Cat Spraying Issues

CatChannel behavior expert Marilyn Krieger, CCBC, explains the importance of neutering.

By Marilyn Krieger, CCBC | Posted- May 23, 2008 2 a.m. EDT

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Q: Besides neutering my cat, is there anything I can do to get him to stop spraying? I purchased a pheromone diffuser, which has helped, but he recently started doing it again.

Do you know anything about products that are designed to keep a cat from spraying? I just want to make sure I’m not spending money for a product that doesn’t work.

A: The majority of intact tomcats (males) will spray. Accept it as a fact of life, like death and taxes.

It is very important that toms are neutered, unless you are a reputable breeder with a controlled breeding program. As a general rule, neutered males won’t spray, they are not as apt to declare war on other cats and, if allowed to roam the neighborhood, they won’t have the desire to wander far from home.

Pheromone diffusers are good products, but they work in conjunction with behavior modification, elimination or modification of the causes of the spraying, as well as thoroughly cleaning with an excellent enzyme cleaner. No anti-spraying products work as stand-alone magic bullets. The causes of the problems need to be addressed and either eliminated or modified. In your case, it appears that the trigger is biological. In order to stop the spraying, I highly recommend getting your tom neutered.


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Reader Comments

m    Lake City, FL

12/10/2012 11:58:18 PM

Thanks for the important, informational, and witty article!

Jan    Grand Lake, CO

12/26/2009 6:44:14 PM

Our 14 mo Ragdoll male has started spraying and also attacking his 13 mo Siamese brother. Both are neutered. The 13 mo Siamese girl is littermate to the boy. She was spayed very early. The ragdoll will not leave her alone. What can we do? It's like the ragdoll is confused and thinks she is in heat. The boys are fighting and she is in the middle of it all.

Lynnette    Carrollton, TX

9/12/2009 6:12:45 PM

My mom just "inherited" two cats - both are fixed. The male insists on spraying. My mom adores him but can't take the spraying. Is there anything she can do? Trying to break the behavior, sprays, pheramone plug-ins. etc. aren't working.

k    long island, NY

6/19/2009 4:25:58 PM

Fixed female cats can spray too. just larned this. our 10 yr old female started spraying all over the house. what a nightmare. in 10 yrs, she never missed the litter box. we got a kitten 5 months ago and did proper intro, followed the rules. all was good for a couple months until the kitten grew.

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