Male, neutered cat - started spraying


I have a ten year old, male, neutered cat. He was neutered at an early age, well before sexual maturity.

He’s recently (in the last 3-4 months) started spraying furniture, and specifically some curtains. I’ve even caught him at it, reversing into position and letting loose a fine stream with impressive aim.

This behaviour is probably linked (at least, time correlates) to the arrival of our second dog, a puppy who as all puppies do, likes to chase cats that run away. No actual damage is ever done, the worst the cat gets if caught is a lot of slobber and licking.

He was fine when we got the older dog, 2 years ago, also as a puppy - and who also delighted in chasing the cat. This dog no longer bothers the cat at all.

The dogs are outside during the day when my wife and I are not home, and this is when the cat strikes.

Given that I usually don’t see him spraying, what can I do to get him to stop?

It is a natural reaction to a threat, the new puppy. He is marking his territory, to reinforce the idea that he belongs here, compared to this ‘interloper’.

I don’t know that there is any effective way to stop this normal reaction.

Presumably you or someone was foolish/cruel enough to declaw this cat, otherwise he would have quickly taught that puppy more respectful behavior, and so had no need to spray mark his territory.

A few friends have had to medicate spraying cats. Buspirone is an oral medication, Feliway a pheromone released from a plug-in diffuser. Time for a veterinary visit.

Well, the pup IS a pit-bull. I don’t want her getting hurt…

  • I joke. She’s a mixed breed pointer x farm dog only slightly taller than the cat. The cat himself is a fighter and regularly fights with me for his entertainment.

I have a friendly vet, I’ll give him a call. I didn’t think to medicate him

Here is Cecil on cat spray. I remember this because the question is from some college friends of mine.

Are you or any other member of your family engaging in…ahem…male enhancement?

Testosterone creams come out of you the same way it goes in; through the skin.

This is why the pharm companies advise no contact with your children, as the testosterone could cause premature puberty.

You pet your cat, and it gets a jolt of territory-marking juice.:dubious:

I am trying to fix this too. First thing is to get him checked for a UTI, although I will agree that it is most likely behavioral and is stress related to the dog. One of our 4 cats started peeing, and oddly he is the least stressed (turn the vacuum on… and he just sits there). It might’ve started after we got the last one, but she is harmless in every way. He does get tackled by the dachshund but that didn’t start the problem (he is the largest cat by far and the least effective at warding this off). The difference is that yours sounds like a “vertical spraying” problem so you might look into that.

Feliway is a brand name, but becoming generic like Kleenex. There are many brands. There is the plug in that you put in a common are or near the problem. There is stuff that you also spray right on the problem.
Nature’s Miracle or other brand enzymatic cleaner to get the smell out. You may want to toss things if he gets it on the curtains or a rug or something. I add white vinegar to the wash.
Don’t get too aggressive in scolding, he won’t know why you are and stress further.

Haha, no, not at all.

I’ve obtained some generic Feliway stuff and applied it to the curtain; my wife and I have agreed to try to pay a lot more attention to the cat (although I’m not sure if this is wise, he’s clever and might well work out spraying == loving)

Thanks for the suggestions.

Moderator Action

Since this is more of an advice question than a factual question, let’s move this over to IMHO.

Moving thread from General Questions to In My Humble Opinion.