Did you know that one of the most common reasons why domesticated male cats get neutered is because of spraying behavior?
Getting a new kitten can be a thrilling experience but, as you take your new kitty home, there are a lot of things you need to consider like whether or not you should neuter your kitten. While feline overpopulation and diseases are some of the reasons you should, spraying is another.
Spraying is when a cat urinates on things—including pillows, curtains, furniture, etc.—to mark his territory.
This can often get frustrating because you need to clean up your cat’s mess after a long day at work and the smell of a cat’s urine is often quite offensive as it is.
In this blog post, I will answer the question, “Why do male cats start spraying?” in as much detail as possible.
Image Credit: Well Pet Coach
When Do Male Cats Start Spraying?
Kittens are really cute and fun.
It is an amazing experience to watch your little kitty learn to meow, walk for the first time, take their first leap and learn to use their claws. Kittens do grow up really fast. However, spraying is one behavior that affects many cat owners.
On an average, male kittens start spraying when they reach sexual maturity—this typically happens when they’re around 6 months in age and, people usually get their kitties neutered around that age.
In some cases, male cats can even start to spray before 6 months with some starting in month 4 or 5. But, there is no set way for you to tell how early a kitten will start spraying until it actually happens.
So, you’ll need to be on guard as your cat grows older.
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However, there is a useful trick that can warn you of when he might start. The trick to tell when your male kitten might start spraying is by monitoring his behavior.
So, if your male cat starts meowing and yowling constantly, then the chances are he’s trying to attract a mate. If he won’t stay still and keeps running around and going outside, then the chances are he could be getting ready to spray.
If all that meowing and calling doesn’t attract a mate, then he’ll go to stage 2, which is, spraying.
Now you know when your male kitten will start to spray, what about females?
Female Kittens and Spraying
Did you know that about 5% of female cats ever spray?
This, in itself, should tell you how unlikely it is for a female kitten is to start spraying— especially if they are only a few months old. A female cat would start spraying at the age of 6 months, the same as a male kitten.
But, do keep in mind that there’s a really high chance that your female kitty will never end up spraying anyway.
What if they do?
Spaying or neutering your kitten is an option, but it’s not pleasant for anyone.
How to Stop Your Male Cat From Spraying
In this section of the blog, we will go through a few tips that can help you stop your male cat from spraying.
Take a look.
Don’t Punish Your Cats
You should never punish your kitty if he sprays. If you rub noses in the urine, yell, or hit them, they’ll get more stressed and it may even result in an escalation of the behavior. Your cat isn’t being bad, he just has a good reason for marking. Instead, identify the causes for the behavior and address them.
Change Your Cat’s Mental Connections
Change your cat’s association with the targeted areas after the areas have been cleaned with the enzyme cleaner. Try to do activities she enjoys such as playing, petting and clicker training on the areas. Placing toys and scratchers near them will also change how she relates to the sprayed spots.
Use Synthetic Pheromones
You can also try to use synthetic pheromones around the marked areas as they can help calm and relax your cat.
You should try and keep your cat temporarily out of the rooms that are being sprayed.
If your kitty is spraying a family member’s belongings you should encourage the person to play with, feed, and interact with the cat every day.
Newly adopted kitties need to be separated from your resident felines and gradually introduced. It might take a month or longer to introduce them to each other with a minimum of stress.
Address Inter-cat Issues
If there are any intercat issues, you should first increase the resources to help in reducing the competition in multicat households.
Provide your cats with more vertical territory, hiding places, scratchers, and toys throughout the house. You may also have to add feeding stations and place them a distance from each other.
Ensure that there are enough clean litter boxes — one per cat, plus one.
You should also separate warring cats from each other and reintroduce them gradually and they will stop the marking.
Use an Enzyme Cleaner
You should clean the marked areas thoroughly using an effective enzyme cleaner. It might take a couple of applications until the smell is eliminated.
Discourage Neighborhood Cats
Keep neighborhood cats off your property by placing safe deterrents around the outside your home. You should also block your kitty’s view by covering windows.
After the cats stop visiting, uncover the windows.
Spay and Neuter
All adult cats can spray. However, the chances of their marking are greatly reduced by spaying and neutering.
Help your cat feel more secure and less anxious by doing activities she enjoys every day, such as playing, treasure hunts and clicker training.
Final Words: When Do Male Cats Start Spraying?
Male cats start spraying around the age of 6 months—this is the time when they reach sexual maturity.
In most cases, getting the cat neutered will help with the spraying situation. However, in some cases, even the neutering the kitty doesn’t work so, you need to look at alternatives and behavior changes.
Have questions? Leave them in the comments.