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why do cats spray?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I haven't got a cat yet, but was wondering about cats that like to spray in the house,Ive heard about tom cats doing this, even neutered ones, why do they do it?

does the chance of spraying increase or decrease if they are house cats or outdoor cats?

Im curious because i would prefer to get a male cat, as i think they're more playful, and im not quite sure yet if he will be allowed to go out the front door or just in the apartment and on the roof garden.

Im worried about his safety outdoors, because there are too many dogs in my neighbourhood, and only roads and streets, its not really a fun neighbourhood for cats.

I would appreciate any advice at all,

post #2 of 9
Spraying comes from unneutered males. It marks their territory. I have 2 neutered males. I have never had a problem with either spraying in my house.
post #3 of 9
First, I would say if you're worried about your future kitty's safety outside where you live, I'd make him/her a house cat. Cats can be very happy indoors only, and (at least in my area), it's much safer for them.

And about spraying... I've read that female cats can also spray, although unneutered males are the biggest offenders. I have a male cat also... he was neutered at 6 months of age, and I've had no problems with any spraying. So if you want a male kitty, go for it! - just make sure you get him neutered before he matures. Having him fixed will also stop his tendency to roam and look for female cats in heat.
post #4 of 9
That you are doing research before getting a kitty of your own! You should first cat proof your house. Any small breakable nick-nacks should be removed from tables, counters, or fireplace mantles. All curtain/blind cords should be placed out of reach. Electrical cords should be sprayed with bitter apple or placed inside a rubber tube to keep them from being chewed. Get a scratching post that is tall to help them maintain their claws and stretch out their back muscles. Interactive toys are a must for excersizing the kitty. Never declaw your baby as this will cause many problems in the future.
This is a great place to ask questions and find products for your future cat!
post #5 of 9
Both males and females can spray. They can spray if they are ill, or they spray to mark their territory. Spraying intensifies in the spring because of kitten season. Fertile females spray the leaves of bushes, the scent carries and the males (intact toms) follow the scent go to the bush and sprays over the females scent, then he goes looking for the owner of that scent.

When cats get stressed, they can spray, or when they get frightened they can spray. If you neuter a cat in life at a late date and the male or female has already performed the act of mating, they can be sprayers as well. If you cat sprays, he/she will spray indoors or out it doesn't really matter.

There is a wonderful product called the Feliway Comfort Zone that is a plug in which releases pheromones into your home and calms down anxious cats.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for answering my questions !

Ive got a question though, whats bitter apple ? can i buy it easily, we do have quite a few wires on the floor !

And about the scratching post can i get one that you hang from the door? or shalll i get one that attaches to the wall? or maybe both ?

My poor husband will die when he sees my shopping list ! ill just say, well its cheaper than having a baby, so stop complaining ! lol

Also, will the kitty know how to use the scratching post on its own, or do they have to be trained ?

Thanks a lot !
post #7 of 9
Bitter Apple spray is a well, spray that you can put on things your kitty should not be chewing on... wires, plants, anything really. I bought some because of Spike's tendancy of chewing on my computer wires, but then went and bought wire loom (it's this plastic tubing that you can put over wires), and that helped more than the bitter apple spray.

As for a scratching post, you want something where your kitty can both scratch and stretch... and some cats like vertical scratching posts, and others like horizontal. You might have to experiment.

As far as training to scratch at the post... my Spike ignores his sisal scratching board he has... but he has a large cat tree which is mainly carpet covered, and he loves to stretch and scratch on that. I didn't really "train" him to do it... he just climbed up the day I brought it home, and took it from there. There are also corrugated (sp?) cardboard things (the Turbo Track has one in the center) that some cats like to scratch at. If your kitty doesn't seem interested in what you want him to scratch, you might want to try putting his post near whatever he is scratching, to try to get him to scratch that instead. And positive reinforcing him with treats or pets (if he likes them) when he does scratch at the post, will help too.

Hope that's some help.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Yes that does help a lot thanks !

Ive seen those carpet covered cat trees, they look great, a bit expensive ! but then they look really fun for the kitty !

marvelous advice thanks so much !

post #9 of 9
I am 18 weeks pregnant and recently moved my clothes and my neutered cat into my boyfriend's home for a trial run. After a week of hidding, Mr Mortimer (the cat age 10) decided to spray over all my boyfriend's clothes and his side of the bed. We were both evicted the following day (after I managed to find the darn thing after he went missing (also a first)). I was using feliway and making the cat as welcome as possible. Does anyone have any ideas how we can all live in harmony?
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