In many cases, the only reason for neutering a male cat is to stop the urine marking. However, sometimes owner may be left disappointed if it’s long since the surgery is forgotten, but the spraying still remains. Let’s take a look how soon will a cat stop spraying after being neutered
Urine spraying, in most cases, indeed is induced by a hormone called testosterone, which is produced by testes of an animal. Thus, if you remove the testes of your cat, testosterone is no longer produced, and the cat MAY stop urine marking.
However, cats spray urine not only because of testosterone, so when your cat undergoes a neutering surgery there are three possible outcomes regarding urine marking.
- Spraying disappears instantaneously. This is the most likely outcome since, as we already mentioned above, spraying is mainly sexually driven behavior; thus, removing testes will stop production of testosterone and the behavior will disappear at spot.
- Spraying disappears gradually. Sometimes, the cessation of hormonal activity must take time, and urine marking may disappear gradually. If it happens, most likely, you will see changes within few weeks while it still may take up to two to three months, or in extremely rare cases, even up to a year. The latter, though, is difficult to differentiate from the case mentioned next.
- Spraying does not disappear, unless it’s corrected by some other methods, too. Like environmental enrichment, stress elimination or behavior redirection. This last case, most often occurs if an older cat, who has been spraying for most of his life, is neutered; thus, the behavior is no longer hormonal, but has also become a habit, or is caused by stress (which does not end with a surgery). If you think this is your case, read here: “How to enrich your cat’s environment?” and here: “How to eliminate stress in your cat?”
The false expectation of spraying disappearing at snap comes out of misconception that spraying is a sexually driven behavior. Yes, it is… in most cases, but spraying is also a form of communication between cats, territory claim, as well as it may be caused by stress in almost any cat, including spayed females. Read more about possible reasons of cat spraying urine here.
So, will a cat stop spraying after being neutered? Most likely, yes, but you should keep in mind the changes may take some time, or even rearrangement your cat’s environment, schedule, and increasing time of his activities spent with you. Read here if you want to stop your cat spraying urine.