Do neutered male cats spray?

A male cats’ tendency to spray is oftentimes spurred by sexual excitement. To modify this unwanted habit, cat owners commonly opt to get the pet fixed. Neutering is believed to be the easiest way to control spraying. Spraying though is not 100% effective in getting rid of the cat’s inclination to spray. While some neutered cats would stop spraying right after the surgical procedure, about 10% of the fixed male cats would still continue to squirt a small amount of smelly urine on vertical surfaces.

Cats are known to be very clean animals. Cats would even cover their feces. However, cats have different personalities. Other cats would not be trained to use the litter box. Inappropriate elimination therefore is a common complaint of cat owners. Spraying though is different from inappropriate elimination. A puddle of urine on the floor or a blanket and towel soaked with the cat’s urine are signs of the cat’s inappropriate urination. Spraying is different because of the fact that the cat will mark vertical surfaces with its urine. The urine mark is usually at the nose level of cats. The cat will back into a wall, door or any other vertical surface and shoot small amount pheromone laced urine.

One of the common reasons for spraying is stress and frustration. An unhappy cat tends to spray as well. The introduction of a new pet, being parted from the owner or a transfer to a new home are stressful situations that will motivate a cat to spray. Cat owners have noticed that their pets’ tendency to spray is more pronounced during the mating season. This is due to the fact that sexual excitement motivates a cat to spray. Cats, especially male ones are highly territorial. Sexual excitement coupled with the male cat’s desire to protect the territory would result to a spate of spraying. It is common for cats to mark spots claimed to be their territory with their distinct smell. Cats spray to urine mark the territory. This behavior is most common in male cats. Outdoor cats would spray on the fence, on tree trunks and walls to make other cats aware that they have already claimed the territory. Indoor cats that have seen stray cats in the yard would spray inside the home. Spraying is a form of feline non-verbal communication. Cat owners therefore need to resolve this concern in a different manner.

Medications or antianxiety drugs that will stop the cat from spraying are only temporary relief. Once the efficacy of the medication is gone, the cat will again manifest its spraying behavior. Mechanical devices like motion detectors that release a harmless substance every time the cat is about to spray would only work if the cat sprays on the spot where the device is installed. Neutering is said to be the easiest most effective way to stop the cat from spraying. This surgical procedure removes the reproductive organ of the male cat. A neutered cat will no longer produce the hormone that makes the cat want to mate. The sexual excitement that triggers spraying is then eliminated. Neutering though is not 100% effective as some fixed male cats would still spray. Studies have proven that neutering will effectively stop a male cat from spraying if the surgical procedure is done before the cat has gained sexual maturity and before it has learned to spray. Spraying that is associated with sexual excitement will be eliminated but as there are other reasons why cats spray, individuals that have already learned to spray will manifest the unwanted behavior every time a situation that triggers spraying will occur.