DogsCatsFish & AquariumsReptiles & AmphibiansRodentsRabbitsExotic PetsBirdsFarm Animals as Pets

Cat Behavior 101: What Is Causing My Cat to Spray and How Can I Fix It?

Updated on July 22, 2017

Introduction

One of the most frustrating aspects of cat ownership can be when our beloved pet turns our house into their own personal litter box. As much as we love our cats having a house that reeks of cat urine is never a good thing. Cats are only a semi-domesticated species of animal and their behavior can be complex and at times completely baffling but that doesn't mean there isn't hope. Below I will be mentioning all the common reasons why cats spray and what can be done about each situation. I will also try and advise solutions that won't break the bank as we all know pet ownership is an expensive endeavor to begin with, if a cheap option is to be found for some of these problems the cats aren't going to notice or care. They're busy playing in the box the cat tree came in anyway!

Sometimes when cats miss their litter box it can be caused by a UTI or other medical issue.
Sometimes when cats miss their litter box it can be caused by a UTI or other medical issue.

Urinary Tract Infections, Etc

Of course the first thing we want to do when we are addressing a spraying problem is to make sure the cat isn't spraying because of a medical condition. The most common medical reason a cat would suddenly start peeing in odd places would be a urinary tract infection. These are most common in older male cats but it can be a problem in cats of any sex or age. If your cat has had perfect bathroom manners for years and without any changes to its environment or life it starts peeing outside of the litterbox then this should be something to suspect. Cats with urinary tract infections often like to pee on smooth cool surfaces. This could be your bathtub, your sink, your kitchen counter, or anywhere else that is smooth and cool. If your cat appears to be straining to pee, yowling while trying to go, or gets a fever, a vet should be sought out immediately. A UTI can kill a cat if it goes on too long and a vet can give you the needed antibiotics to fix the problem. However cats who get UTI's often get them over and over again. A change in diet may be needed to prevent future issues and a keen eye will be needed to monitor your cat for future flare ups.

Feral cats need love too!
Feral cats need love too!

Bad Litterbox Training

Most cats like a clean environment and part of that is having a specified area, a litterbox, to use as a potty. With that being said cats are very individualistic creatures and some of them never get this memo. It is a fairly common problem for rescued ferals to find the idea of a litterbox a bit confusing. Even worse still these same cats can teach their kittens the same bad manners if they're allowed to run around. In this case prevention is actually much easier than retraining. If you happen to be raising a litter of kittens please consider keeping them in an appropriate cage with their mom until they are weaned. This will allow only enough space for sleeping, eating, and using the litterbox, and will hopefully ensure that they learn what the litterbox is for and won't forget! (This is not to say you can't let them out for supervised exercise from time to time!) If you happen to have an older feral who is showing this problem sometimes caging them for a few weeks resolves the issue, sometimes it doesn't, but I would try it first before doing anything dramatic.

Never underestimate the power of hormones in an unfixed cat! Many a cat owner have learned the hard way that spraying in these individuals can be a hardcore problem.
Never underestimate the power of hormones in an unfixed cat! Many a cat owner have learned the hard way that spraying in these individuals can be a hardcore problem.

Sexual Maturity & Spraying

Almost all unaltered male cats will begin to spray when they reach adulthood. It's not their fault. This is inherent in their biology and they are only doing what cats have been doing since the dawn of catdom. Males will spray, leaving a scented calling card, in case a female in heat comes into the area. It's like the cat version of setting up a dating profile! It doesn't matter there are no females in your home and may never be, a tom must live in hope! This is another one of those prevention is better situations. If you adopt a male cat that you do not intend to breed please have them neutered before they hit a year of age (and six months would be ever better!) Sometimes unaltered female cats will display this same behavior so make sure she's spayed as well. And if you find yourself with an old cat who was neutered too late you can still try to curb the behavior by washing down any marked areas really really really well. I mean clean it until there's practically a black hole left in it's spot. If the scent is no longer there they shouldn't have the need to remark it. If the scent is still there, even the tiniest bit, it won't matter if the cat is altered or intact, they likely will keep spraying on the spot. Keep in mind cats actually smell better than dogs do so the removal of carpet and the use of some pretty hefty cleaners is likely to be needed. In the meantime you may have luck spraying vinegar in the area. Most cats really don't like the smell of vinegar and may try to avoid the area. I realize vinegar in and of itself smells but this might not have to be a permanent thing.

Feral cat marking its territory.
Feral cat marking its territory.

Territorial Spraying

Just like the tomcats in the previous paragraph most cats mark something to claim their territory. This doesn't have to be about a mate, it can just be a big sign reading, "Private property, get out!" This is most often a problem when a cat who has been kept by itself for a number of years suddenly has to deal with the arrival of a new cat or kitten. Just think about that for a moment, how would you feel if you lived the good life completely alone only to one day come home to some stranger living in your house that you couldn't get rid of? Another common scenario is with a multi-cat home who adopts another cat who is, to put it lightly, a bit of a bully. At that point it doesn't matter they are used to living in a group home, the newcomer is just annoying and hostile, and who wants that?? In these situations I actually suggest finding the bully a more suitable home, it's not worth the stress to your older residents. This is not to say new cats should never be introduced, it only is to say that if you are going to do that take the cats feelings into mind and do the introductions as slowly as possible. Start off with the new cat in a cage, accessible to the resident cat or cats, and then watch their behavior. Are they hissing? Spitting? Puffing up their hair? Then leave the new cat in the cage until the resident stops doing these things. When everyone seems comfortable let the new cat out of the cage into only one room of your house. Observe reactions and move on from there, slowly, and slower if needed! Now if you are in the situation where prevention is too late there's still things you can do. Obviously furiously clean the sprayed spots, also invest in a can of FeliWay. It is a synthetic scent, completely odorless to humans, that mimics the smell of a cat's head rubbing. Cats have scented glands behind their ears and when they rub their head on things it marks it as their own territory. Obviously for us humans this is a much more socially acceptable way to mark territory. FeliWay comes in a spray which can be applied manually to problem spots (linked above) or in diffusers you plug in the wall. Diffusers are better at prevention unless you can plug them into the exact spot that has been sprayed. If you really don't have the money or prefer a more natural method you can collect your cats scent yourself on a damp washcloth by stroking it behind the ears and then transfer that scent onto the problem areas around your house with the towel. This takes time and a lot of repetition - at the very least once a day, the more the better.

Home-made high-walled litter boxes can work well for messy cats.
Home-made high-walled litter boxes can work well for messy cats.

Messy/Dumb Cats

Just as with any animal some cats can be virtual geniuses while others can leave a lot to be desired in the brains department. I had a cat once who was so dumb she'd just stare at you with a blank expression all day and you could almost hear the static running through the space between her ears. She spent her kittenhood breathing in crack fumes before being placed in a more appropriate home. Maybe it was the drugs that fried her brains or maybe she was just a moron at birth. It's impossible to say. What I can say is that every time she used the litterbox she'd literally back up until her butt was hanging over the edge and leave a nice fresh turn on the floor just outside the litterbox every time, scratching and pawing at the sand to cover up a treasure which never made it to the box to begin with. Be patient with these creatures, this is not an act of malice, they really are just numb. I found the best way to deal with this issue was to make a very high walled litter box so she couldn't hang her butt over the edge. The photo here shows a nice DIY example made from a tote.

Ginchy's a bit on the prissy side... Here she is hugging a baby bunny (which she was utterly convinced was an orphaned kitten!)
Ginchy's a bit on the prissy side... Here she is hugging a baby bunny (which she was utterly convinced was an orphaned kitten!)

Prissy Cats

Would you believe me if I said OCD is something cats sometimes suffer from too? At least in the sense of hypercleanliness. Some cats just have to have a clean litter box, period. And if they don't get what they want they'll just turn your living space into a litterbox until you get the hint. These cats usually need their box cleaned at least once daily, if not after every usage. These cats are as prissy as they come and have you wrapped around their little paws! Lucky for us self-cleaning litterboxes and toilet training do exist!

Prepare your pets for seasonal stresses like noisy parades, fireworks, and Halloween pranksters. These can be stressful events.
Prepare your pets for seasonal stresses like noisy parades, fireworks, and Halloween pranksters. These can be stressful events.

Changes in the Enviroment

Cats can get very set in their ways and changes to their environment can be very stressful to them. Things like a new dog, a new baby, sudden loud noises, or a move to a new location, can upset them greatly and they can start marking as a way to comfort themselves that they do have a territory. If at all possible prevention is best. When you bring a cat to a new home try using the FeliWay plug in diffusers to ease the transition. I am also a big fan of getting a cat used to a kennel or cage, someplace it feels safe to go to when changes in the environment are a problem. This should be set up with a comfy bed and maybe food and it can be a place you can lock them when fireworks or festivities are going on outside your door, when guests are over and you don't want them running out, where they can go to be away from a new dog or baby, or when introducing them to a new location. Comfort is key here and if your cat is relaxed he or she will be much less likely to spray.

Cats can suffer from senility just like people but it is a condition that can be prevented by making sure their brains are always stimulated.
Cats can suffer from senility just like people but it is a condition that can be prevented by making sure their brains are always stimulated.

Senility

Part of the reason people like cats so much is they are very similar to us in many ways. Sadly this doesn't just count for their intelligence and playful manners but also in the way they age. Sometimes despite our best efforts senility kicks in and our geriatric pets lose their ways along with their knowledge. It's a sad descent but if you have a cat who is getting up there in years who is suddenly going in odd places this is likely the reason why, especially if it is accompanied by other signs of senility like wandering the house at all hours yowling at nothing, or just acting bizarrely. My first cat lived to be fourteen and the last year of her life she was clearly going out of her mind. She stopped pooping in the box and for no reason started using the middle of the floor. It's a hard and heart breaking situation because there is no cure. Sometimes caging can be implemented but then it becomes a question of quality of life since the cage is not a temporary retraining measure but a permanent band aid. I can't offer much help if you are in this situation but if you happen to have younger cats please know that keeping a cats mind and body active in their young years has great preventative qualities when it comes to getting senility in their older years. An older cat who is still playing with toys and is not obese is far less likely to suffer this problem. Besides this playing with your cat, hiding their food in treat balls, and interacting with them more has to be one of the happiest remedies to any of the issues we discussed today!

This is Sophra, my precious little Bengal... She looks as if she wouldn't do anything bad - she was also my toughest sprayer!
This is Sophra, my precious little Bengal... She looks as if she wouldn't do anything bad - she was also my toughest sprayer!

Additional Information

Spraying is a big issue but it can be combated with knowledge. Today we learned that unaltered adult male cats are by far the most guilty of any of the categories. This is something to consider when adopting one but something else to consider may be breed. Some breeds have a pretty bad reputation for marking - especially hybrid breeds like Bengals and Savanahs who have wild cats in their recent family trees. This makes this very undomesticated behavior all the more likely. Even so the hybrids aren't the only breeds that are said to be problematic. Even the wistfully beautiful and very domesticated Egyptian Mau sometimes gets a reputation for this ungainly behavior and they are not the only ones! So do your research and in the end we hope you and your kitty will spend a happy lifetime together.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • VeronikaProkopetz profile image

      VeronikaProkopetz 8 years ago from Trail

      Hi Theo This is an excellent article very educational. Like you said, some cats just dumb. One of my kitty is not the brightest in a crayon box. He always walk to a different beat of the drum, even when he was a kitten. Now he is fourteen years old and suffering from temporary senility and IBD. He is skinny as a rake and his on steroid's. Sometimes he looks so confused about his litter box, he forgets where it is. I feel so bad for him. But I do love him just a same. If he wasn't around he would leave a large hole in my life. I have almost lost him twice. Each time, thanks to my Vet he was resusoitated.. I dread the time when I will have to make the decision to let him go.

    • David Fallon profile image

      David Fallon 7 years ago from Pomona, CA

      extrememly helpful! I wish I had had this article with my cat Froggy...he sprayed for years and then mysteriously he stopped one day, as if finally seem to understand how horrible we thought his behavior was lol

    • Theophanes profile image
      Author

      Theophanes 7 years ago from New England

      That's too bad! I know I wish someone else wrote this article when I was having problems (just about one of each cause. haha) Sounds like Froggy was stressed out about something and reenforcing his territory's boundries. Some cats will do this even when they see/smell a strange cat outside in the yard (through the window for indoor kitties!) Or when they hear dogs barking if they're not used to it, etc. If the stresser goes away sometime sthey stop on their own. Oh well, now you know! :)

    • angela_michelle profile image

      Angela Michelle Schultz 7 years ago from United States

      For a kitty litter box, we actually use a tub like the one you have above, but instread of cutting out a slit from the side, we cut a hole in the corner of the cover, and place the side with the hole in the corner. This reduces mess greatly!

    • profile image

      Michelle 7 years ago

      Help. I am going thru it right now. I think it started when we put a doggy door on our skidding glass door out to the screened in room. I think he saw a cat outside and started spraying in the screened in room. He started spraying in the house. 5 weeks now. We took him last week and the vet stated that he had an inflmmed bladder. I think she gave him a pain meds. We currently have him a basement room with his food on one room and kitty litter in another. We want to get the carpets cleaned before we let him out so he does not smell the urine. We also have another cat that is with him. How long do you suggest we keep him quarentend from the rest of the house? Help!!!! N

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 7 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Hi- This was a great article with all of the right answers--for most cases! ;-) To other readers of this post--yes, he is right--these things usually work!

      We just have a weird situation.

      We have a small problem with 2 of our tabby cats--one an orange male; one a gray/white/black female. (All 4 kitties are spayed/neutered). The particular orange tabby who is the culprit came to us, injured. We rescued him, had his wound treated & had him 'fixed.' The problem was, he'd been outdoors for we have no idea how long..and the vet said he was approx. 8 months old at that time (2007). So, he'd already developed "the habit."

      My problem is, Icannot use vinegar, because their favorite 'accident' spot is IN the litter box. I've caught both of them squatting appropriately, then, halfway through, raise up their butt & let fly out over the top of the box.

      It APPEARS deliberate..but, reluctant to use the vinegar, as I do not want to chase them away from litter the boxes entirely!

      We have small bathrooms, and our only option is those triangular boxes that fit the corner of the room. Sometimes, the sprayers hit the middle of the floor; more often, it is the wall, or the side of the vanity.

      This creates a lingering odor problem that is impossible to clean beyond a good soaking in the product "Urine Gone."

      Why? As the house is not new, there was already beginning to be some lifting of the linoleum, so the one box near that, the urine runs down the outside of the tub & gets down under the floor.

      On the other side, where they 'get' the wall or vanity, it is wood paneled wall (I know--who puts paneling in a bathroom, for pity sakes??!!), and the other is a woodgrain vanity sink cabinet...of course, made of that cheap composition board garbage, which, when wet, swells up. This errant pee has soaked the bottom of that cupboard, and run down the wall behind the baseboard and hence under the linoleum on that side.

      We cannot afford to tear out/replace the cabinet or floors.

      So....what to do?? I don't have space for a large tub as in your suggestion. The only sort-of solution I've had is to use packing tape to tape up a sheet of plastic tarp material behind the litter box, in the corner, and draped down into the box, buried under the litter.

      It works for a while, but soon enough starts to smell & look disgusting on its own. I have to remove it if guests are coming.

      So, mostly, I just try to spray and over-spray the Urine Gone everywhere, and let THAT soak in, hopefully helping some.

      That said, there is still an odor that you will notice upon walking in the door if you don't live here and have not grown 'accustomed to it.'

      Sigh. ---Sorry for such a long rant as a comment on your article--really meant more as a request for any other suggestions.

    • profile image

      Dj 6 years ago

      I am wanting to breed my cat but want to know how you keep a male cat in the same home without having to deal with the male cat spraying the house when the female is in heat. HOW DO BREEDERS DO IT!! You mentioned something about a cat room??

    • CASE1WORKER profile image

      CASE1WORKER 6 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM

      My cats are starting to wet- we have just started decorating- it think it is the upset and the paint smell- all the family expect me to sort it- now vet and cat psychiatrist!

    • Kris Z profile image

      Kris Z 6 years ago from New York

      Can you neuter an older female cat? I recently (like 3 days ago) rescued an older female cat, about 3 years old, can I still get her neuter?

    • Suzanne Winfield profile image

      Megan Carl - Mane Alternative 6 years ago from Utah

      Thank you for the very informative article. I have dealt with a few of these things in the past - most have been successful thru patience and love. (sometimes thru gritted teeth. lol)

    • profile image

      Lori 5 years ago

      Hi. We recently took in a cat that we arent sure of is feral or just abandoned. He will let us pet him but that is the extent. We just had him neutered but he has started spraying. I know he is under stress because he is used to being outside but we live in Michigan and winter is cold here. We wanted to give him a better life. Right now he is hiding under the bed where he has been since we brought him home from the vet. What should we do?

    • TENKAY profile image

      TENKAY 5 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you for an informative hub. I had a male siamese who was a seasonal sprayer, when the neighborhood lady-cats are in season/heat. Until he died, I was not able to solve the spraying problem. I got a female persian cat (for 3 years now) and thanks God, I have no problem with her, yet. I was able to bred her twice already. I have a big breeding cage (a former parrot cage I bought second hand) where I kept the pair for 3 to 5 days. After the male cat goes home, I let my cat stay inside the house. She goes back to the cage when she has her kittens.

    • profile image

      Jen Duncan 5 years ago

      I have an 8 yr old male cat. Who has suddenly started to mark the house. He didn't do it after our first daughter was born, didn't when we got a new female kitty, didn't do it when all of a sudden his litter mate was killed by dogs. He literally has started suddenly. we had him checked by the vet, he had a UTI, which we treated with antibiotics. But he still sprays. I am 9mo pregnant, but we have not done any furniture moving, or any huge changes. We have neighbors who just installed an invisible fence for their dogs, and the dogs go nuts any time there is a noise. I assume this could be a trigger for stress. Also, we have 2 new male cats who wonder around our driveway and at times into our back yard. I also assume this could be a stress trigger. How can I help him relax with the barking dogs, and strange cats wandering? He hates dogs! he will attack them if given the chance. How do I get my neighbors dogs and cats to cool it? LOL

    • profile image

      anonomyus 5 years ago

      Iam considering buying a male cat 2yrs old from a rescue shelter he is uneutred. So my q is if I have neutred will he spray?

    • Theophanes profile image
      Author

      Theophanes 5 years ago from New England

      Kris Z: No, you cannot neuter your new cat but you can spay her. Spaying is a good thing to do and it doesn't matter if the cat is already an adult (unless it's super old, then it's rather iffy if it should be bothered with or not but this doesn't seem to be the case with you.)

      Dj: Breeders usually have a few methods to keep their cats from doing too much damage. Many breeders cage their males so they don't have to deal with spraying. Personally, though I realize this is the easiest option for the human, I think it might not be the best for the cat. Some other breeders will dedicate one room of their house to their breeding project, keeping the male in there 100% of the time and the female in there to be bred and raise kittens, because kittens can be destructive beasties too. of course the room will get sprayed and damaged but at least it's a smaller area to clean up and maintain control over. Some breeders that only have one male sometimes just let them wander free and hope they don't start spraying. Sometimes they don't, most times they do.

      Lori: Do you want this cat to be a housecat and family pet or do you just want to take care of him? Quite frankly you can't blame a cat who has lived it's whole life outside not to understand that peeing in the house isn't OK. After all it's what he was doing when he was roaming around free. Unfortunately he was already an adult when you neutered him so the likelihood of him stopping is pretty small. Many people who take in feral cats will build shelters for them outside and feed them but not necessarily try to bring them in the house, or only do so when supervised or under extreme situations (sub zero weather for example.) At this point he's a semi-wild animal and will probably stay that way in some respects, though by all means with patience he may tame down a bit.

      Jen Duncan: I hate to say this but your cat probably is somewhat of an accidental sprayer. First he got the UTI and started peeing in appropriate places to get your attention and now the smell is there so he feels the need to keep refreshing it. My suggestion? Clean the area VERY VERY well and invest in some FeliWay which you can spray in the same spot. It should encourage him to head butt instead of spray. That being said it could also be due to stress... I think one of the best ways to deal with outside stresses like the neighbors dogs is to give him a place he feels safe. You can put a box or a cat tree or somewhere he can cuddle in a quiet dark place of the house so he can retreat there whenever he gets overwhelmed. That's the best I can do for that! Sorry I can't make your neighbor's dogs cooperate more!

    • Theophanes profile image
      Author

      Theophanes 5 years ago from New England

      DzyMsLizzy: I am not so sure your cats are marking or are just sloppy. Either way, if you can't use a covered kitty litter box my best suggestion is just to line all the target areas with cardboard, poster board, or cloth and either throw it away every time you clean the box or launder it if you chose cloth. It's not a perfect solution but it does make the mess easier to manage and the smell down a bit. Hope that helps.

    • profile image

      bumlifting 4 years ago

      My cat was fixed at 4 months and we've had him since he was a baby. He's 3 now, but all his life he's been a butt lifter. Even in a lidded tall box he'd manage to get high enough so it'd leak through and down the side. He's been switched to a regular box in the bathroom. Why?, cuz I'm toilet training him. When he first got his new spot he was peeing IN it, now.3 months later, he's decided to lift. Potty training was going great, till the lift. His box is cleaned daily, and totally scrubbed squeeky clean every week or two. No matter what he'll lift. I've even lightly pushed his bum down while he went, still didn't stop him. I'm gonna take a wild guss and say he's sloopy. Which means i can't toilet train him anymore since i don't want cat piss all over the bathroom. Odd how when in the tall boxes he lifted just the right amount to pee outside the box, once put in a regular he lifts just enough to hit the wall. Every area around his box was swiftly tarped. So am i totally SOL on getting him to stop, and quit the toilet training. Or would putting something around the box that'd make his pee splash back at him fix it?

    • Theophanes profile image
      Author

      Theophanes 4 years ago from New England

      Well it could be two things really. Is your cat fixed? Male cats will pee like this when they're marking territory. Unfortunately if he is fixed then it's just a behavior that's ingrained in his routine... I've had a few messy cats (even one that was female, UGH) and I have yet to find anything that teaches them proper toilet techniques. Sorry if that's not the answer you wanted.

    • profile image

      bumlifting 4 years ago

      "My cat was fixed at 4 months and we've had him since he was a baby".

      I guss that introduction i had written wasn't clear on wehter he was fixed or not. Sorry, i'm not very good at writing or spelling. But yes my cat is fixed. My cat was fixed at 4 months. The soonest we could get it done.

      :-/ that's kinda what i figgured. He's a messy, i'm going to continue toilet training him anyways. He was soooo close to peeing in the toilet yesterday! He understands the concept of poop and pee goes in there. He'd love watching my hubby pee and he's always had a curiosity of the toilet. He's not afraid of the flushing either, he enjoys watching his poo go down. Hopefully once he does start using the toilet he'll keep his rear down. Thanks anyways.

    • Theophanes profile image
      Author

      Theophanes 4 years ago from New England

      Well, I'll wish you the best of luck there! Sorry I couldn't be of more help.

    • profile image

      lisa jackson 4 years ago

      my male cat has been fixed , two years ago but when he comes for a cuddle he seems to get over excited and sprays , whys this?

    • Theophanes profile image
      Author

      Theophanes 4 years ago from New England

      Sounds like your cat is just quirky. I have two cats right now that drool profusely when they're happy. It's a bit gross, as I imagine would be spraying! Sounds like he just looses concentration and control in the moment. I wish I could offer advice that could help with that but I don't think there is anything you can do...

    • profile image

      Ro 4 years ago

      I have a male cat named Bubba who was left outside our 3 acre home and his Mommy just didn't dome home and he was still very tiny. Of course we took him in but we had so much trouble with him peeing on beds, in laundry baskets, my purses - you name it he pees on it. I called around trying to find him a home and this woman told me I was horrible for not having his urine and kidney's checked yet. My Vet didn't feel it was necessary but he did it any way and some of it had to be sent to Ames, IA to be tested and he was just as the vet knew - he was ok with no medical problems. They have a name for it Ideopathic something and I'd love to find him a very save outdoor farm that has a great set up for the cats and where there are no blacktops around like we have. He's neutered and front declawed but with 4 cats I had to to keep my furniture in one piece. We want to only find this cat a very good home as our grandson lives with us and he's 10 and he l loves this cat and we need to find him a new and better home for him as he and two other females live in the basement and are starting to turn wild. So we feel bad about that from time to time and bring them up and every time that boy finds a place to pee. I live in NE IA - ANYONE HAVE ANY IDEAS FOR ME?

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image

      Melissa Flagg 3 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      I have a question, :) I have two male cats that I haven't had a chance to fix yet and they have reached sexual maturity, which means if they see each other they fight like.... well... cats and dogs. We keep them separated at the moment to prevent injury and are schedule to get them fixed, but I was wondering if they will stop fighting after they lose their.... sexuality? :) I'm hoping they'll stop spraying too, I'll be cleaning the house with vinegar before they get home!

    • Theophanes profile image
      Author

      Theophanes 3 years ago from New England

      Ah well, that's a complicated question Daughter of Maat. Where the two ever living together? Or where they always separate? If they were only recently separated how long has it been?

      If the two were raised together you probably have a better shot of a happy reunion, if not then you might have a challenge ahead of you. Either way it is workable. Fix them both, give them both time to heal (1-2 weeks) and then start your reintroduction process. Now I don't know how you have them set up... maybe you have one upstairs, the other down, or perhaps one lives in a closed bedroom... doesn't really matter except it does for reintroduction because at this moment wherever the cat lives it will now consider its territory. This is important to know because now you're probably in the situation where you're introducing the second cat to the first's territory. IF you have a third space in the house neither cat has been (let's say a basement) this neutral territory might be best for this. Otherwise I highly suggest the caging method. I wrote about this before in another hub Caging Cats: When and Why it is Sometimes Necessary (scroll down to the section on introducing new cats.) In the meantime there is a product called Feliway that's great. You can buy at pet stores or feed stores. It's a spray that to humans has no scent but it encourages cats to mark their territory by head rubbing not spraying. You can also use the wet washcloth method where you rub the cats ears yourself with a wet washcloth and then rub that onto whatever marking post you want them to use. It'll transfer their scent in this way and achieves the same thing.

      Good luck!

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image

      Melissa Flagg 3 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Oh thank you! They were actually raised together, since they are brothers, and never really fought until one of them accidentally had a run in with an unfixed male cat that we were holding to take to the humane society. We recently had to renovate the room the one cat was in, so we've had to essentially use the caging method until their appointment next week. So at the moment, both cats are in the same room, but one is in the crate (a large crate, I try to be as humane as possible) while the other is out, and then we switch them.

    • Theophanes profile image
      Author

      Theophanes 3 years ago from New England

      Ah- in that case it's a security issue. The third cat must have really freaked him out. It's a good thing you kept them in the same room together though. That should make it easier on all of you. The Feliway and/or the washcloth should help a lot with security issues and making them feel safe. I do suggest keeping the cage/crate for at least a little while after they're both free together. Serves as a nice safe escape should one cat need it. :)

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image

      Melissa Flagg 3 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Awesome, thank you! It was really weird, all of a sudden the third cat went after Seth and they started fighting. We finally got them separated and put the "rescue" cat in a crate until we took him to the humane society the next day. But ever since then, Seth and his brother Osiris have taken to fighting whenever they see each other. And it started real slow, they'd start fighting once in awhile, and then we had to separate them completely because it gradually became whenever they'd see each other. Seth isn't the nicest cat in the world however. He's actually quite a jerk, but I can't help it, I love him anyway lol.

    • lilcupcake profile image

      lilcupcake 3 years ago

      I want you to know, that you may have just possibly saved my cats life. months ago she started doing exactly what you said, pooping anywhere but always peeing in the litterbox. I just thought she was being bratty because that's her personality. Lately, she's started falling off of things (such as the back of the chair) while in a dead sleep. That worried me, which lead me here. thank god.

    • profile image

      Jenny J 3 years ago

      PLEASE HELPPPP!!!! my family went away on vacation 3 days. We adopted two brother cats that are 7 years old they have levied here for almost two years and have always got along fine. One is more timid then the other one. the day we were packing for vacation the more timid cat was acting different like if i put something int the suit case he would run or jump, then left for vacay came home and the more timid ( isay more he really isn't timid he is shyer with new things on the whole he is fine) he starts to pee on everything. My other cat can't stand the sight of him and hisses and wants nothing to do with him. So i serrated them one in the house the cat that's peeing has the garage right now. my husband wants to get rid of the shyer one...i want to FIX this! i feel HELPLESS!

    • Theophanes profile image
      Author

      Theophanes 3 years ago from New England

      Well, I hope this article was of help lilcupcake. Cats rarely do things without reason. I hope you can make amends with your kitty.

      Jenny J: Sounds like your cat or cats didn't react well to you leaving for a few days. This isn't as uncommon as you might think. You'll need to scrub down the pissed-on areas really well no matter what you do. After that I strongly suggest you invest in some FeliWay and spray it near the areas he's pissed. This should help calm him. You can also try the wet wash cloth trick. Take a damp rag and rub behind the problem cat's ears and then take the rag and rub spots near where he's pissed that you won't mind him remarking through head rubbing. This will reintroduce his own scent as an owner of the territory and should ease his frazzled nerves. Sounds like your more dominant cat saw the lack of a top cat (you) and decided to try for that position! Happens sometimes... I would strongly recommend these things as well as supervised visits into the house. The longer the cat remains in the garage the worse he'll feel like he's invading on someone else's territory and the worse he'll act up. You might want to consider caging him in-house when you can't supervise him until things settle down. It may take a while. Good luck!

    • bethperry profile image

      Beth Perry 3 years ago from Tennesee

      Thanks for the lead to this Hub, Theophanes. Very interesting info and I have bookmarked it! Going to Vote Up, too.

    • profile image

      Jenny J 3 years ago

      Thank you for the insight i really appreciate your help. UPDATE...sadly my indoor cat died suddenly we can't explain it he just died gasping for air, all of our hearts are completely broken :( . Brought the other cat in to comfort my son who was absolutely distraught, even though knowing he could spray again...he did not and he has not for this whole week. its like nothing ever was wrong, now only we don't have our other baby any longer, i wondered if do you think maybe my other cat sensed something was wrong with him like he was sick and this is the reason he was spraying and they didn't get along with one another ?

    • Theophanes profile image
      Author

      Theophanes 3 years ago from New England

      Oh, I am so sorry to hear about your loss Jenny J. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, these things just happen. I don't think your cats were having problems with each other because of illness - as you didn't mention you noticed any symptoms... Generally once two cats have bonded these things don't effect their behavior towards each other - and two cats that have not bonded will have spats over territory either way. It sounds like your kitty may have just died choking on something or perhaps he had a blot clot in his lung, a brain aneurysm, or maybe he got into something he shouldn't have. Sadly, there are a lot of things that could suddenly kill a cat without prior symptoms. They don't often happen in front of their human so you might not hear people talking about it.... but I am sure some of the cats that appear healthy before disappearing might at least be partially blamed on this.If you need answers call a vet to do a necropsy. I hope you and your son can recover from this experience and maybe in the future the things you have learned here will help any future cats you may have. My thoughts will be with you.

    • profile image

      Lorna 3 years ago

      Hi pls help we live in Qatar and unfortunately there area many strays in the area. A delightful little chap adopted us about 2 months ago and is making my life hell he only messes in our beds poops and wee's he seems to be doing it deliberately and makes a point of messing in each 4 bedrooms every day. I am really fond of him as he is quite sociable and VERY affectionate

      Other strays in the area try coming in but never come up to our bedroom area. Our doors are always open and he loves going outside but insists on messing in our beds HELP

    • profile image

      Chris in the UK 2 years ago

      I have just had my 1 year old male DSH cat castrated. He has always been excellent in his toilet training. But now since he was castrated 1 week ago he is now toileting everywhere but the litter box. I have 3 cats in total: 2 neutered females who are 2 years old, and this male that is just 1 year old - i adopted him when he was a few months old. they all play and get on really well. but in this last week hes popping in the bath, all over the floor around the litter box and not in it. Can you help please? any advice as to why?

    • Theophanes profile image
      Author

      Theophanes 2 years ago from New England

      Oh, well, seeing as he was fixed so recently I would be a little concerned this might be a medical complication, not a behavioral problem. I definitely would call and ask the vet.

      If it's not medical it could be getting him fixed changed the dynamics of the household. Perhaps one of your females took the dominant position and is keeping him away from the litter box. Adding more litter boxes, cleaning the areas he's already used, and temporary caging might be helpful. It may also be the type of litter box you're using. If he's sore and your litter box has high sides he might not want to step into them.

      Good luck with him! I hope you can solve this problem.

    • Susan Guinn profile image

      Susan Guinn 2 years ago from Florida

      I really enjoyed this article. We have a bengal cat in the neighborhood that comes to my home often. She is left outside constantly, so she wanders despite my conversations with her owner. Are all bengals very solid and extremely heavy? I always pick her up and drive her back home, but she will break my back. I love her though she is extremely affectionate. This is how I got my Maine coon by the way, the two of them were raised by this owner. The owner said to me one day, you may as well keep her, she likes it your home better. I would love to have her too, but when I bring her in the house our Maine coon will attack her terribly. She is letting her know this is her territory and she has a new home. Bengals are awesome, and very beautiful. However I did not know they enjoy water? My maine coon is very smart. She eats with her paw like a fork, and she will only drink running fresh water. She takes about 7 baths a day, and has never had a flea. Great Post!

    • Theophanes profile image
      Author

      Theophanes 2 years ago from New England

      I have another article just on Bengals that might answer a few of those questions (http://hubpages.com/hub/The-Joys-and-Hazards-of-Li... But yes, they are extremely muscular cats, especially the males. They should be heavy as bricks, it's part of their wild heritage (being crossbred with Asian Leopard Cats.) Since Asian Leopard Cats eat a lot of fish in their diet they have passed on their love of water to the Bengal breed which will often splash, cavort, and even swim if you let them. The above linked article shows you how some precarious ones I got the chance to take care of learned how to flush toilets and drain water dispensers. SIGH! They are the most intelligent breed I have come across, even surpassing Siamese and re-domesticated ferals.

      Having lived in New England my entire life Maine Coons have always been popular and are nostalgic to me. They're a fun cat to be around. Some of them are real characters. Sounds like you have one of them. :)

      Happy cat keeping, I hope my answer has helped you!

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      This is a fantastic hub. I've been dealing with this issue for almost a year. My two adult male cats did it last summer, before I planned to move from my apartment. (Now I have to pay the debt for the carpet bill.) They're now doing it again, but not as much, since I've relocated the litter box and surrounded the carpet area with a carpet runner and doggie training pads and have stopped, even if I vacuumed the floor with baking soda, sprayed with Gone spray, and steam-cleaned it a few times . I believe they have an UTI. But do you have any ideas for affordable vet care?

    • profile image

      andrea 2 years ago

      Hi , can someone help please . My. Cat had kittens four days ago healthy , caught her this morning putting them in her water bowl ?????

    • Susan Guinn profile image

      Susan Guinn 2 years ago from Florida

      Andea, Wow now that is scary. I have heard of them putting their toys in the water to clean them, do you think she is doing that? Will she take them back out of the water then and lick them clean?

    • profile image

      ozzy 2 years ago

      so i take my male cat to vet to get fixed i had him form 11 wks and the vets dont fix here till their 6 months yet the vets says he already done but he still spary and acts like he isn't why this

    • profile image

      Andrea 11 months ago

      I've had my cats since they were 6 weeks old. I adopted them and they were "fixed" already when I got them. All his life (he's 5 now) my male has acted like he was spraying but nothing came out...until yesterday! He was as surprised as I was and immediately tried covering it up. Is there any way to get him to stop?

    • Cherry Raymonds profile image

      Cherry Raymonds 9 months ago

      Our cat Puffy has been driving the entire family crazy with his spraying everywhere.

      We bought de-scenting sprays and special cleaners, which he ignored and re-marked all over the house...some advice? (I refuse neuter my cat.)

      Thank you.

    • profile image

      jean komis 6 months ago

      I have six cats 3 male 3 female all fixed 1 is 16 years old the others are all

      7 years and used to everyone for the 6-7 years past. My ginger cat has suddenly started spraying always in the same places so it is easy to spot and I understand that white vinegar is the best to stop smells and clean up. He is also not as friendly to the other cats and quite a bully and attention getter he is always around me (so I am the alpha) can it be jealousy and how can I cure it short of getting rid of him? I keep 4 pans for all clean morning noon and night. What is ginger's problem?

    • profile image

      Tammy 3 months ago

      I have a male cat about 4 to 5 yrs old. He has recently started chewing his own fur and now spraying my house. He has been fixed since he was 5 months old. But what is really weird about him spraying is the places he is spraying. He has sprayed my stove and my coffee pot and my toaster and now tonite I have noticed he has sprayed my fish tank, yes my fish tank. I'm in desperate need of some information. I don't want to have to get rid of him because I love him so much. It's breaking my hearr. Could you please help me figure out if this is a medical problem or just marking his territory. And if you are anyone ever experience this to. Thank you

    • Theophanes profile image
      Author

      Theophanes 3 months ago from New England

      Tammy: Well spraying on shiny cold surfaces could mean he has a urinary tract infection... it's very common in male cats and I would definitely at least have this possibility checked out. The fur chewing on the other hand is a sign he's likely nervous about something. Have you introduced a new cat, pet, baby, or human to the household? Those are the most common reasons a cat might be upset... other things could be loud noises or other changes in the environment. Make sure he has a nice cubby to hide in if he needs to - this can just be a box with a blanket in it in a quiet place in the house. Good luck!

      Cherry: I'm sorry cats who are still intact are just going to keep spraying... There's really not much you can do there besides neuter him or keep him outside.

    Click to Rate This Article