A cat may spray with urine in order to mark its territory. This is much more likely in unneutered males, though, it is not unknown for neutered cats of either sex to spray if Feeling particularly threatened – for example, when a newcomer is introduced into the home. This is one of the reasons that it is recommended that toms which are not going to be used for breeding should be neutered early in life.
The cat stands up to spray, rather than crouching, so small drops of urine will be found a few centimetres from the ground – against the wall, say, or perhaps on your valuable chair.
One of the reasons for neutering toms which are not intended for breeding is to prevent spraying. If they are neutered late in life, though, this may not stop them spraying, though it will not smell quite as bad! Is there anything the vet can do to stop a cat spraying? He may be able to recommend a treatment with hormones, for either neutered or entire cats.
Tile problem of a cat marking its territory by spraying urine is most common in an entire male cat. Spraying is not totally unknown, though, in neutered cats of either sex, particularly if they feel anxious or threatened. It is more common, too, in a household where there is more than one cat. Entire female cats are more likely to spray in the breeding season.
If the cat has sprayed in the house, you must clean the area thoroughly. Quite apart from dealing with the unpleasant smell (and a tomcat’s urine is the most pungent of all!), leaving it will only encourage the cat to do it again to reinforce its scent. A strong solution of biological detergent in hot water should deal with the smell, followed by alcohol or vinegar.
- There is no known deterrent for spraying, but you can try to feed the cat as near as possible to the sprayed area because cats rarely soil close to their feeding area. You
- might also try aversion therapy, using a water pistol. The only sure way, though, is to shut the cat out of the room until it has stopped.
- Rubbing a cat’s nose in its sprayed urine will only encourage it to do it again.
- An unneutered tom may spray in dozens of different places all around his territory. This is as natural to him as sneezing, and there’s nothing you can do to prevent him.
- Tomcats get into a lot of fights, so keen are they to service all the local females and protect their territory. This can mean a lot of torn ears for the cat and vets’ bills for you.