Why Is Your Cat Spraying?

picture of 2 cats asleep together

In the cat behavior world, cat spraying is different to normal cat urination. The result is the same as far as you're concerned, but Kitty's reasons for each are different. More on this below.

But, first things first. How do you know if your cat is spraying or just peeing? Luckily, it's quite easy to figure out, even if he never pees in your presence.



Is Your Cat Spraying Or Peeing?

cat peeing If you can catch Kitty in the act of peeing, look at the position he's in. If he's squatting down, with his butt close to the floor, like the kitty here, he's just having a pee. If, on the other hand, he's stood up with all his legs straight, tail upright and straight but wiggling slightly at the base, he's spraying.


If you can't catch him red-pawed, the shape of the wet patch will tell you whether he was spraying or not. A straightforward pee will be a round puddle. A spray will either be a long wet trail if launched across the floor, or will be trickling down whichever vertical object (e.g. wall, sofa) he aimed and fired at.

Un-neutered tom cats spray the most, as they are very territorial. Their urine also has a very distinctive smell. The smell of neutered cat urine isn't nice, but the un-neutered variety seriously stinks.

Female cats spray less than males. They tend to do it when they're on the pull. Hey, you might think it pongs, but it's her own unique brand of perfume, thank you very much, and the boys love it.

In a nutshell, as far as Kitty is concerned, a pee is a pee. A spray is a statement.

Neutering And Spaying Reduce Cat Spraying!

big tom cat

Cat spraying is basically associated with sexual behavior in both male and female cats. Therefore, having your cat neutered or spayed (where the sexual hormone producing bits are removed) will not only dampen Kitty's sexual urges. It will also reduce his or her desire to spray.

There are a number of marked differences in male cat behavior after neutering. Click here for further information.


Cats don't usually start spraying until their sexual urges kick in at about 8 months old. If you get your kitten neutered or spayed before they start spraying, there's a very good chance they will never spray. Your vet will advise you of the best age for your kitty to have his or her op.


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