Do Female Cats Spray?

Updated: June 21, 2022

Can female cats spray? Do female cats spray when in heat? What could cause female cat spraying?

"Cat spraying is considered to be one of the ways that cats communicate through scent"

These are some of the questions that can bother cat parents. Most cat parents, at some point in their pet parenthood, probably experienced dealing with messy cleanup which they are not quite sure whether it’s just their cat making an accident or spraying. It can be frustrating when you cannot tell the difference because then you will not be able to manage it properly.

In this article, we will determine whether female cats spray and deal with the issues that come with it, together.


Yes, female cats can spray and they do spray. A female cat spraying can be due to a few different reasons. They may do this because of a medical issue, change in behavior from heat, or to mark their territory. We will look at the most common causes below.


Now that we know that female cats spray, next we answer the question do male cats spray. Yes, male cats spray. Males and females are capable of spraying. But as a matter of fact, spraying is more common in male cats than in females. Spraying incidence is also much higher in intact males (those that have not been neutered).

do female cats spray, female at spraying


Before we answer, "do female cats spray?" let's define spraying. Cat spraying (also called urine marking) is when your cat will position to back up to any vertical surface (like a wall) and release a small amount of urine. Cats may also spray on horizontal surfaces though it is rarely done.

Cat spraying is considered to be one of the ways that cats communicate through scent. By spraying, they are able to leave their own scents on particular spaces and areas and be able to “converse” or “talk” to other cats and other animals as well.


As mentioned, cat spraying often happens on vertical surfaces (walls, furniture) and with only a small amount of urine. Inappropriate peeing outside the litter box, on the other hand, often happens on horizontal surfaces (laundry, floors) with more urine.

Additionally, according to Pets WebMD, here are things you should also take note to differentiate whether it’s cat spraying or litter box problems:

  • A cat that is spraying will have their tail straight up in the air and project their back toward the target surface. Their tail may quiver.
  • A cat who is spraying will usually only mark with pee (rarely ever with poop) and will still use their litter box faithfully.

If these signs of cat spraying is what your furbaby is actually doing, keep reading to know why they spray to help you get to the bottom of the issue.


There are many different reasons why your cat spray and it can be different for males and females. The reasons may be one or more of the following:

Spraying to Communicate with Other Cats

As mentioned, spraying is one way for cats to communicate, whether that is with other cats at home or strays outside. In general, cats are known to be territorial and would want to claim areas as their own. If you are in a household with multiple cats and one cat may try to take another cat’s area, toys, scratching posts, litter boxes, etc., they may begin spraying to notify the others not to touch their things.

Additionally, spraying may also happen when stray cats or neighboring cats appear near your house. The presence of these stranger cats is a territorial threat to your furbaby. This will lead your furbaby to begin spraying to tell them that the place is already occupied.

Spraying Because of Stress

Cats are routine-loving animals and any changes in their daily schedule or in their environment can easily stress them out and cause them anxiety. Just like humans, cats deal with stress and anxiety differently. Some may pee outside their litter box, while others may spray.

Female Cat Spraying to Attract Males

Female cats spray to attract male cats nearby. Spraying is one of the early stages of mating. Male cats are easily attracted to a female cat’s vocalizations, vaginal secretions, and olfactory cues from her spray. Olfactory cues, according to Veterian Key, are cues that are used to be able to acquire relevant information about the environment, for inter-cat communication, and pre-detection.

Cats Spraying in Heat

Do female cats spray when in heat? Yes, a female in heat spraying is a common occurrence. When a cat goes through her heat cycle, she may display a few different behaviors than normal, including spraying.


Consult your vet. If you notice any of the spraying signs in your furbaby, it is best that you consult your vet for a proper diagnosis. Because in some cases, what looks like spraying may already be a sign of a medical condition, like bladder stones and urinary tract infection.

Spay or neuter. As most cats that spray are prevalent in intact cats, spaying or neutering your furbaby is the first way of getting rid of their spraying. While spaying and neutering is not a cure, it commonly reduces female cat spraying and male cat spraying.

Always clean the sprayed spot. Do not leave the area sprayed on by your cat behind. Clean the area immediately with enzymatic cleaners to prevent them from spraying on it again. Enzymatic cleaners contain beneficial bacteria that actually emit enzymes to break down molecules found in organic materials like pee and poop. These cleaners remove spraying stains and the lingering scent.

cat spraying, why do female cats spray

Keep your cat active. Keeping your cat active both mentally and physically will help improve their well-being and ease their stress level. Training, interactive toys, food puzzles, and an abundance of vertical perches and quiet places to seek comfort will help keep them occupied and secured.

Use cat diapers. If you are struggling with cat spraying, you can use Pet Parent® Cat Diapers to prevent the mess in your come. Our washable cat diapers are made with comfortable, WickQuick® proprietary fabric to prevent diaper rash and urine burn. Plus, they come in packs of three so that you can always have one on your cat, one on hand, and one in the wash. These are excellent for management combined with the previous methods mentioned for how to stop a cat from spraying.

Can female cats spray? Yes, female cats spray and male cats spray. Cats may spray due to a number of reasons. Thankfully, spraying in cats can easily be managed if you are aware of what is causing it, so your furbaby can live a happier, healthier, spray-free days ahead!

Yes, female cats can and will spray.

Causes of spraying can be medical or behavioral.

Cat diapers can prevent cats from spraying in your house.