Boy Cats Aren't the Bad Guys!
The following information and advice will
hopefully help people get over their fears about adopting a male cat or
kitten. I am not a professional cat behaviorist, but I have learned a lot
and know the reasons why a boy cat begins to spray. By the way, girl cats
can spray too!
Cat's spray to mark their territory. Cats that
are outdoors (strays and ferals) this is their way to warn off others that this
is their space. Spraying is done on vertical places, such as: walls, sides of
doors. They are. usually shaking
their tail like a rattle snake.
Conrad Strays will never adopt out a cat if
we know he/she is a sprayer, without full disclosure!
How to prevent pet cats from spraying
-Neuter boy cats between 4-6 months old if
possible, before they reach sexual maturity.
-Keep cats indoors only! If you allow
them to roam unsupervised outdoors, you are asking for trouble. They
will want to mark their territory if they see or smell other cats, learning a
bad habit. They are also vulnerable to other
-Be careful when introducing a new cat to your
existing cat(s). You need to remember your original cat(s) have
established their rank/territory and claimed you all to themselves. You
need to introduce a new cat to the family gradually (read our
a new cat page for advice) and you need to make
sure your original kitties don't feel left out or abandoned. Many people get
rid of their original cat because it won't get along with their new cat.
This makes no sense.
-There seems to be a limit, or threshold to a cat
family. When there gets to be too many, you have to expect territorial spraying
behaviors to start. This threshold number of cats varies. It mainly
depends on the personalities of the cats in the family.
-Cats may begin to spray if they see a neighbor's cat or
a stray roaming by while looking out the window.
Always remember not to confuse spraying with
a possible bladder/kidney infection. Please read about this on our
Cat Care Information And Tips page under the heading
-You should always rule out a infection before
you assume your cat is spraying! Never delay on getting your cat looked at
by a Veterinarian! If your cat is urinating outside of the litter
box period, the first thing you must do is take your cat to your veterinary
clinic immediately. Every second counts if they have an infection or if
they are blocked.
Living with a Sprayer
Whether you helped to create this behavior or
not, you can, most of the time, fix or calm down the behavior. You will need
to talk to your Veterinarian about your cat's particular situation.
Some things they may suggest:
-Feliway spray or plug in: a "happy, non
threatening" synthetic cheek hormone that lets cats know "hey, things are
alright. I have no threatening competition"
-Medications. Their are several
medications that will calm a cat down from their anxiety. It may or may
not be a long term prescription.
Please don't give up on your cat!
Try seeking medical advice.
If the original advice doesn't work. Try,
try again. It may take a few suggestions or opinions to find out what
works for your cat.
Clean the urine! There are many
products on the market today. One of the best and over the counter
cleaner/neutralizer is called
"Nature's Miracle for cats.
There are other good products out there so please
check with you Veterinarian or local pet store.