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Want to adopt cat... will he spray??

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
My husband and I recently lost our baby Hunter and decided to adopt a pair of kittens. When we went to the shelter, only one kitten appealed to us and was available, so we took her home. Her name is Lizzy (after Elizabeth Bennet), she is 2 months old and 2.2 lbs, all black with a white spot on the chest. She is not yet spayed because she was considered too small but will be as soon as she gets a little bigger.

While we were there, my husband fell in love with another cat (to be named Mr. Darcy). He is an absolute sweetheart! He is 2 years old and all gray. He was a stray though and was picked up from the street (yesterday). That is part of what my husband likes about him - he is very muscular and energetic!

The problem is that Mr. Darcy is not neutered. If we adopt him, the shelter will neuter him before we take him home.

But we are incredibly concerned that he will spray, because he was not neutered until he was an adult, and because there will be a (very young) female cat in the house. We didn't get to introduce them specifically but he was great with a couple of other kittens we considered. We probably would not be able to spay her for at least a week or two after he came home. Also, our former cat passed away recently and some of his scent might still be around - he had some episodes of incontinence in his last few days with us. We cleaned as best as we could, but still....

If he sprays, that would be a huge problem for us. We have a very good relationship with our landlord, who is not a big fan of pets (he allowed an exception for us since we are relatives of former long term tenants) and we don't want to screw it up. We also don't want to have to take Mr. Darcy back to the shelter because we are already in love with him and it is a kill shelter...

What do you guys think? Is this a recipe for disaster? Should we bring Mr. Darcy home? He is available for adoption on Monday so we have the weekend to think about it...

(Photo of Lizzy!)
LL
post #2 of 27
and welcome to TCS!
Here's my opinion, and some may disagree. It is a very good possibility that he would spray, he is mature, unknown history, and spay/neuter doesn't have immediate results. It takes time for the hormones to change and balance. Young tom cats are often very friendly, and sometimes can become aggressive and territorial once they feel more comfortable.
You have just adopted a very young kitten, 8 weeks old is extremely young. She is going to need a lot of love, guidance, and attention. I don't know that a 2 year old recently neutered tom will make the best match.
I also humbly admit I'm glad I'm not in your position, this isn't an easy decision to make

By the way, she is adorable!
post #3 of 27
Unfortunately, there are no guarantees. A long time ago, I had an adult male neutered, and we never had a problem with spraying, but I know this isn't always the case. It's too bad no statistics are available!

I wonder whether any breeders on the board have experience in this area. Surely some of them have found new homes for neutered adult males who have been "retired" from their breeding programs? There are also plenty of members who have taken in strays and ferals; they may have some insights to share.

Good luck to you, whatever you decide to do, and my condolences for the loss of your Hunter.
post #4 of 27
Sorry you lost Hunter

Kittens can be spayed at 2lbs, so she should be ready soon.

Also, both males and females can spray so there's no guarantees either way.

Over here, when stud boys are desexed they are given a shot of 'girly' hormones to help curb the spraying behaviour. It usually works. I don't know if they do that in the US though.
It takes up to 2 months for their hormones to settle properly and for them to not be fertile any more.

With the possible old pee odours, you need to get a black light to help find any spots you may have missed and use an enzyme cleaner so there are no traces left.
post #5 of 27
Sorry to hear you lost Hunter.

It's unlikely that Lizzy will go into heat for another two or three months, maybe longer, so I don't think her being as yet unspayed is much of a consideration. Old traces of urine would be, though, so you definitely should follow missymotus' advice about the black light and enzyme cleaner.

Our last cat was an 8-year-old male feral when we took him in, and we didn't manage to get him castrated for quite a while, yet never had a problem with him spraying indoors (he was allowed to roam outside). Our current cat has been with us since he was 10 weeks old, was neutered at six months, and sprays outdoors (he goes out on a leash). For a short time we had a problem with him spraying a cellar window from inside in reaction to a neighbor's neutered male spraying it from the outside. In other words, it's difficult to predict whether you'd have a problem, but I personally wouldn't automatically assume that you would.
post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone! You all confirmed what I think I already knew... we are going to look for another kitten of similar age to be Lizzy's sibling.

In case anyone is interested in a beautiful, loving, tom-cat, he is at the NYC ACC in Brooklyn and his name is Mookie.
post #7 of 27
There is never a guarantee that a cat will or will not spray, regardless of their sex or the age that you adopted them.

I pulled a 10 year old unneutered male from the streets, had him neutered, and he never once sprayed. He was so battle worn that I knew he lived most, if not all of his life on the streets. Same with an 18 month old feral, and 3, 2 year old ferals. On the other hand, I adopted young kittens who turned out to be sprayers.

Don't pass up Mr. Darcy for fear of spraying. You can have that problem with any animal you adopt, and frankly, if you adopt him and he does turn out to be a sprayer, that is what this site is all about - to help with behavioral problems like that.

If you have fallen for Mr. Darcy, and more importantly, if you feel that he's fallen for you, adopt him. In this economy, adult cats have a very slim chance of being adopted these days, and he is in a high kill shelter.
post #8 of 27
From my own personal experiance I had a male cat who wasnt neutered till he was two years old and I have no problems with him spraying. I actually never had a problem with him spraying until I made the appt for him to be neutered and even still after cleaning the spots with an enzyme cleaner and shampooing the carpet no problems with him respraying anything. I really do believe that the neutering will stop him spraying all together. There is the possibility that if he does have territory issues that he could possibly mark in your house to show his dominence and show the kitten where his territory is. Its a possibility and like anything in life there is no guarentee. But hopefully fingers crossed he wont mark or spray once neutered.
post #9 of 27
AS others have said, there are no guarantees with any cat when it comes to spraying. That being said, kittens usually get adopted while older cats can linger in shelters, especially during kitten season. I think it is wonderful that you are willing to give Mr. Darcy another chance. Just take time to introduce them and take it slow. I took in a 2 year old stray who was not neutered. I had him neutered and never had any problems with him spraying at all. Every cat is different, love and patience go a long way. Best of luck to you in whatever you decide, and personally, I am pulling for Mr. Darcy!!
post #10 of 27
I too hope you will take Mr Darcy. If you don't get rid of Hunter's urine smells Lizzy is just as likely to use those spots as a male cat would.

As has already been said, you need a black light and an enzyme cleaner to remove all traces of urine in the home. Even if you can't smell it, cats will. The black light will show any spots.

I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved Hunter. Please do let us know what happens. Lizzy is a darling!
post #11 of 27
Sugar Ray was a male tom cat. I know he was at least over a year when he came wandering up my driveway with his face bleeding from a abcess from fighting. 5 months later I took him to be neutered and he never, ever sprayed in my house.

We adopted Kody when he was about 2 1/2 years old. He was a retired bengal stud. I think he was neutered about 2 months before we got him. He has never sprayed either.

A friend of mine also adopted a retired bengal stud and has never had any problems. He was neutered about 2 weeks before she brought him home.

I have myself read all about male cats that were not neutered young spraying. If I had read them before I had either of my two, I would have been very hesitant to adopt either of them. Thank God, I never knew that, because Sugar Ray truly blessed my life for the 8 years I was allowed to have him with me (he died from heart disease in 2008)......And now Kody is our gift and delights us everyday.

Maybe I have just been lucky, but I would have to give it a chance.

Anne
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
There is never a guarantee that a cat will or will not spray, regardless of their sex or the age that you adopted them.

I pulled a 10 year old unneutered male from the streets, had him neutered, and he never once sprayed. He was so battle worn that I knew he lived most, if not all of his life on the streets. Same with an 18 month old feral, and 3, 2 year old ferals. On the other hand, I adopted young kittens who turned out to be sprayers.

Don't pass up Mr. Darcy for fear of spraying. You can have that problem with any animal you adopt, and frankly, if you adopt him and he does turn out to be a sprayer, that is what this site is all about - to help with behavioral problems like that.

If you have fallen for Mr. Darcy, and more importantly, if you feel that he's fallen for you, adopt him. In this economy, adult cats have a very slim chance of being adopted these days, and he is in a high kill shelter.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3CatsN1Dog View Post
From my own personal experiance I had a male cat who wasnt neutered till he was two years old and I have no problems with him spraying.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KRZ View Post
AS others have said, there are no guarantees with any cat when it comes to spraying. That being said, kittens usually get adopted while older cats can linger in shelters, especially during kitten season. I think it is wonderful that you are willing to give Mr. Darcy another chance. Just take time to introduce them and take it slow. I took in a 2 year old stray who was not neutered. I had him neutered and never had any problems with him spraying at all. Every cat is different, love and patience go a long way. Best of luck to you in whatever you decide, and personally, I am pulling for Mr. Darcy!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by otto View Post
I too hope you will take Mr Darcy. If you don't get rid of Hunter's urine smells Lizzy is just as likely to use those spots as a male cat would.

As has already been said, you need a black light and an enzyme cleaner to remove all traces of urine in the home. Even if you can't smell it, cats will. The black light will show any spots.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kody's Mom View Post
Sugar Ray was a male tom cat. I know he was at least over a year when he came wandering up my driveway with his face bleeding from a abcess from fighting. 5 months later I took him to be neutered and he never, ever sprayed in my house.

We adopted Kody when he was about 2 1/2 years old. He was a retired bengal stud. I think he was neutered about 2 months before we got him. He has never sprayed either.

A friend of mine also adopted a retired bengal stud and has never had any problems. He was neutered about 2 weeks before she brought him home.

I have myself read all about male cats that were not neutered young spraying. If I had read them before I had either of my two, I would have been very hesitant to adopt either of them. Thank God, I never knew that, because Sugar Ray truly blessed my life for the 8 years I was allowed to have him with me (he died from heart disease in 2008)......And now Kody is our gift and delights us everyday.


Please don't pass up Mr. Darcy because of something he might do.

The majority of members replying to this thread have not experienced any problems with full grown cats spraying after being neutered. And to reiterate the point, female cats can spray too. Your best bet is to make sure all old urine spots are thoroughly cleaned and deodorized - NokOut is a cleaner often mentioned as being very effective.

I agree wholeheartedly with the others that if you've already fallen in love with this handsome gray boy, please adopt him. He's not only competing with other full grown cats to find a home, but also unfortunately, with kittens who are the first choice for so many people. Add to that the sad fact that adoptions are way down because of the economy. He's in a kill shelter. The odds are stacked against him.

The great advantage of adopting a full grown kitty is that you see their fully formed personality - with kittens, it's unknown how they will turn out.

As others have said, there are no guarantees - not with Lizzy, either. Behavior and health problems can and do occur, as they do with human kids.
But as someone's already pointed out, that's why we're here at TCS - to help each other.

I'm very sorry about Hunter's loss. And I commend you on saving adorable Lizzy's life by adopting her. I'm hoping you'll still consider making Mr. Darcy part of the family too.
post #13 of 27
I can only advise you to follow what you feel in your heart. There are no guarantees in any aspect of life.

I rescued a 2 yr old female and a 4 yr old male feral cats. Their home (a ditch) was undergoing construction and if animal control got them it would be a death sentence. They were spay/neutered and brought into my home. They don't spray and they had never seen a litter box.

The chances that he will NOT SPRAY are greater than he will.

I am so sorry about Hunter. You are wonderful to give a safe life to cats in need. Wishing you the best future full of furry love.
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by KTLynn View Post


Please don't pass up Mr. Darcy because of something he might do.

I'm very sorry about Hunter's loss. And I commend you on saving adorable Lizzy's life by adopting her. I'm hoping you'll still consider making Mr. Darcy part of the family too.

I agree, please consider Mr. Darcy as a part of your family.
post #15 of 27
It is a hard to say what he will do.
My sister adopted a male last year and he was a kitten and he has to go.
He is spraying and my sister has tried everything.
He was fixed at 3 months of age and he still does it.
My brothers males spray also and there is no reason for it.
My sister has a male that is my Cocos son and he never sprayed except when he has crystals.
It depends on the cat.
post #16 of 27
I agree with most of the other posters. I think you should give Mr. Darcy a chance.. He may not spray.

A few years ago, my bfs cousin moved in with us and brought his un-neutered indoor male cat to live with us. Smokey soon became an indoor/outdoor cat, still un-neutered. He never ever sprayed inside or around the outside of our house. I am not sure if he sprayed at all while outside.. But just because he is male, and not neutered, does not mean he will spray. I think that is a common misconception with male cats, is that if they are not neutered that they will most definately spray. Its not true.

If you don't give him a chance, it is likely he will be passed up by others because he is grown and most people want kittens.
post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mews2much View Post
It is a hard to say what he will do.
My sister adopted a male last year and he was a kitten and he has to go.
What do you mean "he has to go?" What do they plan to do with him? What have they tried?

I apologize for pulling this off topic, but that comment upset me so much. You don't just dump a cat because he has a problem. You figure out what the problem is and solve it. No one else is going to want a cat that sprays either. He is their responsibility. What's his fate if they get rid of him?

Again, I am sorry for the OT.
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by otto View Post
What do you mean "he has to go?" What do they plan to do with him? What have they tried?

I apologize for pulling this off topic, but that comment upset me so much. You don't just dump a cat because he has a problem. You figure out what the problem is and solve it. No one else is going to want a cat that sprays either. He is their responsibility. What's his fate if they get rid of him?

Again, I am sorry for the OT.

You're not the only one who was disturbed by that. I'm also wondering what that means.

Getting back to the OT, as just about everyone has said, there are no guarantees with any cat. There's no guarantee that Lizzy won't start pooping outside the box tomorrow, shred the furniture or develop some other behavior or health problem (heaven forbid). Aside from catastrophic illness, though, just about everything can be dealt with and resolved. If you live life worried about "what if" you'll never do anything.

Chances are very good that Mr. Darcy, who sounds like a wonderful cat (he's even "great with kittens" ) , would be perfectly fine and have no such problem. I hope he gets the chance to prove it.
post #19 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thank you to everyone for your advice! We are still thinking about it, and taking everything into consideration. My husband is leaning against him though, because he thinks that another kitten will be a better companion for Lizzy. I think I agree, but it is a tough decision...

Given what a sweatheart that cat was, we aren't too concerned that he will get left behind - he will probably react as positively to someone else as he did with us and find a forever home.
post #20 of 27
I can only speak from my experience. Sebastian was over a year old when he came in from the cold to live with me. I had him neutered. He never once sprayed. He lived to be 14.

I adopted Daphne as a kitten when Seb as 12 years old. He taught her to be a cat but with so much patience He played with her and loved her. When I lived with my mom and her 12 cats, Seb got along with them all.

Personally, I would take a chance on your guy. It sounds like you were made for each other. I don't believe he will spray
post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mews2much View Post
[color=magenta]My sister adopted a male last year and he was a kitten and he has to go.
He is spraying and my sister has tried everything.
He was fixed at 3 months of age and he still does it.
That IS alarming....especially since the only way for a spraying cat to "go" would be to have him killed (I think we forget, because having him "put to sleep" sounds so peaceful, that it IS simply having the cat killed....which may be necessary sometimes, but should not be taken lightly).

Have they looked into hormonal treatments? I hear many of them are very effective. How about other medications? Some anti-depressants are quite effective. I hardly think killing the cat would be preferable to medicating him.
post #22 of 27
She said she found someone to take him that knows what he does.
He has been doing this for at least 8-10 months.
What I mean by have to go is she can not have him in her place.
My sister would never have a cat pts for spraying.
In fact I hate when people do stuff like that and have told people off.
I do not know why any one would get that idea.
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by dashalovesyou View Post
Given what a sweatheart that cat was, we aren't too concerned that he will get left behind - he will probably react as positively to someone else as he did with us and find a forever home.
Wish I could be as optimistic as you about that. The fact is that thousands of wonderful cats, just like Mr. Darcy, are PTS every year simply because there are too many of them. And most of them are adult cats because so many potential adopters don't even make it past the kitten cages.
post #24 of 27
Twenty years ago I had two kittens - brother and sister - and I SWORE after dealing with absolute madness 24/7 that I would never, ever have two kittens together again. There was so much energy flying around I don't know how they didn't explode. I loved them dearly, but two at a time was just too much.

Ironically, even though they were both spayed and neutered very young, Orfie began to spray when we moved out of the apartment into our house. He was 4 years old.

So... my point is, two kittens at a time aren't always the best thing, and they can still grow up to spray, no matter how young you got them.

Please go adopt the two-year-old kitty!
post #25 of 27
Thread Starter 
Mr. Darcy is no longer at the shelter! Since he is not available for adoption yet, that means he had an owner and was picked up!

Solves our problem and his problem!
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by dashalovesyou View Post
Mr. Darcy is no longer at the shelter! Since he is not available for adoption yet, that means he had an owner and was picked up!

Solves our problem and his problem!
That is excellent news!

As you can probably tell by many of our comments, we were rooting for Mr. Darcy!
post #27 of 27
I sure hope that is what it means. And I hope his owners take precautions to keep him indoors. I was really hoping he would go to a great home.
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