Do Female Cats Spray?

Do Female Cats Spray

You may not have ever thought that the odor that you smell could possibly be caused by your female cat, but the truth is that female cats can, and do spray. Male cats have developed a pretty bad reputation over the years for marking their territory by spraying, but female cats shouldn’t be overlooked. Typically, having your pet fixed will help to eliminate this behavior, but it isn’t always a guaranteed fix.

Marking Their Territory

There are a variety of different reasons why cats, both male and female, spray. The biggest reason why, however, is so that they can scent mark. While boy and girl cats are different in many ways, their ability to scent mark is quite similar. They have glands that can be found in their paws, cheeks, and close to their bladder. The scent is quite pungent, and you will definitely be able to notice it if it is happening in your home. Spraying, however, is different from urinating. Cats may urinate elsewhere if they find that their litter box is unappealing.

Other Causes of Spraying

Aside from being a method of marking their territory, there are other reasons why female cats may spray. Typically, it helps to set boundaries and to attract male cats. Cats that have been fixed usually have little to no desire to mate, but some of them may do it because of territorial urges. When you introduce new cats into your home, or even new furniture for that matter, it can cause your cat to become extremely territorial. Other reasons may include:

  • Frustration and stress
  • Lack of rest
  • Lack of playtime
  • Changes in diet
Urinating Cat

Preventing Spraying

Typically, there is one way that you can almost guarantee that your female cat won’t spray, and that is to get them fixed. According to statistics, about 1 in every 20 fixed female cats spray, while about half of all fixed male cats still spray. It is recommended that you take your cat to have her fixed when she is around 5 or 6 months old. This is an ideal age, and can often help you to avoid the spraying altogether. If your cat reaches their maturity around 6 months of age and starts to spray, she may not even stop after she has been fixed. You have a short window of opportunity to do it before it even becomes an issue. If your cat does tend to spray from time to time, it is important to clean it up right away so that they can see it isn’t acceptable behavior.

What to Do When Your Cat Won’t Stop Spraying

If your cat continues to spray, even after she has been fixed, it is time to remove some of the stress factors that may be bothering her. This may be the best way to fix the problem. Make sure that your cat has a quiet place to sleep, where she won’t be bothered. Ensure that she has toys, a scratching post, and things to occupy her time when she is home alone. If you notice that the marking seems to happen in a particular spot, then try putting their water and food bowls in this area to discourage the markings. If this doesn’t help, try using aluminum foil or a type of repellent that is designed to keep cats from spraying. Finally, just make sure that you reward good behaviors and let them know when their behaviors are less than acceptable.

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4 Responses

  1. My first cat sprayed all the time. I was a rookie though and had no idea it would be a good idea to get her fixed, so she used to spray a ton. She actually stopped after a few years, maybe it’s because we cleaned after she did it, or we just made sure she was well taken care of. Unless she did it in an area we had no idea about, that could have happened.

  2. My cat that I currently have, used to spray all the time. It took me a long time to figure out that she just didn’t like her litter, the litter box and location. She is extremely picky about where I put the box! Thankfully, now that I have that figured out, she doesn’t spray in her house anymore.

  3. Thanks for the great article.

    I’ll put these great cat spraying tips to work right away.

    Thanks again!

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