Male Cat Spraying: Why They Do it and Ways to Tackle it

Male cats are known to spray to claim territory, but there are other reasons they do it. Learn about them


Spraying is the squirting of a urine-like substance on carpet, rugs, draperies, and furniture by your cat. No owner likes it, especially since the substance is typically quite foul in odor and persists through just about any cleaning substance known to humans. No matter how much or how little your pet squirts throughout your house, the stench will remain and your furniture or draperies may be stained forever.

Cats spray mainly out of frustration or anxiety, but they have also been known to spray when they’re interested in sexual behavior. Many cats spray to mark their territory. If they’re in a new place or an unfamiliar place, they want to claim their ground. They want to let any other creature that comes into the place that they are in charge, and they do that by marking the location and leaving their stench.

If a cat is spraying as part of sexual behavior, you can control it through castration. Sometimes cats will spray as part of a mating call, trying to attract a cat of the opposite sex. If your cat hasn’t been spayed or neutered, you should consider doing this. But keep in mind this may not remedy the problem completely. If your cat has sprayed prior to being spayed or neutered, it may continue doing so--but at a reduced level--even after castration. It will then be done out of habit.

If you think your cat may ever experience anxiety through being left alone in a house or being introduced to a new location, you may want to handle these stressful situations as gradually as possible. You want to make these transitions as easy as possible for your pets. If you can do this gradually, you reduce the chances that your pet will spray.

Spraying is something that may in large part be able to be fixed. You want to discourage spraying. Be sure to let your pet understand that such behavior is unacceptable and that doing such behavior results in negative consequences. But you need to keep in mind that once a cat starts spraying, it’s difficult to fully reverse the behavior. If it becomes a habit, it’s something that your pet may always do. The best thing you can do in this case is trying to find the best cleaners to get rid of the stench and try your best to reverse the behavior.