
Animals are perfectly capable of feeling empathy for humans. Are you feeling down, or stressed? Are you having a fight with a family member or friend? Keep in mind that if you’re not happy for some reason, your cat may be sensing your mood and is frustrated. The only way your cat knows how to get rid of that frustration is by spraying.
You need to show it that you are ok. Play with it more, try not to argue with anyone when it’s in the room, speak more calmly. It may seem like a lot of work, but cats can be like toddlers. If you’re frustrated, they get frustrated. If you’re sad, they’re sad.
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons for your cat’s behavior. Now it’s time to check out how to stop a neutered cat from spraying!
You obviously don’t want to deal with the smell of cat spray, but you don’t know how to deal with it. Understandably, you most likely don’t know where to begin.
Don’t worry, our guide on how to stop a neutered cat from spraying will clue you in on the best ways to fix your problem.
If you suspect that your cat is spraying random objects around the house in order to mark them, then synthetic pheromones may be just the thing you need.
Just use them around the areas where your cat keeps spraying. That way it will be able to smell the scent, and you won’t have to endure any more smelly carpets or furniture.
Keep some doors closed
If you notice that your cat tends to spray in some rooms, but not in others, then the best solution is to close the doors to all the “contaminated” rooms. There may be a reason why those rooms are especially interesting to your cat, but if you’re not ready to waste time figuring out those reasons, simply keep those rooms off-limits.
After a while, you can let your cat into those rooms, just to see whether or not it has stopped spraying.
Change the way you/your family interact(s) with the cat
If you notice that one family member is getting sprayed more than the others, that means your cat may have a problem with that person. The best thing to do is to get that family member to interact with it more. Let them feed and play with it, give it belly rubs, etc.
It’s most likely that your cat is feeling neglected by that person.
On the other hand, if you have more than one pet, then the cat may be feeling neglected because you’re showing the other pet more love. Make sure you show your pets, equal love.
Reintroduce your cat to the clean areas
Find the contaminated areas and give them a thorough cleaning. Enzyme cleaners are perfect for getting out of the smell. However, don’t get discouraged if the smell doesn’t immediately disappear. You may have to apply the cleaner on those areas more than once.
Then, once the smell has completely disappeared, you should reintroduce those areas to your cat.
Simply play some games, do some activities, give your cat some treats, and make it feel safe. After a while, you’ll notice that your cat will stop spraying those places.
Another thing you can do is to try placing its toys in those areas. Cats usually don’t spray their own things.
What to do when your cat is spraying your other pets
If you’re having trouble getting your pets to like each other, there’s probably a good explanation. Ultimately, if you’ve had your cat for a while now, and you recently decided to get another pet, then your cat is probably going to feel jealous. And when your cat feels jealous, you guessed it! It’s going to spray.
Unfortunately, it’s probably going to spray your poor, unsuspecting new pet. The best thing you can do to prevent the problem is to slowly introduce your pets to one another. Bring in your new pet and pet your cat while it’s getting to know its new friend.
You need to show your cat that things aren’t going to change around the house.
Unfortunately, most people get overly excited when they bring in a new pet, and they forget this step. They play with the newcomer and neglect their cats. Once that happens, you can expect quite a bit of spraying as soon as you leave the room.
However, there’s no need to panic if you’re one of those people. There is still something you can do to fix the problem.
Basically, you have to keep your pets apart for a few days. Go about your day like you never even brought in a new pet. Give your cat plenty of love. Then, when things have cooled down, you need to re-introduce your pets to one another. Just as if they were meeting for the very first time.
Only this time, try out our method. If your cat sees that you’re not about to ignore it because of the new pet, you won’t have to worry about spraying.
Close the curtains on stray cats
We know you cannot control the behavior of every random cat that comes to your backyard. However, if you have a cat that stays indoors at all times, then you should try to block out its view of the other cats.
Although it might still be able to smell them, if your cat doesn’t see those unwanted visitors, it may not feel threatened by them.
Take your cat to the vet
Finally, if you’ve tried out all our suggestions, but your cat doesn’t stop spraying nonetheless, then you may have to consider taking it to the vet. Although the things we listed are the most common reasons why cats spray, you should still get an expert opinion. Your cat may have some other problems that you are unaware of.
Never punish your cat for spraying
You’ve probably noticed that in our guide on how to stop a neutered cat from spraying we never once mentioned punishing your cat. That’s because you should never do that.
You may think that you are doing the right thing by rubbing your cat’s nose in the mess, but you’re actually making a big mistake.
Remember, we mentioned that stress is one of the reasons cats tend to spray. If you start yelling, rubbing their nose in the urine, or even hitting them (however lightly) with a rolled-up newspaper, you’re going to make things much worse.
You’ll probably end up causing your cat to spray even more around the house!
Furthermore, you’ll break your special bond, which could cause your cat to feel depressed.
In this guide on how to stop a neutered cat from spraying, we’ve explained that there are several reasons for this unpleasant behavior.
You may have thought that you dodged the bullet by getting it neutered, but unfortunately, you weren’t so lucky.
On the bright side, there are several ways you can try to change the behavior of your cat, before deciding to take it to the vet. The problem may be simple, and easy to change.
However, if you don’t see a change after trying out all of our methods, a vet may be your only solution. Remember, cats can get sick and, just like humans, they should be brought to a specialist
The bottom line is, spraying doesn’t necessarily mean your cat is being rebellious. Treat your pet with care and never punish it or you’ll end up creating a bigger problem.
All in all, we hope our guide on how to stop a neutered cat from spraying will help you fix your problem.