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Thread: Question about cats spraying indoors

  1. #1
    Super Member Naturalmama's Avatar
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    As many of you are, we are animal lovers (well, mainly me, but I have a terrific dh that lets me do "what I have to do" :wink:). We often put food out, especially during the winter for strays. Shelter too. The two cats we have currently were ones that had wandered on to our property. Even for the ones that we can't bring in, they get taken to the vet to get neutered/spayed - I just can't handle the thought of more strays being born here. Ok, enough background.

    A number of weeks ago a sweet gray tail-less kitty wandered to our yard. She seemed too well taken care of to be a total stray, but she hung around a lot. Spent most nights here too. My dh caught the neighbor one day and asked her if she knew anything about her - and it was hers. The (as we found out) spayed manx-mix had begun spraying indoors - the vet told her to put her down or put her outside because she wouldn't stop. So there she is. And it's getting colder! The sweetheart lets me cover her up at night (I bet she'd be a snuggler under the covers!) in her box. I worry about how she'll be when it really gets cold. Funny thing though - one of our cats has been watching her - they've seen each other though the basement window - wouldn't you think she'd spray the window, the porch or something if she liked to spray? I know our neighbor loves cats, so I don't think she'd do this if it wasn't a last resort, but I feel so bad for this cat!

    Well, after this essay, I guess I'm just wondering if you've had any experience with female spayed cats spraying indoors - can they ever be broken of this?

  2. #2
    Super Member SaraSewing's Avatar
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    The only cat I know of that was "naughty" was surely mentally ill, from a good home etc. Usually spraying comes from stress or environment that kitty isn't happy about. Knowing me, I'd try her inside. But then, I'm known as a softie and baby my kitties.

  3. #3
    Super Member Quiltforme's Avatar
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    I have had many many female cats and have never had one spray. I am sure they can be broken. I wonder if it was more of a "Personal" issue than cat issue. I am not sure why vet would have her put down if all she was doing was spraying you wouldn't put a make down. Poor kitty glad she has you to take care of her!

  4. #4
    Super Member Naturalmama's Avatar
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    I actually looked up online about how stress can induce it - and they do have a little one in the house - but then we do too, so not sure that would make a difference.

  5. #5
    Super Member Quiltforme's Avatar
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    Found this does she have more than one cat?

    Do only male cats spray?

    No, all cats, male or female, neutered or not, may spray, however, urine marking is most common in un-neutered male cats. It is not usual for female cats to spray, but it can happen if she is in heat and leaving her scent to attract a male cat. It can also be a problem when there is overcrowding of cats in a household.

  6. #6
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    it could be worth a trip to a GOOD vet sometimes it is a bladder problem that can be fixed, if not it is very hard to break them of the habit, you could refine her to the laundry with a litter box and teach her to use it, but it would take perseverence. sometimes they just spray because they are not happy, my sugestion would be bring her inside and see what happens, you can always use a spay bottle with water and a little bit of vinigar to squirt her if she does it in the wronge place, also clean any messes with vinigar as they don't like the smell.
    good luck with it,

  7. #7
    Super Member SaraSewing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by litacats
    it could be worth a trip to a GOOD vet sometimes it is a bladder problem that can be fixed, if not it is very hard to break them of the habit, you could refine her to the laundry with a litter box and teach her to use it, but it would take perseverence. sometimes they just spray because they are not happy, my sugestion would be bring her inside and see what happens, you can always use a spay bottle with water and a little bit of vinigar to squirt her if she does it in the wronge place, also clean any messes with vinigar as they don't like the smell.
    good luck with it,
    yes, a UTI could cause spaying. My vet had me give kitty a glucosamine condrointin (spelling?) each day to help sooth the lining of the bladder. That was for irritation, and bloody urine. But as lots of us ladies know, it hurts to pee sometimes, and maybe kitty spays to 'let somebody know'

  8. #8
    Super Member plainjane's Avatar
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    I've only thought that males spray. My cats (male or female, past and present) would get "the works" as soon as the vet says is possible. That way the males wouldn't have know about the need to spray. I find it hard to believe a vet would suggest putting down a cat for spraying-adopt it out. Bottom line, I'm at a loss about a female spraying. I'm a sucker for cuteness and I'd have that kitty in my house AFTER flea treatment and a good worming. If it was being seen by a good vet, they should know about the bladder problems and treat accordingly.

  9. #9
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    I have never had a female spray, however, she could be just doing it because the previously "marked" area is not cleaned properly. Cats have far better noses than people and they will return to a previously marked spot if there is a skerrick of odour left. Also if her previous owner had a baby, she may have felt "displaced" and then started to stress. Some people get a bit manic about babies and cats, so maybe she just didn't feel happy there. Let us know how it goes.

  10. #10
    Super Member Naturalmama's Avatar
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    Thanks everybody. I did wonder about which vet said that. I kinda have opinions about certain vets here. I was wondering if she could've had a bladder problem as well.
    I guess we'll see what happens.... wish she wasn't such a sweetheart!

  11. #11
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    I had a female cat do this - took her to the vet - he said she was mad about something and until we could figure it out she would continue - she was a single cat - no other pets and no young kids in the house- I didn't have time to deal with a cat who had "issues" so out she went - I just couldn't take it anymore - Don't hate me - but she was destroying the house

  12. #12
    Senior Member mamahippychicky's Avatar
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    Our beautiful female cat sprayed - alot! She was of a very nervous nature and did not like people very much, though she loved me and dh.

    White vinegar and water is the best thing to clean up any messes they make.

    Our vet recommended something called 'feliway' to help prevent it and kinda calm her down. It worked really well, when we could afford it.

    Good luck

  13. #13
    Senior Member mrsjdt's Avatar
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    Sorry to say I have had your experience. Only one female ever gave us grief..and we tried for 2 years to break the habit...and eventually helped her across rainbow bridge. There was no medical problem and we were not overcrowded and nothing had changed in the house (that we were aware of).Euthanasia is sometimes the greatest gift you can give a pet---an indoor cat, declawed, cannot survive outside. And, should you give her away, and she sprays at her new home, would they beat her? As for neutered males, "done" early, never knowing they need to spray---that also is not entirely true...that is an instinct. Sometimes, a male cat "just becomes a dominant male" and will spray "anything"--curtains, windows, chairs, walls, shoes, peoples legs---just seeing another cat out of a window...that happened to my Gucci. Unfortuantely, he also was escorted, in my arms, across the Bridge. I have a wonderful, experienced Vet...he made the suggestion after several visits with no medical problems and being "sprayed while we talked"; with an explanation...and we chose to "try" for years. I know we did what was right. Everyone has their own thoughts, and experiences...I've taken in a stray in the past 2 years, locked him in the spare bathroom, Jack used the bathtub at first---but he now is a great housecat...it "can" be done..it took more than a month. Choices---it's all about choices I guess

  14. #14
    Super Member plainjane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrsjdt
    Sorry to say I have had your experience. Only one female ever gave us grief..and we tried for 2 years to break the habit...and eventually helped her across rainbow bridge. There was no medical problem and we were not overcrowded and nothing had changed in the house (that we were aware of).Euthanasia is sometimes the greatest gift you can give a pet---an indoor cat, declawed, cannot survive outside. And, should you give her away, and she sprays at her new home, would they beat her? As for neutered males, "done" early, never knowing they need to spray---that also is not entirely true...that is an instinct. Sometimes, a male cat "just becomes a dominant male" and will spray "anything"--curtains, windows, chairs, walls, shoes, peoples legs---just seeing another cat out of a window...that happened to my Gucci. Unfortuantely, he also was escorted, in my arms, across the Bridge. I have a wonderful, experienced Vet...he made the suggestion after several visits with no medical problems and being "sprayed while we talked"; with an explanation...and we chose to "try" for years. I know we did what was right. Everyone has their own thoughts, and experiences...I've taken in a stray in the past 2 years, locked him in the spare bathroom, Jack used the bathtub at first---but he now is a great housecat...it "can" be done..it took more than a month. Choices---it's all about choices I guess
    I don't think I could handle the messy side. I have never been in this position and I can't say I would do any different than you. I have had an older cat put to sleep because I thought it would be kinder than to keep on with a sickly life. We cried like babies. I guess we all have our breaking points and one can't make the others decisions-just as varied as our quilts-all beautiful! I'm just a sucker for that cute cat!

  15. #15
    Super Member janedee's Avatar
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    neutered/spayed cats will spray if there is a medical problem or environment issues sometimes the environment ones arn't clear to us humans - I would have no faith in a vet that said the animal should be put down just for this, patience and perserverance will win.

  16. #16
    Super Member Qbee's Avatar
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    I had a female cat that did this and it was in fact from a bladder infection. When it first started, we thought it was behavioral because she did it ALL OVER the house...not in the same spot but later when the stains were tinted red I knew something was wrong. Unfortunately, after she had sprayed all over the house, she would go back to those spots sometimes even after the UTI was gone. As far as "why" they do it..simple. The vet said that when she would go in the box, it would hurt, so she tried some place new....then some place new, etc. Bottom line, take her to the vet right away just to be on the safe side. Good luck!

  17. #17
    Super Member Ditter43's Avatar
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    The problem could be associated with her lack of a tail. Some tailless cats have poor bathroom habits - a defect sometimes associated with the lack of tail: the muscles at the base of the tail are also involved in controlling the rectum, possibly the bladder as well. If this is the case, the cat just can't help it. :-(

  18. #18
    Super Member Murphy's Avatar
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    Yes, they can be broken. My female sprayed on a piece of carpet and would't stop. Once I removed that piece she never did it again; go figure. Keep her warm and love her and bless you for caring.

  19. #19
    Super Member misseva's Avatar
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    we have an office cat her name is mama cat. she keeps the mice away. she has sprayed twice that i know of and both times it was on the son of one of our employees (on his backpack while waiting on the school bus). go figure. she has been spayed.

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    I had that happen quite recently. I got in late about 3 days ago and sat down, pulled my lap robe over me and laid back to rest.
    Fredrica, the white Persian does not like to be held, but she insists on sleeping beside me in bed, as does Koko the half Siamese male. Before I went to sleep with Koko on my lap I noticed Freddy staring at me wide eyed from the top of the sofa. She did not look happy. I fell asleep and didn't wake up till morning. Went to the bathroom and she followed me and sprayed the side of the tub like a male. Stared at me all the time and then ran.
    I'm going to have to love her a lot to get her into a good mood. Had her for about 3 years and never happened before.
    Cats are strange people.

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    I'm told that Pet Smart has something that will neutralize the odor of cat urine, which might work to keep her from going back to the same spot.

  22. #22
    Super Member SaraSewing's Avatar
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    You can find the urine easier by using a black light (at night). It glows green. That is helpful if you smell something but can't locate where it is. Be sure you DON'T clean with ammonia!!

  23. #23
    Senior Member Twilliebee's Avatar
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    Great suggestions here. I'd try her inside in case it's stress related, but any females I've ever had with a 'peeing outside the box' problem have had urinary tract issues. If you can catch early on, it's may be reasonably easy to control with diet, lots of fresh water/wet food, and scrupulous litter box cleaning. Good luck and I'm so grateful and uplifted to be reminded that there are so many caring people like you!

  24. #24
    Lyn
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    Most of these suggestions are good. I would have her checked by a vet for a UTI. Clean the litter box every day. Cats can't handle dirty litter boxes. I have a female that likes to pee on bathroom rugs and dirty clothes. All bathrooms have the rugs hanging on the shower door and no clothes on the floor. (makes for a semi tidy house). Also make sure the litter box has easy access. Might even want to put two boxes on seperate floors or rooms. I have 8 indoor cats and so far so good.

  25. #25
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    I've had the same problem with both females and males. I was never able to "cure" mine...I just had them stay in the laundry room or garage at night when I couldn't keep an eye on them. They still got away with a couple of times spraying...but I always found it :roll:, cleaned it up as best as I could. The offenders have now passed on due to old age and I'm planning on new carpet.

    Try the little sweetie after you have her vet checked. Maybe it won't be a problem at your house. Good luck.

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