How Long Do Male Cats Take to Start Spraying?

Black cat spraying at garden

Spraying is the annoying behavior seen in cats when they start urinating outside their litter box to mark their territory. It’s often accompanied by meowing and other feline noises, but not always. If your cat has recently developed this unfortunate habit, keep reading as we discuss the reasons behind it and the age at which it typically starts, which is around 6 months old. We’ll also provide solutions to help you address this issue.

When Do Male Cats Start Spraying?

Most male cats begin spraying when they reach sexual maturity, which occurs at about 6-7 months after reaching puberty around 4-6 months old.

The Three Reasons Cats Spray

1. Sexual Maturity

The primary reason cats spray is because they have reached sexual maturity and want to signal their availability for mating to other cats. Indoor cats in heat can create a mess in your home, as it usually involves more than just urinating. Continuous howling and scratching at furniture and drapes are also common.

What Can You Do About It?

The best way to prevent your cat from spraying due to sexual maturity is to have it spayed or neutered. The ideal time for this procedure varies, but most veterinarians recommend doing it at 4-6 months of age. By this time, your cat is usually settled in its home and will have a smoother recovery. However, some people choose to wait until after their cat’s first heat cycle, which typically occurs at around 6 to 8 weeks of age.

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Cat Pee Spray
Image Credit: Helen Liam, Shutterstock

2. Territory Marking

Cats are territorial animals and may use urine to mark their territory, similar to dogs. This behavior is more likely to occur when other cats enter their yard or when a new cat is introduced to the household. Male cats are particularly prone to this behavior.

What Can You Do About It?

Cats typically mark their territory in the corners of their yard, especially when other male cats are approaching. You may be able to discourage other male cats from visiting by placing citrus peels around the perimeter, as most cats dislike the scent and will move elsewhere.

3. Anxiety

Anxiety is another common reason why cats spray in the home. Cats may experience anxiety when a new cat is introduced, especially if it is a second male cat. Loud noises, such as yelling or heavy traffic, can also upset cats if they persist over time. Signs of anxiety include dilated pupils and excessive grooming.

What Can You Do About It?

If you suspect that your cat is anxious due to the presence of a new cat, we recommend keeping the cats separated initially. You can gradually reintroduce them and allow them to adjust to each other’s company at their own pace. While some cats may never get along completely, the goal is to minimize stress and prevent continuous fighting or spraying.

Using pheromone diffusers can also be helpful. These diffusers release calming pheromones that can alleviate territorial anxiety. Keep in mind that it may take up to a month to see the full effects of these diffusers.

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A big norwegian forest cat male marking its territory
Image Credit: Elisa Putti, Shutterstock

Important Information to Consider

To combat your cat’s spraying behavior, the first step is to eliminate the scent of their urine from the marked surfaces. The most effective way to completely remove the odor is by using enzymatic cleaners specifically designed to dissolve uric acid crystals. These cleaners break down organic molecules, completely eliminating any odor and stains.

If you’re looking for an all-in-one enzyme cleaner, we highly recommend the Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray. It permanently removes even the most stubborn stains and odors, making clean-up a breeze. Plus, it comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee! You can order a bottle today!

At Pet Keen, we have long admired Hepper’s products and recently acquired a controlling ownership interest in the company to benefit from their exceptional offerings!

Are There Benefits to Getting My Cat Spayed or Neutered?

Image Credit: Simon Kadula, Shutterstock

Spaying or neutering your cat offers several benefits. Female cats will no longer go into heat after being desexed, reducing their chances of spraying and exhibiting erratic behavior. Additionally, spaying or neutering can make your cat more sociable and stable. However, if spraying behavior becomes ingrained before the procedure, some cats may continue to spray. In such cases, you may need to employ alternative methods, including enzymatic cleaners and pheromone diffusers, to address the issue.

For more information, check out our article: Do All Cats Spray? Is It Normal? What You Need to Know!

Featured Image Credit: Anlomaja, Shutterstock

The 5 Ws and H are questions whose answers are considered basic in information gathering or problem solving. will best answer all your questions

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