Do Male Cats Spray After Being Neutered: Marking Their Urine Territory!

Yes, male cats do spray after being neutered. 

The statistics are hard to ignore, when about 1 in 20 fixed female cats sprays, about 1 in every 10 male cats spray.

So, in theory, a female cat would be much less likely to spray than a male cat.  [2]

how do you stop male cats from spraying

You love your tomcat.

He’s everything you’ve ever wanted in a feline friend – with the exception of him spraying on anything and everything.

You have him neutered in the hopes that he directs his urine into the litter box.

However, the little guy just keeps peeing around the house.

What gives?

He’s typically so well-behaved. (Speaking of behaviour – if you’re interested in disecting what your cat’s body language means – read this post!)

Do all male cats spray in the house?

Why does he insist on marking every single place in sight?

Does this mean my cat is unhappy

And how can you get him to change his urine-soaking ways?

If you’re looking into getting a feline companion (whether it’s your first, or you’re wanting a new little addition to your fur family), the “cat spraying problem” may be one of the big reasons you lean more towards getting a female cat.

However, even fixed female cats can spray – so getting a female cat in hopes of not having the spraying problem won’t always be successful. You could still end up with a female cat who is fixed and sprays – it’s possible.

Spraying is a more common problem than you think, and there are some solutions!

Before we get to solutions, you need to find the problem, and that can be a bit difficult because there is a difference between spraying and urinating. 

Cheetah Spraying On A Tree Small

Although people commonly mistake the two for the same problem, they are two fairly separate issues and need to be addressed in different ways.

Spraying differs from urinating in a few ways; spraying marks are usually found on vertical surfaces (like a wall, couch, chair, etc) because a cat usually sprays when backing up into an object or lifting their legs.

There is also usually less spray than there would be urine (with urine being a puddle and spray being… well, spray.)

Spray will also have a much stronger smell than your cat’s litter-box urine, as the car uses spray to release chemicals (pheromones) to send messages to other animals.

While spray is usually meant as a message to other cats (for breeding or territory marking purposes), if your cat is just outright urinating in different locations in your home, it’s very likely that YOU are the one your cat is trying to send a message to.

It could be that your cat needs a change in litter-box (location, bigger litter box, have it cleaned out, etc) or that they are craving your attention and using urine as their sign of protest.

Cat Rubbing His Scent On Post

Why Does a Cat Spray?

Inappropriate urination is the most reported behavior problem from cat owners.

Studies indicate that at least 10% of cats will pee outside of their litter box at some point in their lives, and it’s important to understand why your cat is urinating somewhere other than his designated box.

Cats use their urine as a method of communication.

Mostly, it’s how they communicate with other animals. 

The odor of their spray changes depending on the message they are trying to send (this is why spray will smell quite a bit stronger than the urine in your cat’s litter box). 

  • A recent addition to the family?
  • Death of a loved one?
  • New relationship?
  • Change in your job?

Just as these experiences cause stress in humans, so too do our beloved pets feel stress.

Cats, in particular, like predictability.

Changes, even seemingly minor ones, can create panic and one of the ways that they express their anxiety is by eliminating in places other than the litter box.

Why is my cat spraying?

#1. Marking Territory

Cats, by their very nature, are territorial.

Urinating in a particular area is one way to mark physical territory and even to mark their owners. (Gross, but true.)

#2. Mating Behaviour

Spraying is also a part of their mating behavior as the scent of a cat’s urine can indicate that he wants to mate.

This behavior is typical for cats who have reached the age of sexual majority, which is around five to six months of age.

This is why it’s vital to neuter your male cat before that age.

The testicles produce testosterone, a hormone that can cause aggression as well as sexual urges.

Removing the testicles before your cat reaching sexual maturation should prevent much, if not all, of the urination problem.

Sometimes, however, your furry feline will continue to pee in places other than his litter box. It turns out that there are different reasons that a cat might spray.

#3. Medical Issues

An underlying medical issue may be the cause of your cat choosing to pee outside of his box.

Anything from diabetes to a urinary tract infection, kitty might be trying to communicate that he’s in pain when he pees by behaving in this uncharacteristic manner.

A quick trip to the vet will be able to uncover any medical issues and get your love back on track.

#4. Litter Box Issues

There might be litter box issues that are the cause.

Cats are very discriminating when it comes to, well, everything.

Even something as fundamental as your choice in kitty litter can affect his state-of-mind. Seriously.

Making a change in the litter can cause your cat elimination anxiety. So think twice about buying a different brand just because it’s on special this week.

That being said, your kitty might not like the first brand you’ve chosen, and a litter switch might nip this problem before it gets out of hand.

If your cat doesn’t like the litter box you’ve chosen, he’s not going to use it.

Below is an “Ask Dr. Wendy” – Vets To Go Mobile Veterinary Care:


If, however, you randomly decide to get him a new litter box and he suddenly starts leaving you presents around the house, it’s probably a smart idea to switch back to the original box.

Speaking of the litter box, the location of the litter box might be your cat’s problem. 

Perhaps it’s in a high traffic area.

Cats are fastidious about their personal care and crave privacy when taking care of their bodily functions.

Putting the litter box in a place where they are bound to be interrupted or observed might be the cause of their litter box avoidance.

Try placing the litter box in a quieter, more private location.

But not too dark.

Despite a cat’s ability to see in dim light, they are not fans of complete darkness.

Putting the litter box in a dark closet is apt to spook your furbaby. Or maybe you’ve set the box near a washing machine or furnace. The noise might be the problem.

Also, your cat’s preference may change over time.

A location might no longer be the right place because your cat has decided he doesn’t like that area any longer.

In other words, a simple relocation of the litter box might be the solution.

Not only do they not like to share their litter box with other cats, but some cats also will not urinate in the same box where they poop. (Yes, seriously.)

Some of them are particular and will only use a litter box on the same level as the house they are on at that time.

The best solution?

At least one litter box per cat on each level plus an extra one.

Pay attention to which boxes are getting used to figuring out what your kitty needs.

#5. Anxiety/Boredom/Loneliness

Anxiety can be the reason behind spraying.

Eliminating stress from the life of your cat may make all the difference.

Try thinking like a cat:

What dangers might be lurking outside?

Perhaps there is a neighborhood cat that has been window stalking your sweet kitty.

Or a squirrel climbing the tree in your front yard that he’s been unsuccessfully attempting to catch.

Help control his environment by closing the drapes so that he can’t be vexed by what’s going on in the outside world.

Can You Stop A Male Cat From Spraying?

By now, you’re probably thinking that this is a hopeless cause and you’ll just have to get used to your cat spraying whenever they are the slightest bit displeased.

I know it can be frustrating, but you just need to find a solution for your cat. Cats can be finicky, and it may take a while for you to distinguish what is causing the problem. 

3 thoughts on “Do Male Cats Spray After Being Neutered: Marking Their Urine Territory!”

  1. My 6 month old kitten was neutered @ 6 weeks. He uses the litter box he is not spraying anywhere. But when he goes and pees in the litter box…….he has a strange foul odor that follows him for about 5 mins.. it stinks up a large room. I use a lot of freezer. He is my baby but stinky. His brother no problem.
    Should I take him to the Vet.? We don’t see any balls but I feel like it wasn’t done right. We adopted both Pet Smart neutered. That’s what the last told us. But I know that smell. He is 6 months old now.
    Thanks in advance

    1. Hello, Hollie!

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

      I’m not a vet but my experience with my boys was the same!

      My vet told me, newly neutered kitties will still have hormones left hanging around for 2 weeks up to 2 months. It’s something you’ll have to trudge through. It should fade though within that time frame.

      That stink can surley knock you off your feet though!

      So, totally normal this is happening with your baby boy.

      But again, if you feel something wasn’t done right, by all means take him to your vet 🙂

      Hope that helps,


  2. My male cat was neutered before given to me. I have had him for 5 years. Just recently he has started spraying inside. Why? Could it be it is colder now since he prefers to go outside instead of using a litterbox?

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