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Neutered male spraying/spayed female growling

post #1 of 3
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My neutered male is spraying on our drapes and on personal items, such as papers, book bags, etc. It's driving my husband and I crazy! We rescued him about 6 months ago. He had been outside for at least a month. His owners were never found, so we kept him. He is a stand offish sort of cat. Somewhat affectionate(rubbing, etc.), but on his own terms.

At the time, we had 2 other cats, one neutered male and one spayed female. Since then, the older male needed to be put to sleep, leaving the younger neutered male and 3 yr. old spayed female. I think the absence of the older male cat has been the catalyst for our current cat problems.

When the older male was in the house, all the cats got along well. Now the female growls and snorts at the male all the time, which is disconcerting and disruptive. I think it's making him feel stress and react using territorial behavior(spraying in different areas).

I have now moved one litter box upstairs in a quiet, mostly unused room to try to give him some peace at least when he's going to the bathroom. Hopefully this helps.

I was thinking about setting up the room with a baby gate that would separate the two cats, since the female won't/can't jump over a baby gate. Do you think this might at least solve the growling/agression problem?

I've also been thinking about giving the female herbal cat relaxants available at a health co-op. A friend of mine has used them with some success with her female cat. Any warnings/testimonials?

post #2 of 3
It sounds to me as if she is trying to re establish roles in the house. She is hissing at him and in turn he is marking everything with his scent. I would try seperating them for ahwile. While they are seperated I would make sure and neutralize the urine smell and start using the product called feliway. When you let them meet again try to make them smell the same...(there is a thread somewhere here about this). I think it was Gaye who said to rub vanilla on both of them. Try letting them meet again and this time you will be armed with the feliway and they will smell the same.
post #3 of 3
Your plan is a good one. Please note that as long as your cat can smell his old spray, he will likely continue to mark those spots. Therefore, get a flourescent black light and use it to find old spray spots (it will glow). Treat every spot with an enzymatic cleaner. A normal household cleaner will not remove the smell (even though you may not be able to smell it).

It may be good to give the male an herbal treatment (in addition to the female), since they both seem to be responding with anxiety and stress. I have used Rescue Remedy with success. I mix 2 to 4 drops in about a teaspoon of canned food, though you can put it directly in the cat's mouth if your cats will put up with that. You can also put the Rescue Remedy in their drinking water, though I don't know what the correct amounts would be for that.

Does he spray in the same spot each time?

Good luck!
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