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Male Kitten..Neutering and Potential for Future Spraying

July 26th, 2008, 06:07 PM
Hello once

Thank you all for your kitten advice down below for my aunt. It has been very helpful and the kitten is doing well.

However, we have a secondary issue. A male has now wandered into my aunt's yard. Same age, etc. so we are assuming it is a litter mate. My aunt doesn't want another cat and we are considering keeping him.

Here is my only issue...future spraying potential. We currently have one outdoor male that we fixed up nicely with a heated house, etc. because he came to us older and does spray. So he isn't an inside cat.

We have 3 others indoor/outdoor cats. One is also a male of about 10 years of age. He does not spray. The other two cats are is the male's mother and the other is a 8 month old female. We did have another young male of a year and a half that never sprayed. Unfortunately he passed away of an incurable illness not too long ago. He didn't every spray either but maybe we just lucked out with him. We found him abandoned at the side of the highway when he was about 6 months old and had him neutered right away.

What are your thoughts on neutering and spraying? Is there any truth to the rumor that if you have them neutered young enough they won't spray? We just heard of laser spay as our 8 month old was done that way and before 2 months of age. Is there something like that for males that will help stave off the chance to start spraying? I'd hate to take the little guy and then have to deal with a problem.


Thanks so much for all the great advice.

July 26th, 2008, 06:14 PM
All non-show cats should be spayed/neutered regardless of a spraying issue.

Cat's that are neutered at a young age almost never spray. That's why it's better to spay/neuter younger so they don't learn to spray. If you fix the boy cat you are speaking of right away, there is almost no chance of him spraying in the future.

Any type of surgical neutering, laser or non laser, will prevent I'd say 99.9% of the time future spraying when done in kittens under 4-6 months of age. I see cats come and go from various shelters (I'm a volunteer at one) and only know of one male cat that is neutered and continues to spray.. and he's been returned to the shelter more then once because of this issue.

July 26th, 2008, 06:22 PM
All non-show cats should be spayed/neutered regardless of a spraying issue.

We always spay or neuter our cats...depending on when they show up. Most of our cats all my life have been rescues and we've had very few kittens. That's why I'm a bit lost when it comes to them. We've had one mom cat deliver kittens and rescued another at about 8 weeks. This is the first time in many years that we've had any so young.:cat:

**I have a big question. If we have an outdoor male who did start to spray, obviously before neutering and as a result will not stop, (he is now about 5 years old), could a young cat who was neutered young enough, possibly "learn" from the sprayer? As I said we have another male, who goes in and out, is aware of the sprayer..obviously, and never has sprayed. However, this non-sprayer was here first and was approximately 5 years of age when we had the spraying male show up on our acreage in the middle of the winter. So the non-sprayer was probably already set in his ways. Or maybe not??? What do you think of having a young kitten, neutered, the comes in contact with other cat spray on things outside or sees the sprayer doing it????

July 26th, 2008, 06:25 PM
It's possible that fixing them early, before they are fully mature, may affect spraying (make it less likely). I think once they start, castration may or may not affect the habit. The important thing is the dynamic in your house, in my opinion. I have many males, all ex-strays, most of whom were fixed at at least a year old. Some sprayed before they were fixed and after the operation stopped completely. I had a bit if an outbreak this winter :frustrated:, probably due to overcrowding, but the problem has now gone away.
Hard to predict but given the new guy's age and that you plan to have him fixed as soon as the vet will do it, highly unlikely.
If you integrate them slowly and everybody finds his place in the pecking order without too much drama, I wouldn't worry.

July 26th, 2008, 06:26 PM
I have one male who continues to spray after being fixed at six months. It's not a guarantee. However, there are options for stopping/helping the spraying issues.
I am including a site that is very interesting reading. Hopefully it will give you some insight. I will inclued it here as well.

Spraying Problems Can Be Solved!
Spraying behaviors are not difficult to solve once the reason for the behavior has been identified, the stressful stimulus addressed or if possible, removed, and the soiled areas treated. Dr. Wayne Hunthausen, director of Animal Behavior Consultations, offers some helpful advice in his article entitled, "Feline Housesoiling: A Guide to Diagnosis and Treatment".

The Causes of Urine Spraying

"Too many cats in the home, tension among the resident pets, or visiting cats can all trigger spraying behavior. Environmental stress--such as moving into a new home--may also lead to a spraying problem. Anxiety caused by changes in work schedules, absences from home, spending less time with the pet, or inappropriate punishment may also cause a cat to spray in the home. When gathering information about the problem, close attention should be given to anything that might elicit a territorial response or make the pet anxious. Sometimes the stimuli for spraying are obvious. Other times, the provocation might not be as apparent, such as when the scent of another cat is brought into the home on a visitor's clothing."

Conditions that might cause a cat to spray urine:
Cats visiting in the yard
New pet or new family member
Problems with a member of the household
Problems with another pet
Moving or remodeling
Treatment for controlling marking problems involves reducing the cat's exposure to the stimuli that trigger marking and altering the cat's response. The cat's opportunity to see outdoor cats should be curtailed by closing drapes, modifying window sills, and moving furniture near windows where the pet perches. All evidence of urine odor should be cleaned from around doors and windows, indoors and outdoors...If tension between cats in the household is contributing to the problem, that issue should be addressed or the pets should be confined to separate areas in the home. In households with a large number of cats, the problem may not stop unless the number of cats is reduced.

To prevent spraying problems from starting in the first place all cats in the household should be spayed or neutered before the age of six months. After spraying has begun, castration is still effective in stopping this behavior in 90% of male cats and 95% of female cats, regardless of age or experience.

A new approach to the treatment of spraying problems is the use of Feliway, an environmental spray that consists of a synthetic chemical that mimics the scent found in the gland near the lips of cats (the facial pheromones). It is available through veterinary clinics and sells for about $20 a bottle. Feliway is sprayed directly on spots that have been previously sprayed by the cat and washed with water. (If the spot is on upholstery, it will have to be cleaned with a strong enzymatic cleaner and a piece of fabric sprayed with Feliway can be placed on top of it). When the cat returns to the area to freshen up his mark, he sniffs the Feliway and gets the message that this spot has already been marked facially. When the directions for the use of this product have been carefully followed, it has proven to be very effective in reducing and eliminating the motivation for spraying.

If all else fails...a drug that has also been recently introduced for use in cats, Prozac, has been used with success in spraying cases involving territorial stress due to competition between cats in the home. Discuss this option with your veterinarian.


Spraying behaviors can be an indication of various health problems. This possibility should be ruled out by a thorough examination by the veterinarian before a behavior modification is initiated.
Although spraying is generally thought to be motivated by territorial anxiety, it can be also be caused by other types of stress, such as stress created by a poor litterbox situation (e.g., dirty box, scented litter, bad location). The issue of proper litterbox maintenance should always be addressed when dealing with a spraying problem.

July 26th, 2008, 06:40 PM
..if he is neutered early enough?

July 26th, 2008, 06:47 PM
There is no guarantees of not spraying, however chances are better if they are neutered young because spraying after maturity may just because of a learned trait. My advice, neuter, bring him in and smother him with love.:lovestruck::cloud9:

July 26th, 2008, 06:48 PM
I think what we are trying to say is there is no complete guarantee he will not spray in the future. The earlier he is fixed the less possibility there is that he will. However, the article I included also says, and it true, that they may spray at other times... sickness, stress, etc.
As the article also states, Feliway is helpful. You could also try making him strictly an indoor cat. Much healthier for him anyway. :thumbs up

July 26th, 2008, 07:04 PM
Being only an indoor cat isn't possible unfortunately. All the others are free to go out and it'd be, I think harder on the cat to be the only one locked in. We have a large lakeside acreage with other animals and as as a family spend lots of time outside as well, year round. (I have a cat who will ride on my snowshoes! Makes for a very weird Our animals rarely come in contact with others..we've had 4 strays show up here in 15 years..three we "adopted" and all at various ages. All but a couple of our cats have lived to be very old. I could see living indoors if there were city dangers..or even coyote issues. Fortunately our dogs, who love their cats keep any potential predators, far away. :dog:

We have feliway as we had an older cat in the past who began having "issues". She also was hyperthyroid and any time her levels would change, requiring medication adjustment, she'd pee or defecate somewhere she wasn't supposed to. The feliway wasn't helpful at all with her but maybe it prevented the others from mimicking her behavior. I used it religiously for a year just in case, so it may have had benefits of which I was unaware. We have kept the product onhand both in spray and in plug-in form, in case it works for any problems in the future. I know many people swear by it.

I was hoping that current research might have shown something different than I remember about male cats, spraying/neutering, but I guess it's still unchanged. We'd love to take this kitten and will have to come to a decision as a family about the spray risk. Cross your fingers for us, and of course for him.

Thank you all again. :cat::pawprint::dog:
(Wish I had a horse icon to add! ((-:)