Do neutered cats spray?

Neutering is the easiest ways of controlling a cat’s tendency to spray. However, this surgical procedure that renders a cat incapable of reproduction is not a no-fail remedy for spraying. The inclination to spray is significantly decreased if the cat is neutered. Some cats would even totally stop from spraying. Neutering though would not have the desired effect in some cats as although neutered some cats would still manifest the spraying behavior.

Neutering is a surgical procedure that removes the cat’s reproductive organ. The procedure renders an animal incapable of reproducing. Reducing the population of unwanted pets is the primary reason why responsible pet parents opt to get the pet fixed. Moreover neutering has some health and behavioral benefits for the cat. Neutered cats live longer and healthier lives as the development of some common feline diseases are prevented. Neutering prevents a cat from developing some unwanted behaviors. Spraying is one of these unwanted behaviors.

How would the cat owner know that the pet is spraying? Spraying is different from urinating because the urine mark made by a spraying cat is typically at the cat’s nose level. To spray, a cat will back into a vertical surface and squirt a small amount of smelly urine. A urinating cat would squat and deposit its urine on a flat surface. If the cat has not used the litter box a urine puddle will be seen on the floor. A towel, blankets or the owner’s clothes will be soaked with the cat’s urine.

Spraying is a form of communication system for cats. Cats spray because of stress, unhappiness or frustration. Spraying is also a marking behavior that is triggered by sexual excitement. Cat owners are therefore heard complaining about the pet’s increased spraying behavior during mating season. A cat’s urine has pheromones. These chemical substances are used by cat to communicate. A female cat in heat would spray to let potential sexual partners know about her availability. Male cats spray to make other cats aware of the boundaries of the claimed territory.

Spraying is a common concern of pet parents. Spraying accounts for 44% of cat owners’ complaints. There are several ways to control the cat’s tendency to spray. Neutering is believed to be the easiest way to modify the cat’s unwanted spraying behavior. Statistics show that neutering is 90% effective in controlling the cats’ tendency to spray. Neutering entails the removal of the testicles in male cats and the ovaries and uterus in female cats. From the time male cats gain sexual maturity, these animals would always be ready to mate. Female cats are polyestrus. Female cats would go through the heat cycle continuously. This means that a female is almost always in heat. As mentioned, the motivation to spray is increased during the mating season. This is the reason why neutering is considered to be the easiest and the most effective way of curbing the cats inclination to spray. As the reproductive organs were removed, the female cat would not go through its heat cycle and the male cat would no longer have interest to mate. The tendency to spray is therefore significantly decreased.

Some neutered cats though still spray from time to time. Cats that were neutered before sexual maturity would not exhibit the spraying behavior. This is due to the fact that cat have not yet learned how to spray. Neutering would not totally stop the cats’ inclination to spray if the procedure was done when the cats are already sexually mature and have already learned to spray. The neutering procedure though would significantly reduce the older cats’ motivation to spray.