To adoptthis cat or not, help?

by Megan

Hello. I have been caring for a stray cat behind my apartment building for the past few months. He is by no means feral, he's actually very affectionate and sweet. I finally thought I found him a home; a family member decided to adopt him. When he was taken to the vet to receive his shots and be neutered the vet told them that the cat was approximately a one year old male and that because he has not been neutered prior to 6 months that they run the risk of the cat potentially spraying in their house. They intended on keeping the cat as an indoor cat. The only pet they have is an older lab. They've never had a cat. Unfortunately they were unwilling to take the risk of adopting the cat because of the potential spraying issues. I already have 2 cats, a female and a male. They get on brilliantly. My question is if I were to adopt the cat and take it to first get his shots and get neutered--- is there any way to determine if the stray cat will spray or not. Can my current male cat start spraying in reaction to the stray male cat that I would bring inside? I adopted my male and female cat years ago from a shelter so Im not certain on their past history. All I know is they were both neutered/spaid when I got them. Any suggestions or comments would be so appreciated! I really want to be able to give this little guy a home but I can't risk him spraying in m apartment especially because I am a renter not a home owner.


Well I find the comment from the vet very odd indeed. Because even neutered cats both male and female will spray to mark territory if they feel threatened in any way. So the fact that he has not been neutered yet plays no part in it.
Yes neutered cats are less likely to spray because they are less territorial, so having him neutered will help reduce this effect.

However, some cats can live happily together and some cannot. Its as simple as that. It all depends on their upbringing, i.e. whether or not they are used to other cats and also their own individual personality will play a part.

Unfortunately there are no guarantees either way. Until he is neutered you will not be able to introduce him to your other cats (a few weeks should be between the operation and the introduction anyway to give the hormones time to drop and to let the cat get used to his new home) then all you can do is to take the cats through the introduction process, this takes time and effort and does not always result in a happy family but can help to reduce tensions. The method is described here

The cat may also have issues about becoming an indoor only cat after having the freedom to roam around outside. So this could be another issue. I don’t know what you had in mind but i think if you did adopt him you may have to consider letting him go outside as this will also reduce the tensions with your other cats.

I hope all works out for this little guy and yourself.

Best wishes kate

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