If the distinct scent of Eau de Tigger is becoming too much to bear, you might consider neutering the fluffy little rascal. Unaltered male cats instinctively mark their territory with pungent urine to let other cats know who is king. Neutering him should help cut down on the odor.
How Will Neutering Help?
"Fixing" your cat won't affect the strength of the odor of his urine, but it should curb his compulsion to mark his territory. If you can get your cat to stop spraying the urine odor will be greatly reduced. On average, 90 percent of male cats with a spraying habit will stop after being neutered. Male cats reach sexual maturity between the ages of 6 and 12 months, so having your kitty neutered before then should keep him from ever having the urge to spray.
Spraying After Neutering
Although cat parents would like to think neutering will cure their kitty from marking everything in sight, there is that 10 percent of cats who continue to spray even after the operation. If your cat is among those who keep spraying, take him to the vet to determine if his marking is due to a health or behavioral issue. If it is a urinary tract infection, diabetes or other illness causing Tigger to spray, the vet will give him medication to treat the problem. If your cat isn't sick the vet will help determine if your cat is stressed or is simply displaying disapproval over a change in his life, like a new housemate or brand of litter. The doctor will also be able to advise you on ways to discourage spraying by helping your cat adjust to a new pet in the household, keeping his environment stress-free or simply switching back to his old cat litter.
Other Ways to Discourage Spraying
There are other things you can do to discourage your cat from spraying. Many times just a glimpse of a strange cat will prompt a cat to begin spraying. Pet Place.com recommends covering the lower part of windows with a plastic shield that obstructs his view. If your cat family is larger than just one cat, it sometimes helps to have more than one litter box and clean them all on a regular basis. If all else fails and no underlying cause can be found for your cat's spraying behavior, talk to your vet about medication to stabilize your cat's mood and reduce his drive to mark his territory. Many times all it takes is a few weeks of treatment and the spraying problem can be solved.
Cleaning to Eliminate Odor
You'll want to clean all areas that your cat has sprayed to eliminate the odor, which can also discourage re-marking. Pet supply stores have enzyme cleaners that dissolve urine crystals and the residue. Equal parts vinegar and warm water is another solution that you can use to clean cat urine. You may get the most effective results by first cleaning the spot thoroughly with the enzymatic cleaner and following up with the diluted vinegar.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
- Doctors Book of Home Remedies for Dogs and Cats; Editors of Prevention Magazine Health Books
- Vet Info: Why is Your Cat Spraying After Neutering?
- Pet Place: Feline Urine Marking
Elle Di Jensen has been a writer and editor since 1990. She began working in the fitness industry in 1987, and her experience includes editing and publishing a workout manual. She has an extended family of pets, including special needs animals. Jensen attended Idaho and Boise State Universities. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications.