If you own a Maine coon, you must have at one time, or the other experienced the issue of its spraying. This behavior could drive you nuts if you do not understand the reasons for it and how to deal with it.
In this article, we are going to enlighten you about why the Maine coon sprays, when they spray, and how to treat and stop it. Dive in!
When Do Maine Coons Start Spraying?
Maine coons are friendly cats and aren't known for misbehaving. However, they are not quick to develop, unlike other cats. The correct age to spay or neuter your Maine coon cat is at the age of 4 to 6 months.
That is when they generally get to the puberty stage. Maturity is a slow process for them.
This is why spraying can also commence for a male Maine coon cat at about 8 to 10 months old. From the range of 4 to 6 months of age, female kittens, that weigh 5.5 pounds tend to go into heat period. Being an ardent cat lover comes with responsibilities you must meet.
Neutering and spaying your cat is one of those responsibilities.
It curbs unwarranted behaviors like hostility, spraying and wandering.
We recommend that you train a male Maine coon cat early because they are more liable to spraying. The female Maine coon cat is more docile. Both are, however, very playful and like to do it on their terms.
Spraying in Relation to Felines
Occasionally, you come across random words that you assume will mean a particular thing. However, when you relate them to animals, it turns out it has an entirely different meaning. Cats have their unique way of complicating words and making it a ‘feline thing.’
Spraying in cats is a feline way of marking territory. There is usually no need to be alarmed if you notice your adorable cat peeing differently. However, one cannot entirely dismiss the possibility of urinary disease.
Feline spraying involves a cat stiffening its tail in an upright position. It spatters urine on a vertical surface and may close its eyes during the act. They always back the surface they are peeing on.
The difference between this style and the typical one is that:
- The typical method is done anywhere but for spraying, it picks a particular vertical surface.
- Spraying could be done to mark territory while regular urinating isn't.
- Cats usually bend to urinate.
How to Differentiate Between Cat Urinating and Spraying?
The similarities between a cat urinating and one that is spraying are more than the differences. In both cases, they are peeing, and the fact that some cats stand while urinating makes it difficult to tell each apart. However, there are a few helpful tips that can help you identify when your cat is spraying. They are:
- The excretion of spraying has a tangy smell. The smell is awful. It takes a while for the smell to fade off even after thorough cleaning.
- There is a reduction in excretion during a spray. The amount of urine sprayed deflates. It might be a result of squirting.
Exhibiting the acts that indicate spraying isn't all that can be used to identify it. If you have observed all the traces of spray and you still aren't sure, then you can employ the above approach. Smell is every cat's significant way to interact.
The bad odor is as a result of your cat excreting pheromones which are caused by whatever emotion is making it spray. The reduction in the amount of urine is also a result of emotional unbalance.
Why Is Your Cat Spraying?
Now that you know how to identify spraying in your cat, it is also important to understand why. Psychologically, knowing the cause or reason for a behavior helps you understand and deal with it. Being unaware of the reason your cat is spraying will leave you clueless about what to do.
Cats have various ways to communicate how they feel, and spraying is one.
By spraying, they only intend to divulge information to you. As its owner, you must learn what that information is saying as you don't speak the same language. You have to understand that spraying is a communication technique for cats.
Some of what they might be trying to communicate is:
- It could be a sign of domination, that is, specifying its territory by spraying in the desired section. By doing this, your cat believes it has successfully marked its territory. And no other cat would come near.
- Anxiety is also a reason your cat might spray. Moving to a new environment or even something as small as a change in schedule. Spraying is a gut reaction to the adjustment.
- Your cat is most likely going to spray on the latest item in your home. It is possibly an innocent attempt to connect with you. Don't get mad!
- Also, cats spray to resolve rivalry between other cats in the same household or neighborhood.
- Cats spray as a result of medical problems. A visit to the veterinary is advised in this case. You should always go for a regular checkup anyway.
- Feline neutering is very essential. The cat that is not-neutered can develop some emotional disorders. An unneutered cat will turn to spraying as an outlet.
Spraying has a lot to do with the psychology of your cat. As an ailurophile, you should seek knowledge regarding feline psychology, specifically the breed(s) of cat you own. It will help you understand your cat and how to react in accordance with what they feel.
Factors That Make Maine Coons Spray
Cats are known to be extremely jealous creatures and often display it by marking territory. As the owner, you are not exempted from this dominant behavior. Caressing you with its cheek can be cute, but boundless spraying isn't.
Well, identifying the problem will help you solve it. There are three major factors attached to when the Maine coon breed starts spraying. They are:
- Anxiety: If you just relocated or changed your Maine coon cat's schedule, and it starts spraying. It is definitely a result of adjustment or intolerance.
- Medical problem: It may be more than spraying. It is advisable to consider the possibility of urinary disorder and visit your vet.
- Not Neutered: It is unhealthy to leave a domesticated Maine coon or any cat intact. It causes emotional unbalance which results in spraying. Note that neutering is for males, while spaying is for females. Here is the right time to neuter your Maine Coon.
Watch out for when your Maine coon cat is spraying and try to determine the cause. As soon as you identify the reason, you should seek a solution.
Do Both Maine Coon Genders Spray?
Spraying is not limited to one gender. It is neither a female feline behavior nor a male feline behavior. Both genders are subjected to spray, provided that they have a reason or reasons to.
The known causes of spraying are general behaviors that both male and female exhibit.
From anxiety to medical problems and setting of boundaries. Even down to neutering in male and spaying in the female. All the actions mentioned above are known to occur in both male and female.
However, the male counterpart of the Maine coon breed tends to be more unrestrained which subjects it to feel more.
As a result of this, they have more tendency to spray urine more than females. In this case, neutering has nothing to do with the stimulus. Spraying is about how they feel which is why the male Maine coon cat has a higher probability of doing it.
We suggest that you should be watchful of the male Maine coon cat.
How to Eliminate Spraying?
The first step is to understand the correlation. Before anything you have to determine the reason, your Maine coon cat is spraying. Once you have been able to accomplish that, you can proceed with the treatment.
Seeing as there are various reasons a cat will spray, we will reveal the treatment for all.
But before that, being violent towards your cat is never a solution. You shouldn't punish your cat for anything. Punishment is not a form of correction or discipline. Other treatment options are:
1. TERRITORY MARKING: Below are a few tips that will help you overcome this;
- You can apply the use of fabricated pheromone to relax your Maine coon cat's nerves.
- Put a lock on locations that your Maine coon cat is spraying
- Thoroughly wash and enjoy quality time with your cat in the area of spraying. This will make it change its comprehension of the place.
2. MEDICAL PROBLEM: Treatment involves:
- Regular checkups will help you avoid or foresee any medical issue.
- It is advisable to go for a vet checkup before concluding that it is a behavioral problem.
- Don't diagnose or administer drugs without your vet's knowledge.
3. ANXIETY: Treatment involves;
- Engaging in activities your Maine coon cat loves will relax its nerves.
- Don't overcrowd it with strangers. Gently introduce new faces.
- Teach unfamiliar people activities your cats like so that they will know what to do.
4. NEUTER: Treatment involves;
- Castrating your male Maine coon cat will either eliminate or reduce aggression and spraying.
- Spaying your female Maine coon cat will also erase traces of aggression and spraying.
- Create boundaries on behalf of your cat that will ensure that other cats don't approach your house.
The treatment options mentioned above should not be taken lightly. It's not just your cat that is being affected by spraying so, be the bigger purr-son and fix it.
How to Clean the Area Where a Maine Coon Sprays?
Your Maine coon cat spraying is natural and there's no need to get angry when it happens. The spray of a Maine coon, however, has a very tangy odor and it usually takes a while of regular cleaning before it finally fades away.
Peradventure, your cat, does it in the house, you need to get that odor out as soon as possible. Whatever cleaning agent you use though, do not use bleach. Bleach contains ammonia which is the main component of urine.
This will only encourage your pet to offend again.
A viable cleaning agent for your Maine coon's spray is the Rocco & Roxie Supply Professional Strength Stain and Odor Eliminator. Apart from eliminating the odor in no time, this product also deals with the stain effectively.
There is also the added advantage of being able to work on most surfaces.
Further Spraying Solutions
Being an owner of more than one cat can cause rivalry among the group. To solve this, you can make provisions for sufficient toys, scratchers and a haven for each cat. But if the altercation becomes unbearable, you can adopt another method.
All you have to do is get them to know each other again. Detach them for some time and reintroduce them.
In case of spraying on new objects, it is advisable to keep such items out of reach. As the saying goes, ‘Out of sight is out of mind.’ If your Maine coon cat doesn't see any objects to spray on, it will either not spray or find another option.
What Does Neuter Mean?
Feline neuter involves two processes which are castration and spaying of male and female respectively. The method of neutering is a surgery for the removal of your cat's genitalia.
- The female cats have the option of either removing their ovaries and uterus or the ovaries alone.
- As for the male, his testes will be removed.
It can be used to eradicate feline overpopulation. Furthermore, the operation extracts hormones that account for the spraying in uncastrated male cats. We prescribe feline spaying before her debut heat.
Neutering is essential for cats.
What Is the Relationship Between Neuter and Spraying?
Although there are several causes of spraying, the primary cause should be discussed extensively. As we have previously mentioned, neuter is to male as spay is to female. An intact cat has an extremely high possibility of displaying spraying and aggression.
By not neutering your cat, you will make an emotional mess out of your cat. Not spaying your beautiful Maine coon cat will make it become a damsel in distress. You should neuter while your cat is still young.
Castrating and Spaying in Cats
Spraying or Castrating an old cat will make correcting the spraying act difficult. Because an older cat has been spraying for a long time. There is a higher risk of it sticking to the behavior.
Correcting the behavior in a young cat or kitten has a higher possibility of success.
Maine coon cats should not be repressed before they are spayed or neutered. They should be allowed to feel naturally before puberty at the general time of 6 months old.
After spaying or neutering your cat, you should endure another six weeks of misconduct. It will take around six weeks for the hormones to subside.
During this period, you will need to exercise patience because of the psychological impact of the neutering. The change in behavior will be a gradual one, and soon your cat will be purr-fect!
Although, the concentration of this enlightenment was directed to the Maine coon breed. Regardless, we are confident that any cat owner would gain a thing or two here.
Always make playtime for your cats because that is what they enjoy. Neuter them at the appropriate time and get great results.
All cats want to feel loved and wanted. Participate in activities that they enjoy. Indulge them in those things you know will give them pleasure. Adhere to the instructions provided, and you will have yourself a beautiful cat!