The Altered Cat

Learn what you can and cannot expect from spaying or neutering your cat.

By Koren Wetmore | Posted: Tue Sep 28 00:00:00 PDT 2004

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1. First you should visit your veterinarian to determine whether the cause is a medical problem such as a urinary tract infection or kidney stones, Bergman said.

2. Once that's ruled out, you need to look at the cat's environment. Spraying can be triggered by tension among cats in the house, by interlopers peering in the window or by a dirty or poorly placed litterbox. "A litterbox should be clean and there should be at least one box per cat in the household," Bergman said. "It also should be easy to get to." If placed in a far-off area of the house it may be viewed as inconvenient and, like people, cats will choose the closest bathroom, which may be your carpet, she said.

3. Discourage spraying by identifying and removing what stressors you can. Place sticky tape on window sills to keep the cat off and unable to see other cats outside the window. Place foil or nubby-textured runners near doors or cupboards to keep the cat from spraying in these areas. "Cats don't like the feel of this on their paws," Reid said. "Or you could spray a synthetic pheromone in these areas to help reduce the cat's anxiety."

4. If aggression continues in an altered cat, enlist the help of a veterinary behaviorist to determine and address its cause, Bergman said.

5. Above all, avoid placing human motivations on your cat. It's just responding to its biological wiring or something amiss in its environment. And it's relying on you to make the world right again for the both of you.

- More Spay and Neuter -

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Reader Comments

Isabelle    not telling, TN

2/18/2011 12:14:25 PM

Great! I get sick of people saying "Altered cats don't get sick, and act perfect, and unaltered cats get sick, are very mean and spray everywhere." I have unaltered cats, and they are better than any of my friend's altered cats. This is a truthful article.(one out of hundreds of s/n articles which are not)

Rachel D.    Hillsdale, MI

3/15/2010 8:19:36 AM

It was interesting to find out that desexing an animal can cause weight gain because of slowing down metabolism; I'd never heard that before. Thanks for the info!

Gina    Rochester, NY

4/22/2009 6:41:14 PM

Very interesting.

Sarah    Offutt, NE

4/22/2009 1:43:11 PM

Informative article!

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