Neutered cat suddenly spraying by windows - help/need suggestions

radarlove413

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My beautiful, neutered, very dominant and alpha rescue cat, Donatello, has recently started spraying. We’ve had him for 3 years without any pee problems before this.

A few months ago, I noticed somebody had sprayed the side of my large Mac. (It’s by my office window) I cleaned my computer with enzyme cleaner and nothing happened for a few weeks. Then I found pee again. After that, the door to my office was kept closed because I can’t afford to replace my computer. Then a week later, Don sprayed my computer while I was using it! Thankfully it never hit any vents or ports so it’s fine.

I have 2 other cats. He gets along well with Dunlop and tolerates Cocoa. We’ve had Cocoa for 1.5 years now with no spraying problems. Dunlop had sprayed a few times years ago, so I took both to the vet. No UTIs or anything amiss.

A few weeks later, I noticed Donatello upset downstairs. Looked out the window to see two giant Tom cats looking in the window at him, so I’m pretty sure the spray was territorial.

I thought I had modified things well enough, but after having the kitchen window open, Don must have smelled the toms and sprayed all over my coffee maker, which is by the window. This window is above our deck, so a cat can jump on the rail and be face-to-face with the cats inside.

He’s going back to the vet, but I’m wondering if any other members have suggestions that can help. Every spray is cleaned with enzyme cleaner. He kinda sprayed the one downstairs litter box, so I made a high one out of a Rubbermaid bin to catch any spray that may fly over the edge. I’ve read that medication can help (Like Prozac), or some kind of window covering cats can’t squeeze behind. I have 4 litter boxes, 2 upstairs and 2 downstairs.

Any advice is appreciated! Before we had Don, he’d been returned to the SPCA twice. They’d told us he’d never had a history of this, but after the past few months, I’m not sure any more. I can handle this level of spray cleanup, but I’m scared of this escalating.
 
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CatladyJan

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Is there anyway you can keep the Tom cats away from your house? Have your tried calming collars or phermones?
 
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radarlove413

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Is there anyway you can keep the Tom cats away from your house? Have your tried calming collars or phermones?
Unfortunately there isn’t. I’ve tried shooing them away and seeing if they had collars, but no luck. They scale the fence and deck too!

I have tried Feliway. I have two stress relief diffusers. They didn’t make a noticeable difference with him, but Cocoa loves the pheromones. He responds well to a Thundershirt if he’s stressed.
 

CatladyJan

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Unfortunately there isn’t. I’ve tried shooing them away and seeing if they had collars, but no luck. They scale the fence and deck too!
That's not good, maybe a cat repellant I've read some essential oils or cayenne pepper is supposed to deter them. Is it possible to put Donatello in a crate and cover the sides and see how he does?
 

jcat

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There are a few ideas from Alley Cat Allies for deterring backyard visitors that might help, especially the motion-activated sprinkler or compressed air devices:
How to Live With Cats in Your Neighborhood.

Our last cat - also a neutered male - got into a "pissing contest" with a neighborhood male centered around a cellar window. Aside from blocking the view, we followed a tip from a breeder and put red basil plants inside and outside that window. Surprisingly, it did keep both cats away from it. You might have to try several different things before hitting upon something that works. Our current cat absolutely despises the smell of tangerines/mandarine oranges. Perhaps spreading their peels around your yard might scare off your visitors.
 

KittyCatCove

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IMO, this is a territorial issue. Can be hard to resolve, but not impossible. If you cannot keep the Tom cats away from the house/window, I would restrict Donatello to another part of the house for a while and see what happens. Prevent him from looking out any window where he can see the Tom cats. Put a cat perch at another window for him in another part of the house. Start feeding the birds outside that window to take his mind off the Tom cats.

Spraying is one of the potential negatives with male cats. A few years back a male feral would come my house by just to spray my outside storm door... then leave. He didn't even eat the food I put out.
 

KittyCatCove

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There are a few ideas from Alley Cat Allies for deterring backyard visitors that might help, especially the motion-activated sprinkler or compressed air devices:
How to Live With Cats in Your Neighborhood.

Our last cat - also a neutered male - got into a "pissing contest" with a neighborhood male centered around a cellar window. Aside from blocking the view, we followed a tip from a breeder and put red basil plants inside and outside that window. Surprisingly, it did keep both cats away from it. You might have to try several different things before hitting upon something that works. Our current cat absolutely despises the smell of tangerines/mandarine oranges. Perhaps spreading their peels around your yard might scare off your visitors.
That is a great idea.
 
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radarlove413

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Thanks everyone! I did some investigating and watched the yard. I caught one of the cats spraying our tree, which is directly downwind from the kitchen window. So he probably got a wiff of that and marked his territory by spraying the coffee maker. Seems like there's also old spray on our deck and by the window where my office is, so that explains that. (black lights work great to see the spray!).

No spray last night, which is awesome. I bought a cheap new coffee maker just in case... lol.

I kept the windows to the backyard closed, cleaned the spray, and am going to look at the helpful links you all sent me. Thank you!
 
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