Not many things can be more frustrating for cat owners than a nasty spraying habit. If your unfixed female cat has developed a penchant for speckling your home with damp patches, you just might be able to halt -- or at least minimize -- the behavior by getting her spayed.
Urine spraying is not a behavior that is exclusive to territorial male cats. When a female cat reaches full sexual maturity around roughly 6 months in age, urine spraying often becomes a big part of her heat cycle. Queens spray in order to essentially notify tomcats of their breeding availability -- almost a feline version of a classifieds ad. By "leaving her mark," a female cat makes sure that no one misses her -- she's ready to mate.
Spaying is a surgical procedure that removes a kitty's ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus, preventing her from falling pregnant and giving birth to litters of kittens. Apart from controlling feline overpopulation, one major benefit of the surgery is that it will stop your little one from experiencing the frustrating headache of her heat cycle every few weeks. If she doesn't go into heat, it is unlikely that she'll feel the need to spray -- thus likely reducing your messy clean-up duties, hurrah!
Spaying your fluff ball will likely prevent her from urinating everywhere, and at the very least, it will greatly decrease the pesky behavior. However, in some cases, certain cats may retain the behavior out of habit, especially if they are fixed at an older age. If you get your cutie fixed while she's still a kitten -- think around 5 months -- you likely will stop her from ever beginning hormonally-charged behavior patterns and undesirable habits. If your pet is still a kitten, speak to her veterinarian about the safest possible time frame for her surgery.
Hormones aren't the sole culprit behind female cat spraying behaviors, and as a result, spaying can't fix everything. For example, if your cat is avoiding her litter box in favor of your den sofa, it may simply be because she isn't comfortable with the lack of privacy of her tray location. It also could be because she feels uncomfortable in her box -- perhaps it's too tight in there, or her scented litter is way too overwhelming on her wee nose.
Urination problems also could be related to stress and anxiety, whether as a result of a big lifestyle change or major household fighting. Cats are more in-tune with emotions than you may think, so never underestimate your pet. Felines tend to act up when they're stressed out, often by relieving themselves in inappropriate places.
Lastly, potty problems also are sometimes associated with medical issues. Don't assume that your cat is misbehaving until you take her to the veterinarian to get help. Her urinating everywhere could actually be something that is absolutely not in her control, whether she is dealing with a urinary tract infection, urine crystals or bladder blockage. If health issues are the culprit, spaying your cat will likely not help the problem.
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.