When a female cat sprays

5 December, 2007

I caught Maya in the act of spraying yesterday.

(for the unintiated – you lucky things! – spraying is when a cat urinates standing up, usually not in a litter tray)

Maya is my Bengal neuter girl.  Neuters aren’t supposed to spray.  So I wasn’t sure what was going on in her mind.  Suddenly I heard this pattering sound like rain drizzling against a window and when I looked for its source, there was Maya, her tail stiff in the air, watering the bag of coal in the living room.  She even managed to trickle some on the fire irons.

There was nothing I could do but clean it up and douse the whole area with cat urine remover.

I’m not sure why she did it.  I’m sure she doesn’t have cystitis.  She could be stressed and perhaps marking her territory, but why?

Then today I caught Ananda cocking her tail against the sofa.  Ohno … ohno.  Out came the cleaning stuff again.

I don’t know what’s going on.

I’m hoping it’s not, but it could be that … she’s on heat.  In the middle of winter?  Cats usually go off heat when the days go shorter.  I’m praying she’s not on heat.  She’s been meowing a lot today.  I’ve tried scratching the base of her tail to see if she crouches which she does when she’s on heat, but it could be too early to tell.

If anyone is contemplating letting their female cat have just one litter because it’s educational/fun, please would you read this and think again.  A cat on heat is a spraying machine.  You will spend more time on your knees sniffing around furniture and cleaning up then anything else.  Save yourself the hassle and don’t become a mad cat breeder!



  1. i have a 16 year old female cat who nuetered. she was spayed as a kitten and has never had a litter. she has been spraying her whole life. she has ruined leather and wood furniture, clothing, electronics you name it. she even went on a power strip and almost caused a fire! the 1st portion of her life was in my grandparents home where there was no other animals, so this is not territorial spraying. she also been checked by the vet and bladder infection and other ailments have been ruled out. stress i don’t think is the issue either for she had no reason at my grandpaents. she now resides with me and 2 other cats. her behaviour has not changed. i have tried putting her outside but being that she has been declawed we thought better of it and brought her back in. she does this mostly at night andi have tried catching her in the act and placing her in the litter box (which she does use to deficate) but she cointinues to spray. i’m totally lost for a solution.

    • Hi Vienna,

      I don’t have the expert knowledge to give you a solution. If she’s done it all her life, it’s sounds like it’s become an ingrained habit at the age of 16 years old. There are some things you could use, like pheremone diffusers (Feliway) to calm her down, and to lock her in a room at night – a room with surfaces that are easily cleaned. If she is happier outside and there are no neighbourhood cats/dogs to threaten her, she might be better outside. I’m sorry I don’t have a solution for you.

      A quick question: did she start spraying before or after the declawing? Spraying might be her only way of marking her territory and defending her territory as a cat.

  2. I have a female cat that is spayed every time we open the door she sneaks outside and goes to this one tree scratches it then shakes her tail nothing comes out but we can’t figure out why she’s doing this. can you help

    • Hi Amanda

      When was your female cat spayed? Did she ever come into heat before she was spayed? If so, maybe her shaking her tail is behaviour that she acquired before she was spayed.

      I don’t know if spayed females still attempt to spray or not. I know my queen after she was spayed still raised her tail at surfaces, but nothing came out.

      Is your female cat in distress? If not, then I wouldn’t worry about it. Or you could consult a vet.

      Best wishes,

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