Do All Cats Spray?

CatChannel veterinary expert Arnold Plotnick, DVM, discusses how to reduce the risk of spraying behavior.

By Arnold Plotnick, DVM | Posted: May 28, 2010, 3 a.m. EST

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Q: I would like to know if all cats spray? I would like to get a house cat but do not want it to spray my furniture.

A: The vast majority of cats do not spray. Males are more likely than females to spray, but if a cat is neutered before 6 months, he will almost never spray. 

If an intact male cat does begin to spray, neutering him will solve the problem in about 95 percent of the cases. The more cats there are in the household, the more likely that a cat will show territorial behavior. Spraying is one of those behaviors, so keeping the cat population in your household to a reasonable number minimizes the risk of spraying. 

The fact that you do not have a cat at the moment is in your favor; a single cat in the house is very unlikely to spray. If spraying is truly a concern, adopt a female cat; this will reduce the risk even further. In the worst case scenario, if your cat did begin to spray, there are many things that can be done to rectify the behavior. This includes making some changes to the environment and in some instances, administering medication.

But I don’t think this is going to be a problem for you.  Go ahead and adopt a cat (from a shelter, ideally). You won’t regret it.

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Do All Cats Spray?

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Reader Comments

s    Lake City, FL

12/11/2012 11:40:47 PM

Thanks for the important informational article on a topic that all cat owners need to be aware of. Great suggestions!

Janet    Bethlehem, PA

5/6/2012 10:08:21 AM

good article, thanks

Janet    Newton, KS

11/20/2011 4:42:24 PM

Do female cats spray? And if so how do you stop it? And why whould they start at 2 years old?

Sue    Three Oaks, MI

6/2/2010 6:21:48 PM

My neutered male cat doesn't spray in the house, thank goodness, but I've seen him spray on trees in the yard.

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