Do spayed cats spray?

Spraying is an unwanted behavior commonly manifested by intact cats. One of the reasons cat owners have for getting the cat fixed is to control its inclination to spray. Male cats are neutered or castrated and female cats are spayed. Spaying female cats significantly reduce the motivation to spray. However, cat owners must not expect that getting the cat spayed would totally control its spaying as even spayed cats are known to spray from time to time.

Spraying or urine marking is a normal behavior of cats. In a multi-cat household, there is a good chance that cat urine will permeate inside the house as both male and female cats spray. The cat would back up to a vertical surface like a wall, a door or furniture and with a quivering tail up in the air; it would shoot a small amount of urine into the targeted spot. The spot is usually at the nose level of cats. The location of the urine mark signifies that spraying is utilized by cats as a form of communication system. Cats spray to define the boundaries of their territories. Space would be at a premium in multi-cat household. By leaving its scent on the perimeter of its domain, a cat will avoid encounter that will result to territorial disputes with other cats. Cats also spray to display its sexuality. Cats spray for a variety of reasons. Dominant cats spray to gain the subservience of other cats. Submissive cats would manifest the spraying behavior to show submission. Spraying of less dominant cats can be their way of showing defensive aggression. Cats that are stressed with the change in their environment would spray as well. The most common reason why cats spray is sexual excitement. Spraying is more prevalent during the mating season as intact female cats would spray to make potential sexual partners know of her availability. Getting the cat fixed is often the solution cat owners take to control the pet’s tendency to spray.

Spaying is a surgical procedure done to “fix” a female cat. This surgical procedure requires the removal of the cat’s uterus and ovaries. Spaying renders a female cat incapable of reproductions. Cats are polyestrus animals. Female cat owners would therefore be continually bothered by the pet’s spraying. As the reproductive organs were removed, the female cat would no longer go through its heat cycle. The motivation to spray is therefore significantly reduced. Some cat owners would finally be able to live in a home that does not smell of cat urine. Other cat owners are not as lucky as even if they have gotten the pet spayed, its spraying habit would not be eliminated. Studies showed that about 70% of spayed cats have stopped spraying several months after the procedure was done. However, the procedure has no effect on 13% of the female cats spayed. These cats have continued to spray. Cats typically learn to spray after attaining sexual maturity. Spraying will only be eliminated if the spaying procedure was done before the cat has learned to spray.

Spaying is not the only approach cat owners can take to control the cat’s tendency to spray. Medical intervention may be necessary to resolve the cat’s spraying. The vet can prescribe medications that will relieve the cat’s stress. Animal behaviorists can be consulted to shed light on what triggers the pet’s spraying. Once the reason for spraying is identified, the owner can easily remedy the situation. Cats have the tendency to favor a spot to spray. Mechanical devices can be installed on these spots. These devices will detect the motion of the cat and spray a harmless substance when the cat is about to spray. Lastly, it would be a good idea to give the cat more attention. The spraying can be the cat’s way of gaining the owner’s attention.

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