Do male cats spray after being neutered?

Spraying is a common concern of cat owners. Fixing the cat is one of the approaches done to curb the cats’ tendency to spray. Female cats are spayed and male cats are neutered. Neutering male cats though is not a sure fire method of modifying the pet’s inclination to spray. Neutering may significantly decrease the motivation to spray. But given the fact that cats have other reasons for spraying, some male cats would still spray after neutering.

Spraying is one of the reasons why cat owners would decide to abandon the pet or to leave the pet in animal shelters. If you have the same concern, be aware that you have other options aside from deciding to get rid of the pet. It must be understood that spraying is different from litter box problem. Spraying is a non-verbal communication that allows cats to claim and define their territories. Other situations like stress, unhappiness or frustration will make a cat spray. A cat would mark the territory with its own scent to make other cats aware that they are trespassing. Spraying done outdoors would not be a concern of the cat owners. A cat’s spray is smellier as compared to the cat’s “ordinary” urine. The house owner would certainly be irked if the house smells of the cat’s smelly urine. Territorial anxiety is the most common reason why cats spray. The indoor cat would spray if it sees other cats in the yard. A change in the cat’s environment will trigger a spate of spraying. A new pet that will be viewed as a threat to the territory, a move to a new house or being parted from the owner and left to a sitter will cause the cat to spray. A cat that is feeling threatened by a family member that is not a cat lover will be inclined to spray as well.

There are several ways to curb the cat’s tendency to spray. Neutering or spaying is the easiest way to control the cat’s spraying habit. Studies have shown that neutering is 90% effective. Sexual excitement is the primary reason why cats spray. A female cat in heat would spray to attract potential sexual partners. Male cats spray to mark the territory so that other cats that try to mate with the female cat will be warned that they are trespassing on claimed territory. Spraying is also a male cat’s way of attracting female cats in heat.

Neutering is a surgical procedure that removes the reproductive organ and renders a cat incapable of reproduction. Altered or fixed male cats will no longer be sexually excited thus spraying will eliminated. However, neutering may not totally modify a male cat’s tendency to spray. Studies have shown that 78% of neutered cats will stop spraying right after the surgical procedure; 9% stopped spraying several months after neutering and 13% have continued spraying. Experts believe that neutering must be made before the cat has learned to spray. The surgical procedure therefore must be done before the male cat reaches sexual maturity and this would be when the cat is between 4 to 6 months old.

Neutering may not totally remove an older cat’s inclination to spray. Pet owners have to find other ways to stop the pet’s unwanted behavior. As stress can trigger spraying, it would be a good idea to lower the cat’s stress level. Routines must be maintained and change must be introduced gradually. Cats are known to be solitary animals with aloof personalities. However, cats need the attention and affection of the owners. The neutered cat would still need reassurance from the human friends so that it would not have the need to spray to mark the territory.

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