Do boy cats spray?

Urine spraying is one of the common concerns of cat parents. Spraying is perfectly normal in unaltered cats as it is a manifestation of sexual, social and territorial behaviors. All cats, male or female spray although most of the time a male cat is the culprit that can single handedly manage to create the abhorrent smell that permeates inside the house. There are number of ways by which cat owners can minimize the pet’s inclination to spray. One of the ways to stop this unwanted behavior is neutering. Neutering is best done before the cat reaches sexual maturity. Does this mean that boy cats must be neutered at a very young age to stop them from spraying? All male cats have the tendency to spray but the habit to spray would only be developed when the cat attains sexual maturity. This means that the owner of a boy cat would be free from spraying concerns until the pet matures, gains sexual maturity and learns to manifest the spraying behavior.

What is spraying and how it is differentiated from inappropriate urination? Both behaviors would make the house stink. Both behaviors will also make the owner decide to take away the in-house living privileges from the pet. Inappropriate urination occurs when the cat would urinate elsewhere but not on the litter box. The cat would soil the carpet, rugs or furniture with its urine. Spraying occurs when the cat backs to a vertical surface like a door, wall or drapes and squirt a small amount of pungent smelling urine-based liquid.

Contrary to what most cat owners believe, cats don’t spray to ruin the owners’ day and to make the owners’ life miserable. Spraying is a normal behavior of cats. The urine contains pheromones that allow a cat to communicate with other cats. A cat would spray to delineate the boundaries of the territory and to advertise its availability to mate. Spraying can also be a manifestation of the emotional state of the pet. Squirting a small amount of urine on a vertical object can be an expression of the cat’s anger or frustration. A cat that sprays may feel threatened by a new situation or by the new environment.

The inclination to spray starts when the cat attains sexual maturity. Cats would therefore start spraying as early as 5 to 6 months of age or as late as 10 to 12 months of age. Boy cats less than 5 months would not spray. At this age, the boy cat is practically a baby…one that will not be bothered by the need to mark the territory. Boy cats would not have sexual and social concerns. Similar to human babies, boy cats will only be concerned with feeding and playing. Until the pet attains sexual maturity, the cat parent would be free from the consequences of the cat’s spraying behavior. If the boy cat was trained to use the litter box, no abhorrent urine smell will permeate inside the house. However, this situation will end sooner or later…the boy cat will grow and attain sexual maturity. As all cats develop the tendency to spray, the owner will eventually be troubled by the spraying behavior of the pet.

Spraying can be minimized (if not totally eliminated) by neutering the cat. Neutering is one of the ways cat owners use to minimize the tendency of the pet to spray. As spraying is a testosterone-driven behavior, the neutering procedure that removes hormonal activity also minimizes the cat’s inclination to manifest the spraying behavior. However, this spray preventive solution will only be effective if the boy cat is neutered before it has learned to spray. Neutering must be done before the boy cat attains sexual maturity.