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Help - cat spraying!

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Jaffa sprayed this morning It was definitely spraying and not peeing. I didn't catch him in the act but I'm pretty sure it was him as I walked into the bedroom and saw him with his back to the wardrobe and Mosi facing him. When they moved away I noticed a small, wet patch on the carpet and then noticed that it was trickling down the wardrobe door!

Background - Jaffa is nearly 10 years old and neutered. Mosi is 16 months old and also neutered. They are both dominant cats which is the cause of the problem I think, although they do get on most of the time. There's no overt fighting - just rough play almost always instigated by Mosi, which does have a dominance angle to it but they have never hurt each other (not so much as a scratch) and neither seems particularly stressed by the other. Jaffa is fine if Mosi is standing right beside him, it's only when he's challenged that he will hiss at him or wrestle on the floor with him. And this morning he's obviously responded by spraying, which he's never done before. They are a similar size but Jaffa is a little bigger and about 1kg heavier at the moment. I think he will always be a little bit heavier than Mosi but Mosi is catching him up fast and won't be far behind when he's fully grown.

Can anyone advise on how to deal with this? I'm worried it's going to escalate and Jaffa will continue to mark his territory by spraying and, heaven forbid, Mosi will start to do the same! Mosi is a somali so he's not fully grown yet at 16 months as they mature more slowly than mixed breed cats. I think he will challenge Jaffa more and more now that he's reaching his full size.

edited to add - they have one large litter tray between them and so far that's not been a problem. Jaffa rarely covers up what he's done and often sprays the inside of the hood in the tray (or just pees standing up!) - obviously deliberately leaving his scent in the box. Would adding another box - and therefore giving him another legitimate place to mark - help?
post #2 of 9
i think trying the second box sounds like a good idea.( in fact it the only thing i could think of to try)

I have three in the house. and granted they both seem to use the same one 75% of the time.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
thanks. I'll probably try a second box in the bathroom.

I posted on another site I use and it was suggested that it was probably a one off caused by over excitement/stimulation triggering the spraying. I think things were quite heated at the time so hopefully that's the case and it's not going to be a regular occurrance.

Has anyone else had a cat do this once and then never again?
post #4 of 9
Originally Posted by urbantigers View Post
Has anyone else had a cat do this once and then never again?
Yes and no...

I saw Junior do it once, pretty much the same exact situation you described. Leopold was facing him and they were having a stare down. Leopold hissed and raised his paw ...and Junior made that mad "cat face", then sprayed.

He was 6 months old and wasn't neutered yet at the time, though. He was fixed shortly after that. He's 2 now and hasn't done it since.
post #5 of 9
i haven't had a cat do it once, then never again. raven sprays when he sees roaming cats. so he's actually gone a year since his last spray. a few years ago we lived in a crummy apartment, and a stray tom sprayed our front door. but because it was a crummy door, it didn't seal, and tomcat pee came into our apartment. ever since then, raven sprays when he sees stray cats. he was also having bouts of non-bacterial/crystal cystitis. much like interstitial cystitis during that time.

i would really recommend getting a urinalysis of your offender, just to make sure it's not medical.

a second box wouldn't hurt either. i usually just have 3 boxes out, but when we have the sitter visiting, i put out a fourth. this system works pretty well. i go by 1-box per cat usually. when raven and nabu were younger, and we just had them...we had one box. i really should have had 2 though.
post #6 of 9
I would try a 2nd litter box and space them a few feet apart if possible. Also have Jaffa checked out for UTI - sometimes they will pee/spray if having problems. With males, you don't want to wait it out - a blocked male can die very quickly.

If things check out ok, then you might have to separate them for awhile. Do either of them go outside? Has there been any new tom cats or females in heat hanging around in the neighborhood - those things can trigger a neutered cat to spray.
post #7 of 9
You have had some great suggestions from other posters. Something else I'd recommend is a Feliway Comfort Zone plug-in to ease any tension or anxiety between the cats. The plug-in emits calming 'happy' cat pheromones that are odourless to humans but great for a cat. be careful not to use any fragrance plug-ins or emitting things nearby, as they overpower the pheromones.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice. I'll definitely follow the suggestions.

Neither Jaffa nor Mosi go outside. There was a cat hanging around outside yesterday but it's one that's often outside (there are a few hang out outside) and it wasn't close to the window. When it happened this morning they weren't near any windows either. I usually have both feliway plug in and spray but have ran out and funnily enough I do usually notice a slight increase in tension between them when it runs out so I'll get those refilled as soon as I can.
post #9 of 9
Here is a thread about Feliway:


Spraying is an .... interesting behavior. Your cat is definitely telling you something (or, more precisely, telling another cat something) You have to tackle it with a whole approach. It can be a one time thing, but it can also start a chain reaction of undesired behavior.

Behavior modification is the ideal solution (Feliway, litter box solutions, 'boobie traps, deterrant sprays, enzymatic cleaners, etc...)

Meds like Fluoxetine has shown excellent results with spraying (other meds have a return to negative behavior once taken off meds, or are TOO heavy with sleepiness/appetite issues).
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