Do fixed cats spray?

The belief that neutering and spaying will totally remove the cat’s tendency to spray is a myth. Fixed cats will still spray although the inclination to manifest this unwanted behavior will be significantly reduced.

Cat owners get the pet neutered or fixed to prevent the incidence of accidental pregnancies. It is virtually impossible to prevent a cat in heat from being with a mate. To support the call to reduce the number of unwanted cats that have to be put to sleep each year, cat parents would decide to get the pet fixed. Neutering or spaying helps the cat become an ideal pet as the development of objectionable behavior is prevented. The tendency to roam is reduced. Development of aggressive behavior is prevented as well thus the incidence of cat fights is largely reduced as well. Owners that have no plans of breeding would opt to have the pet fixed as this is one way of preventing urine marking.

Intact cats have perfectly honed their spraying talents. Spraying is a form of communication in felines. It is more common in male cats. Although uncommon, female cats spray too. Male cats spray to mark their territories. In female cats, the behavior is typically manifested when the cat is in heat. The pheromones in the female cat’s urine advertise its availability to potential sexual partners. Aside from these reasons, there are other situations that trigger a cat’s spraying behavior.

Fixing is the colloquial term for neutering and spaying. These surgical procedures entail the removal of the cat’s reproductive organs. There is a common belief that the cat’s motivation to spray is removed given the fact that it no longer produces testosterone. Owners that have taken the time to bring the pet to the vet’s and paid the cost of the surgical procedure in the hopes that the home will be free from cat urine smell are in for disappointment. Neutering will significantly reduce but NOT totally eliminate the cat’s tendency to spray. Cat owners would attest to the fact that their fixed cats still manifest the spraying behavior.

One of the effects of neutering and spaying is reducing the cat’s motivation to spray. Studies have shown that the earlier the cat is fixed the better is the chance that it would entirely cease from spraying. Neutering has different effects in cats. In a study conducted, 87% of the fixed cats have totally stopped spraying and 13% have kept on spraying. The cats were fixed…production of testosterone in male cats was reduced and female cats no longer go into heat. Fixed cats no longer have mating seasons. However, other situations will motivate the cat to spray. Stress is one of the motivating factors why cats spray. A change in the cat’s environment like the introduction of a new pet, the arrival of a new baby or moving to a new home are stressful situations that will make a cat spray.

Spraying is one of the common concerns of cat owners. Getting the cat fixed may not have the desired result. The home will still have the unpleasant smell of cat urine. This is one of the reasons why pet parents would decide to bring the pet to animal shelters. Getting the cat fixed is not the only remedy for spraying. Vets commonly prescribe antianxiety drugs for the cat if the cause of the spraying problems is stress. Mechanical devices and pheromone diffusers used in areas commonly sprayed by the cat can do the trick of preventing the cat from spraying. Spraying is a learned behavior and cats have the tendency to mark its territory again and again. To stop the cat from returning and spraying it is necessary to totally remove the traces of urine odor from the spots previously sprayed.

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