Skip to main content

Why Does a Tomcat Spray Urine On the Garden Wall?

Tomcats (this word is usually used to describe a male cat that has not been castrated) mark their territory by squirting a jet of urine backwards onto vertical objects within their environment.


They aim their urine at tree stumps, fence posts, bushes and walls which are landmark features within that territories. Sometimes these features are at the borders of their territory and sometimes they might be at a crossroads but they would usually be in some sort of prominent area and possibly on a path or track that is used by the tomcat and other cats in the area.

They are particularly keen on places where they have sprayed before and where other cats have sprayed before so that they can add a fresh dose of urine to freshen the smell.

We all know that cat urine is very strong smelling and very hard to remove. It is interesting that although cat urine is very strong smelling to a human, another way that a cat marks his territory is by rubbing against objects to leave his scent on the object. We cannot smell this odour.

The odour of a cat's urine fades gradually and the degree of fading is indicative of when it was deposited. This provides a message to a cat who sniffs it telling him or her about the movements of the cat who deposited the urine.

In short, deposited urine on vertical surfaces provides information to cats about what is going on. Apparently, the smell also carries information about the emotional state of the sprayer and the individual's identity so there is some variation in the smell between cats. A sprayer in effect leaves a calling card and leaves a message to other cats who pass by.

It makes no difference to the act of spraying whether a cat wants to urinate or not. Urination and spraying are quite separate behaviours. You will even see cats that have no urine still going through the motions of spraying and marking territory even though no urine is actually involved.

Neutering both male and female cats reduces the incidence of spraying but may not eliminate it. Personally, my cats have never sprayed. The other day, I saw a Siamese cat outside my flat spraying  onto a bush next to a flowerbed. It is the area where the Siamese cat likes to frequent and to urinate and defecate. Clearly, another cat had visited the area and the Siamese cat was just topping up the marker to make sure that her message was loud and clear.

Comments

Nabil said…
This comment has been removed by the author.

Popular posts from this blog

Cat Ear Mites

Brown gunge. Yes, I know this is a ferret! It does show the build up of dark brown to black ear wax caused by the presence of the cat ear mites in the outer ear canal. This parasite is not restricted to the domestic cat, which makes this photo valid and a useful illustration (I was unable to find a suitable photo of a cat with the condition). Photo Stacy Lynn Baum under a creative commons license. Ear mites (minute crab like creatures) are one of the causes of inflammation of the outer ear canal (scientific term for this inflammation is Otitis externa ). The outer ear canal is the tube that runs from outside to the ear drum (the pathway for the reception of sound), which can be seen when looking at the ear. Otitis externa affects humans and often swimmers as it is called "swimmer's ear" in humans. This YouTube video show ear mites under a microscope. They are not actually in the ear in this video. There are many possible causes of Otitis externa in c

Feline Mange

I'll write about three types of feline mange (a) feline scabies or head mange (b) demodectic mange and (c) sarcoptic mange. The source material is from Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook - the best on the market . Generalised feline mange? Puerto Rico - Photo by Gotham City Lost And Found Feline Scabies - head mange Head mange or feline scabies, is a fairly rare condition in cats, which is caused by the Notoedres mite (head mite) that only reproduces on cats. The female mites burrow a few millimeters (that is a lot) into the skin around the head, and neck to lay eggs, which hatch and lay their own eggs. Their presence and activities causes intense itching that in turn causes the cat to scratch. The scratching will obviously be noticed and it will cause the skin to become red, scratched and worse infected. Symptoms: hair loss and scabs, thick wrinkled skin and grey/yellow crusts form plus the symptoms of scratching. Feline mange (head mange) is contagious and tr

Cat Anatomy

Cat Anatomy - Photo by Curious Expeditions . The picture above was taken at Wax Anatomical Models at La Specola in Florence, Italy. The photograph is published under a creative commons license kindly granted by the photographer. I am sorry if it is a bit gruesome. It is pretty well all I could find as an illustration that was licensed for publication. Cat Anatomy is a very wide ranging subject. The anatomy of a cat is very similar to human anatomy. If you were writing a biology book for students of biology you would go through every part of the a cat's anatomy in some detail. It would be similar to writing a book about the human anatomy. It would be a thick book and pretty boring for your average internet surfer. So, how do you limit such a big subject and make this post meaningful? The answer I think lies in doing two things: Having a quick general look at cat anatomy - an overview and; Focusing on the areas of cat anatomy that are particular to the cat and of parti