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 furniture and 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 outdoor hazards.

-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 acclimating 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 Litterbox Habits.

-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.


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