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Dr. Scarlett
Dr. Scarlett, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 4110
Experience:  I am a practicing small animal veterinarian with 18 years experience.
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I have a male ex stud Bengal, who was neutered when he was

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I have a male ex stud Bengal, who was neutered when he was almost 5. He is now 8 and is still very territorial and beats up all the other cats in the neighbourhood. He also sprays a lot in the house and outside. He is a lovely, gentle affectionate cat (with humans) but he is causing a lot of problems with various neighbours and this spraying in the house is obviously very unpleasant for us. I've tried keeping him in for a few days but he is absolutely desperate to get out and defend his territory. Will this behaviour subside if I persist in keeping him in? If so, how long might it take? Many thanks for any advice you can offer.

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Thank you,

Sorry to hear about the behavior problems in your cat! Much of it may be learned behavior, since he was neutered late and developed all the typical intact male behaviors already. But there may be some options that you can try to decrease the amount of spraying and territorial aggression that he is exhibiting.

One thing I would definitely get is Feliway. This is a pheromone, or scent, produced by mother cats that is calming to other cats. It has been found to be helpful for spraying cats. You spray the Feliway around doorways and windows--wherever the cat is spraying. It is supposed to make the cat "cheek mark" rather than spray. Many vets and pet stores have it, and I would get that started ASAP. It also comes as a diffuser, but I think for spraying problems, the spray will be more effective. Although you could do both!

There is also a medication called buspirone that has been shown to be helpful for spraying cats. This is a prescription medication you will need to get through your regular veterinarian. Fluoxetine (Prozac) or other anti-anxiety medications can also be used. I would talk with your regular vet about which medication they prefer or have experience with.

While it does sound like your cats issues are all due to behavior/territorial aggression, it would be good to get him in for a full physical exam, bloodwork, and a urinalysis to make sure there isn't an underlying problem, too.

Finally, if you do try to keep him inside, set up a couple "spraying stations" for him near places he is currently spraying inside. Get 2 litter box bottoms and put them together to make an "L" shape. So he stands in the bottom one and sprays in the top one. Once he starts spraying in there (DO NOT put Feliway there!!), leave the box and do NOT clean it. That way he will, hopefully, confine his spraying to a more appropriate place and not spray all over the house.

Make sure he has lots of places to get to (like cat trees, hammocks, etc), lots of toys, adequate litter boxes and food/water bowls inside to make sure he is getting enough environmental stimulation by being inside exclusively.

Good luck!
Dr. Scarlett, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 4110
Experience: I am a practicing small animal veterinarian with 18 years experience.
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