Did you know that female cats spray, just as males do?
Both male and female cats have glands in their paws, cheeks, and near their bladder that produces a smelly liquid substance. You won’t notice this smell when your cat rubs her cheeks on you, but it is definitely noticeable when they are sprayed. If you notice your cat making messes around your home, check for a pungent smell; if there isn’t one, your cat might just be urinating, not spraying. Keep in mind that spraying is different than urinating, and they should be treated as such.
If you notice your cat making messes around your home, check for a pungent smell; if there isn’t one, your cat might just be urinating, not spraying. Keep in mind that spraying is different than urinating, and they should be treated as such.
As stated above, female cats are known to spray, but not until they reach their first heat cycle around 6 months (though it can be as early as 4 months, and as late as one year). If you think your cat is in heat, look for other signs of estrus including irregular irritability, vocalization, and affectionate behavior. Being in heat is a sign of sexual maturity, meaning that they are ready to mate and breed, and your cat will spray not only to establish its territory but to also attract mates.
If you want to prevent your cat from spraying (or at least greatly reduce the chances of them spraying), it is recommended to spay your cat as early as possible.
Some cats are able to be spayed as early as 6 months old, but you should always check with your cat beforehand as the timing is particular to each cat. If your cat has already started spraying, you can still spray her but there will not be an immediate difference as it will take anywhere between a few weeks to a month for the sex hormones and its associated behaviors to taper off.
Still, there is a small chance your cat will continue to spray after being neutered. It is rare, but it still warrants a conversation with your vet as this could be an indication of another problem such as anxiety, stress, and even urinary tract infections, instead of a sexual motivation.
Some things you can try with your cat include giving them a quiet, secluded place to rest, and making sure there are sufficient toys and even a scratching post to play with when no one is around to curb boredom. If you notice your cat is spraying in one particular area, try moving their food and water to that spot as cats don’t like to spray where they eat.
In most cases, however, spaying is an effective method to stop spraying or prevent it from ever happening (if it is done early enough). Spaying is also good for your cat in other ways, including the prevention of unwanted pregnancy. Furthermore, it’s been known to prevent or greatly lower the risk of developing dangerous medical illnesses such as breast cancer, among others.