will neutering a cat stop marking

Neutering solves most marking issues, even in cats who have been doing it for a while. However, the longer you wait, the greater the risk that marking behavior will be ingrained. Cats are creatures of habit and many react badly to even the slightest changes in their environment.

Why Do Cats Urine Mark?

Animal species with complex interpersonal communication are those that inhabit social groups in which members are mutually dependent on one another for survival. Animals with the ability to inflict serious harm on one another, such as dogs, have evolved a social mechanism called interpersonal ranking to prevent conflict. They know how to read body language to determine an animal’s intentions and respond appropriately. They are ready to take on a leadership or submissive role. However, cats have a somewhat different social structure than dogs because they do not hunt, eat, or sleep in packs.

When they’re old enough, cats take off on their own and mark certain places or territories as their own. They may have a territory with other cats, but they only use it part-time; they stay away from one another at all costs. Unlike dogs, they have not evolved a social or communication system. Socially, friendly cats typically handle conflicts between two neighbors in a way that, despite one of them backing down if he fears harm, neither of them will ever believe that they are less important than the other. Face-to-face conflicts can be dangerous for cats because they lack a mechanism for resolving them. To avoid disputes, cats communicate indirectly—they leave messages.

One of the many ways cats communicate with one another is by marking their urine Through urine marking, a cat communicates with other cats about his presence and leaves a trail of clues about what property belongs to him, how long ago he was there, and eventually, when other cats can anticipate his return. Cats have the ability to advertise when they are seeking a partner. Other cats can access all of this information through the urine. In this manner, cats seldom need to interact with one another.

Although house cats are spared the need to hunt for food or mate, they nevertheless view the world through the same lens as cats that must fend for themselves. All of their social and communication abilities come from nature. Cats have little reason to mark and probably won’t if their environment is predictable, there are no conflicts, they are spayed or neutered, and they don’t need a mate. However, they will behave like any other cat to deal with stress if they want a mate or are upset about something: they will mark their territory. Marking deters unwanted people, whoever and whatever they may be, and fosters a familiar environment that increases a cat’s sense of security.

I am finding small amounts of urine in multiple locations. What does that mean?

The majority of cats that mark indoors do so by sprinkling urine in numerous spots, but this may also be the case if you notice several tiny puddles on horizontal surfaces. Horizontal urine stains can be seen on clothing piles, windows, doorways, and recently acquired items.

When your cat consistently urinates or defecates outside of the litter box, it’s time to have your veterinarian check them out. Lab work may be needed, including a urine test. Cats that suffer from illnesses like infections, gastrointestinal disorders, or arthritis may urinate or defecate outside of their litter box.

In addition to marking, some behavioral disorders can also cause avoidance of the litter box and/or a preference for a different area for elimination. It is crucial to speak with a veterinary behaviorist for an accurate assessment and a successful treatment plan if there is no physical explanation for the behavior.

Which cats are more likely to urine mark?

Both male and female cats can mark with urine. Urine marking is most common in intact (non-neutered) male cats. When an intact male urinates, his urine will smell strongly and pungently like a “tom cat.” The odor of the urine is changed by cat vaccination or neutering, which may also lessen the cat’s incentive to spray, but roughly 10% of neutered male cats and 5% of spayed female cats will still spray. Although cats in homes with multiple cats frequently engage in spraying, cats living alone can also engage in this behavior.

FAQ

How long after neutering will cat stop marking?

Neutering is the most effective way to curb spraying in a tomcat. In one study, 77 percent of cats stopped or significantly reduced spraying within six months of being neutered. Neutered cats can spray as well. Ten percent of male cats neutered before 10 months of age will still spray as adults.

Will neutering my cat stop him from peeing on everything?

Castration or neutering changes the odor of the urine and may reduce the cat’s motivation for spraying, but approximately 10% of neutered males and 5% of spayed females will continue to spray. Cats in multiple-cat households often exhibit spraying behaviors, but cats that are housed alone may spray as well.

Does neutering stop marking?

What about neutering? Neutering may reduce the tendency to mark in some dogs but is not a guaranteed cure. Marking occurs whether in dogs that are sexually intact, neutered, or spayed. Studies have reported that neutering can reduce marking behavior by up to 80% in male dogs.