Preventing Cat Marking Through Neutering

Cat marking is an instinctual behavior that helps cats communicate and mark their territory. Neutering is one of the most efficient solutions to stop your male cat from spraying.

Neutering to Lessen or Prevent Spraying

If you want to prevent your kitten from cat marking, neutering is recommended.

If your cat is already spraying, and this behavior is due to hormonal urges to signal other cats that he is ready to mate or to delimit his territory, this spraying can be avoided through neutering. However, there are other causes that lead to cat marking including changes in the cat's life, stress or health issues. In these cases, neutering will not stop the spraying behavior. Make sure to identify the real reason why your cat is spraying.

Optimal Neutering Time

In order to prevent cat marking, you can neuter your kitten when he is 6 to 8 months old, before he reaches sexual maturity. This is the optimal age for neutering because the spraying starts when a cat reaches sexual maturity. However, if you have a mature cat, you can neuter him and the spraying behavior should stop.

The Neutering Procedure

The neutering is the procedure of testicle removal. The process is also known as castration. Small incisions will be made on the cat's scrotum. The cat is sedated and won't feel any pain during the surgery.

As soon as the testicles are removed, the cat no longer produces sexual hormones and usually the cat marking stops. Neutering is an out-patient procedure, so you will be able to take your cat home the same day. However, in some cases the cats are held overnight.

After surgery, the cat shouldn't be very active and you should stop him from licking the area to prevent complications.

If the neutering takes place before the sexual maturity of your cat, he will never start spraying. If your cat is neutered after he started spraying, the behavior should stop within 6 months after surgery, depending on each cat. Some cats stop spraying as soon as one month after the surgery. Remember that it takes at least one month for the sexual hormones to be eliminated from the system.

Less than 10% of cats continue spraying after neutering. If this happens, go to the vet; the spraying could be caused by kidney disease or other illnesses.

However, if your neutered cat is healthy and still spraying, you can try other solutions to avoid this: pheromone diffusers and plug-ins or even behavioral therapy.