After bringing your new Persian kitten home and settled, you may wonder if or when your cat may start spraying. Persian cats typically begin to spray between eight and ten months old. However, some may start as early as six months. This age is when they reach sexual maturity.
To prevent your Persian from starting this undesirable habit, you should plan to have your kitten spayed or neutered before the age they tend to start. Most vets say by six months old, your cat should be sterilized.
Even though sexual maturity is the main reason cats start spraying, there are other reasons.
In this article, we’ll go over why your Persian may start spraying, ways to prevent them from this habit, and ways to clean up after them if they do happen to spray.
What Is Spraying?
Most cat breeds start spraying around the age of six months.
Like Maine Coon cats, Persians mature slower, so they may start spraying at an older age. However, cats can be spayed or neutered as young as eight weeks of age, but it’s ideal to have your cat spayed or neutered by the time they reach five months of age. Your veterinarian can also help you decide when to get your Persian sterilized.
So, what is spraying?
Spraying isn’t like normal urination because it’s done on purpose with force on different areas of your cat’s territory.
When spraying, your cat will stand with its tail erect and quivering. Then, it will back up to its mark and shoot urine onto the surface. There’s no set schedule when your cat may spray, and it depends on why they are doing it.
Male cats are the more likely culprits to spray, but females will do it, as well.
Signs of Spraying
If you aren’t sure that your cat is spraying, you should look for these signs:
- Location: When spraying, cats will usually use vertical surfaces, doors, walls, backsplash in the kitchen, sides of cabinets, and you’ll notice a pee mark.
- Litter Box Usage: Even if they are spraying, they will still go potty in the cat box. Spraying and going to the bathroom are two different things, even though in both cases, it involves urine.
- Position: If you catch them at it, you’ll know. The cat will raise its tail with its butts toward the target. Sometimes, it looks as though their tail vibrates as they do their deed.
Why Do Persian Cats Spray?
There are many reasons a Persian might spray. Pinpointing the reasons your Persian is spraying is an essential part of preventing it.
- Marking Territory or Wanting to Mate: Intact cat urine has higher levels of hormones and pheromones. So, it can be a signal that they are ready to mate as well as mark territory. Marking territory is the most common reason cats spray. Both males and females spray, but a female may spray more when in heat. Her heat period also may be the only time she does this.
- Illness: Sometimes, when a cat sprays, it can be the result of a urinary disorder. If you have any questions about why your Persian started spraying, you should take them to the vet so that they can rule out any health conditions.
- Moving: Not only is moving stressful on humans, but it can also be quite stressful on your Persian cat. Moving can trigger them to start spraying. They are stressed from the move, and the new place isn’t going to smell right.
- New Family Member: Whether you’ve brought in a new pet or a new baby into the house, this can cause stress for your Persian. As with moving, this changes the dynamics of the home. In response to this stress and anxiety, they may begin to spray.
- A Perceived Threat: If your Persian is strictly an indoor cat, they can see and hear the things outside so, if your Persian detects another cat in their territory, they may spray out of defense. This behavior may seem odd to you, but it makes perfect sense to your cat.
- Other Cats: If you have a multi-cat household, you may find that your Persian sprays to prove dominance as well as territory. This problem can become more significant if your other cats decide to remedy the spraying by spraying themselves.
- Stress: We touched on stress from moving to a new family member, but other factors may stress your Persian and begin a spraying cycle. This problem can also be stressful for you because it’s up to you to figure out the stressor. Your Persian can also pick up on your stress as well. Keep that in mind when looking at reasons your cat may be stressed.
- Boredom and Loneliness: If your Persian perceives they aren’t getting enough attention, they can get bored. Boredom can breed a spraying cat. Keep them stimulated by playing with them, getting them interactive toys that can keep them busy when you can’t.
- Grief: Humans aren’t the only ones who experience grief. If a pet or human family member passed recently and your Persian had a bond with them, they may act out their grief by spraying.
- Going on Vacation: Persians have a tight bond with their people. So if you go on vacation and your Persian must stay home, they may start spraying. Also, being left behind is stressful for your cat, especially if you are home most of the time.
How to Stop Spraying
Spraying is undesirable and inconvenient. Intact cat urine, when sprayed, has a strong, pungent odor and is quite hard to clean up and get rid of the smell.
There are ways to prevent spraying in your Persian. The best way to prevent spraying is to have your Persian spayed or neutered. In most cases, this stops the spraying.
Another way to stop spraying is to reduce your Persian’s stress. Take time to soothe them and make sure their routine is as stable as you can. Doing this will reduce the stress your Persian feels.
Keep them busy by spending time playing with your cat. Leave fun, favorite toys out for them. A cat tree can be a great boredom buster. Keep in mind that some Persians don’t like heights when deciding on a cat tree.
Make sure your Persian has its own space.
Another idea is to clean up the area where your cat has sprayed and then feed them there. Cats won’t spray or pee where they eat.
Last, be sure to clean up anywhere your Persian has sprayed so that you may deter them from spraying there again.
Reasons to Spay or Neuter
- It Prevents Spraying
Spaying or neutering your Persian is the best way to prevent spraying as it removes the sexual and territorial urges behind spraying behavior.
Intact cats are at risk of cancers of the reproductive organs. Sterilizing removes the chance of these cancers.
- No Kittens
Having your pet fixed takes away any chance your Persian will have unwanted kittens.
- More Affectionate
A sterilized cat won’t have sexual urges, which means they will want to bond with you rather than look for a mate. Wouldn’t it be nice to have your Persian curl up on the couch with you rather than hunting for a hook-up?
The Cost of Spay or Neuter
Having your Persian sterilized can cost from $300 to $500 at a private veterinarian. However, there are organizations where they offer these surgeries for less, possibly free.
Usually, if you adopt a cat from a shelter or rescue, your spay or neuter will be free because you paid the adoption fee and gave the cat a home.
The ASPCA has resources for low-cost spay and neuter options. Also, you may want to check your local area. Many have low-cost spay and neuter clinics.
Cats mature at a young age. Some are sexually mature by the time they are six months old. As a Persian owner, you’ll want to think about getting your kitten spayed by the time they are five months old, maybe a bit older since Persians do mature a bit slower, but the earlier, the better. Do you have any questions or comments? Please leave them below.