Neutered Cat Still Sprays

by Betty
(Canada)

We rescued Dexter three years ago after his owners stopped feeding him and letting him inside. He was over a year old and pretty beat up, so we took him home, got him neutered and all cleaned up. But I think because he had been neutered so late, and had been surviving in the outdoors, he had picked up the habit of spraying/marking, and never got out of it.


He was into the vet for urine tests and other check-up stuff after a few months of the spraying, and everything was clear there, the vet said it was definitely behavioral and not medical. I keep an eye on him as well, and it is definitely spraying and not urinating. He also seems to like to pee while I am cleaning the litter box, and he is not straining, and his pee looks normal, so I am certain nothing has developed since then. The vet tried him on an anti-anxiety pill for a few months, and this didn't help. Since then, over the past two years, we've tried him on Feliway, as well as another type of pheromone diffuser, and an anti-anxiety collar. None of these seemed to make much of a difference.

We clean the areas he is spraying with Nature's Miracle, and we have a blue light thing to help us find any spots we may have missed.

The trigger seems to be ANYTHING happening outside. He is indoors only and shows no desire to go outside, but he likes looking out the window. but if a cat walks by, or bird are irritating him, or etc etc, he gets stressed out and sprays. When I'm home to catch it, he gets aggravated for a bit, meowing and pacing, before he sprays.

Other than this, he is a completely happy cat. We have four cats and they are all buddies. He grooms with the other cats, cuddles them, plays with them, etc, etc. He gets tons of love. They eat Orijen dry, Nature’s Variety instinct wet twice a day. Litterbox is cleaned every day. He has lots of fun toys and a gigantic cat tree. He sleeps with his tummy up a lot and sits on my lap for cuddles. He is a fabulous sweet cat, but he sprays at least weekly, and sometimes multiple times daily.

Is there anything I am missing? What should I do?

Reply
Hi
after reading your question I can say that i think this behavior is territorial. Even neutered or spayed cats will still spray to mark territory if they feel threatened of anxious about their territory.

it very much sound to me like even though your cat seems to be happy with your other cats it is in his nature to be a very territorial and dominant character who is anxious about living in such close proximity with other cats.

His behavior is completely normal. Some cats are better at living indoors only, some cats are better at living with other cats. And even when things appear to be fine, their personal instinct is still very strong.

I know you say he does not show any desire to go outside but I am wondering if some time outside would give him a larger territory and this may help to calm him down.

if you are not happy with letting roam free there are enclosure options of various sizes which may be a solution for you.

Apart from that it sounds like you have tried everything else to try and calm him down. I'm afraid there is not a lot more you can do to prevent this.
best wishes kate

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