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Is my cat peeing or spraying his scent?

(14 Posts)
castlelough Thu 01-Nov-12 02:08:21

Hi, I wonder if anyone can help me?!

I have a neutered tom cat (about two years old).
This evening he sauntered over to the fridge door and in front of myself and dh he calmly began to spray the door (lifted his tail and kept shaking his tail as he sprayed). shock
Is this spraying his scent? Or is this him actually peeing?
There wasn't much of a scent from it although I DO have a cold!
This happens about once a fortnight and I don't really like leaving him in so much anymore as he does this in lots of random places (never the same place twice) ....
Is there a way of deterring this?
We used to use a litter tray, but we haven't in over a year....

cozietoesie Thu 01-Nov-12 07:32:26

That's pee-spraying I'm afraid. They pee 'high' in a spraying sort of way. They'll sometimes still do that, even if neutered, although the smell is much less pungent. (Sorry for the lousy explanation - others might be able to do it better.)

Generally means, in my experience, that they're protesting about something - say another cat around that they're having a dominance thing with (do you have another one, or is it possible that one could be getting in through the cat flap if you have one?)

I don't know of any way of deterring it other than looking at his environment, working out what he's not happy about; and trying to fix it. He may not like peeing outside (nasty wet, muddy, ground where he doesn't feel safe) so I'd put the tray back as a first try. See if he starts using it again.

PrincessSymbian Thu 01-Nov-12 07:34:58

What Cozie said. Also perhaps try some feliway diffuser. Plug in thing which provides pheromones that make cats happy.

Bilbobagginstummy Thu 01-Nov-12 07:45:58

Definitely spraying. I've seen one of mine do it - but only outside, fortunately.

castlelough Thu 01-Nov-12 10:48:16

Thanks for the quick responses!
So he is actually 'peeing' ? Or is it 'spraying' of are thru both the same thing?

Yes we have had a second cat for the last year. He is semi-feral and unneutered and he IS giving the first cat a hard time. He came into the house yesterday and has a go at the first cat. I sort of knew that was the cause. sad
Just wondered was he peeing of marking his scent, or are they one and the same thing?!

cozietoesie Thu 01-Nov-12 11:33:03

As far as I know, they're the same thing - although I know that when my (neutered) boys have done it, it doesn't smell as bad as eg my third last cat who matured rather early and got a few sprays off before he had the trip to the vet. Less hormones etc, I guess. (But others may be able to speak more authoritatively.)

As to what to do? That's real difficult. It sounds like your neutered boy just doesn't like the situation, is anxious; and is trying to make it clear that the house is his territory. (eg he's spraying inside even though (as you've stopped the litter tray) he's using outside to toilet.)

You really need to have the semi-feral cat neutered in my opinion. That's just on general principle. It will cut down on any roaming behaviour and make him calmer - and might lead to less conflict. It will certainly prevent more unwanted kittens from him at any rate.

As to whether it will stop the problems inside the house? I don't know. I think it unlikely, I have to say, now that he's got an established problem with the other cat. (Last year, my current senior boy 'took against' the lodger who was staying with us temporarily - forbye the lodger was quite the most friendly, gentlemanly and courteous neutered tom I've ever known- and started spraying for the first time. They were quarantined in different parts of the house but he still knew and didn't like it one bit.)

You could try Feliway, quarantining, creating a 'safe place' for your current neutered boy and all those good things. I'd be getting the semi-feral boy neutered in any case - and that might work. And put back the litter tray in your current neutered boy's safe place, only allowing him to use it.

Try those (and others might have suggestions) and see how it goes.

castlelough Thu 01-Nov-12 12:42:50

Thanks for all those suggestions!
Cozie I have thought of neutering the semi-feral cat, but I am a bit afraid that he would go nuts at the vets even if I DID manage to entice him into my cat basket.
He has gone from being wild and extremely fearful about a year ago --> to purring, twisting himself around our legs, jumping up onto our knees, sitting like a guard dog on the door mat outside the door all day long, fighting off foxes and curious dogs, roaring for his breakfast and dinner! We have gotten very fond of him! So I wouldn't mind having him neutered and taking him with us when we move out of this rented house and into our own house (a mile away) in 6-10 months time.

The two cats tolerate each other, but they do fight quite a bit too. I think if I keep the semi-feral OUT of the house completely that might help the situation alright....

How would the vet view being asked to neuter a possibly reactive and aggressive cat? Or would they be used to this type of thing?

cozietoesie Thu 01-Nov-12 13:17:05

I couldn't speak for the vet (although there are at least a couple who post on this forum who might give you their view) but I would have thought they'd be broadly used to that with the odd animal. (Cats tend to behave better with the vet than they do with their own household anyway - Goodness knows why. Maybe vets have an 'eye' like a good sheepdog!)

As to keeping the semi-feral out of the house? I don't know. Winter is coming on.

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 01-Nov-12 14:04:34

I wouldnt lock him out in winter, I'd get him in a box and neuter him if he's feral. We had a feral female, you can tell a feral from a stray by the scatch marks on your hands.

You could put them both on Zylkene, it's non prescription and calms them down a lot. Our cat was off his face, rolling over and just really chilled.

castlelough Thu 01-Nov-12 15:16:42

Thanks fluffy and Cozie for the suggestions.
The 'semi-feral' sleeps in a snug hayshed beside the house so has plenty of shelter/warmth. He was living there when we came to rent this house but it took daily feeding for nearly 8 months before he would even let us stroke him! He has come a long way, but is still well-capable of nasty clawing when he feels threatened...
I think I will talk to the local vet...

castlelough Thu 01-Nov-12 15:17:31

Not sure about the idea of drugging either cat tbh...

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 01-Nov-12 15:20:37

It's milk proteins purified and put into a capsule. I used to sprinkle it over food when we have a car journey.

He wont be out scoring on street corners and nicking your valubles. grin

castlelough Thu 01-Nov-12 18:46:30

grin grin at fluffy !

cozietoesie Thu 01-Nov-12 19:13:51

<has visions of reprobate young thug cats>

grin

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