It is relative rare that domestic cats spray objects because they are usually neutered or spayed and domesticated and don't really have a home range to protect.
A home range is the area that the cat considers his or her home territory. They can be extremely large for the bigger wildcats such as the snow leopard. When the area is large it is impossible for the cat to physically patrol the area and see off intruders so scent marking is the next best thing. It says to intruders that the occupying cat is here and recently.
Here are some examples of how frequently wild cats spray their territory:
- Male serval - up to 41.2 times per kilometer (46 times per hour).
- Bobcats spray urine from 1.9-7.5 times per km.
- Canada lynx spray more frequently than bobcats at about 10x per km.
- Tigers spray mark territory "up to 11 times every 30 mins.
If you are visiting a zoo and looking into the tiger enclosure don't get too close because if you do and see the tiger turning around presenting his rear end towards you, you know what you are about to receive - a large shower of prime quality tiger urine. This has happened and will no doubt happen again.
I have been sprayed with serval urine when I entered a serval cage to photograph them - there were two, one male and one female. The male, a large cat, sprayed me very quickly. I had no chance to get out of the way. The picture below is of the cat who sprayed me.
|Morpheus at A1 Savannahs.|