Neutered cat spraying is a big problem for cat lovers. You may have neutered your cat with the expectation that it would stop him from spraying only to find that the behavior continues. It may take a month or so for your cat’s hormonal activity to calm down after neutering. But cat spraying is not always sexually related. So if the activity does not eventually stop, your cat may be marking due to other issues. Maybe urine marking has become a habit for your cat. Or your cat may be triggered from the scent of spots where he previously marked. Or, it could be that your cat is spraying because he is stressed.
Neutered cat spraying can be a difficult thing to deal with. While you find the behavior frustrating and offensive, your cat thinks it’s perfectly normal. Neutered cat spraying is often caused by stress. Spraying his scent onto a wall or piece of furniture helps to reassure the cat.
Why a Neutered Cat Sprays
Your neutered cat spraying may be caused by changes in your cat’s environment. Things, like moving to a new home or adding a new pet to the family, can be very disruptive and stressful to a cat – and spraying could be his reaction to this situation.
A neutered cat who sprays may also be marking his territory. This is especially true when there is an unspayed female or another male cat in the home that hasn’t been neutered. Your cat may even spray when he detects the presence of another cat outside your home.
Cat spraying could also be a response to litter box issues. Your cat may be unhappy with the type of litter you are using or he may not like the location of his litter box. Or, he could be reacting to litter box odors that you can’t even smell. So clean your cat’s litter box once or twice a day. Wash out the litter box and replace the litter once a week. Also, make sure that you have enough litter boxes in your home. You need one litter box per cat, plus one. Make sure that the litter box is located in a private, low-traffic area.
If your cat has marked in an area before, the scent of that previous marking may be triggering an urge to remark the territory. That’s why it’s so important to remove all traces of odor from the area. To locate all the areas where your cat has sprayed, use a black light. The urine will become fluorescent under the black light, indicating the areas where you need to clean. Household soap and cleaners will not be enough to get rid of these powerful urine smells. Visit a pet supply store and purchase a cleaning product that is specially formulated to remove cat urine.
Your neutered cat may be spraying because he is stressed. To learn more about the causes of stress in cats and what you can do to help, go to 14 Things That Stress Cats Out!
Correcting Neutered Cat Spraying
Correcting cat spraying takes time, so be patient. Try to increase playtime with your cat, reduce stress and enrich your cat’s environment. In multi-cat households, provide high perches and cat trees to increase vertical space. Never punish your cat for spraying because that will only cause more stress and it could lead to even more spraying.
See your veterinarian and make sure that your cat’s spraying is not related to a health issue. Neutered male cats are prone to bladder and urinary tract problems. That’s because the male cat has a longer, slimmer urethra than a female cat. Neutering a male cat can narrow the urethra, even more, making blockages more likely. If your veterinarian rules out a medical cause for your cat’s spraying, ask for suggestions on how to better deal with the behavior. Your cat may need to be on an anti-anxiety medication.
To learn more about cat spraying, go to Cat Spraying: What Is It and How Do You Make It Stop?