Do Male Cats Like to Spray Christmas Trees?

I have a male cat (formerly a stray) who has had 3 episodes of spraying in the house over a 4 year period. One was possibly due to a urinary infection (vet was not sure, but treated him anyway). Another time it began under the Christmas tree. As Christmas is again upon us, I was wondering if anyone else has had a problem with a cat spraying around/under the tree. Is this common? What are the chances it will happen again? And what can I do about it?


The vet suggests I make him an outside cat again, but he is declawed. (He is also neutered, and we've tried the hormone spray too.) Any advice or similar stories are appreciated.

By Ellen De

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November 30, 20101 found this helpful

First of all, I can't believe your vet suggested making him an outdoor cat. I believe you, just can't comprehend a vet with that mindset. To force a declawed cat to live outside is a death sentence, the cat has no defense against predators. Cats will often spray on new things brought into the home, especially things like plants that they can detect other critters' scents. It's most likely a territorial marking. I really don't have an answer for you as my cats didn't spray. Maybe others on this site who have more experience with this will chime in here to help you. Sometimes, with pets, you just have to take the good (companionship) with the bad (messy clean-ups). Good luck.

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December 1, 20100 found this helpful

I can hardly believe a vet. of all people would tell someone to make a cat an outside animal! Outside cats almost never live very long & usually die painfully.


I don't know what to tell you to do about the spraying either. Can you look back & figure out what his motive could be? Does he do it when he's frightened, angry, insecure? Maybe it was the smell of the Christmas tree that set him off?

We had a male cat I helped raise from 1 day old when I was a teen. After I moved away & would come home to visit a couple of times a year, I learned VERY quickly to keep the door closed to the bedroom I stayed in, because he would go in there & spray my suitcase! I always thought it was because he was mad at me for being gone so long,cause he'd ignore me for awhile too, but maybe it was the "strange place" smell on it? He also did it a time or two when he'd see a stray cat through the window & thought he had to mark his territory, or when he would be mad at someone. He also did it when he had a urinary tract infection a couple of times.

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December 2, 20100 found this helpful

Unless this cat is used for breeding purposes the responsible thing is to neuter it and that may help the problem. It will keep him healthier too and less inclined to fighting in the future if he isn't now. Please do the right thing and get him neutered. You'll have a happier cat.

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December 3, 20100 found this helpful

Thanks for all the comments. (By the way, he is neutered; it was one of the first things we did when we decided to keep him!) It's getting nearer to tree time. I think we will close the door to the living room where we keep the tree so that he doesn't go near it and possibly smell some other animal (as was suggested.) That's all I can think of for now.


If anyone has anything else to add, please do!

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November 18, 20200 found this helpful

Try cleaning the bottom of the trunk with a stay for removing animal smells first as don't forget these trees have been outside.
Try leaving orange peel round the base they don't like citrus.

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December 20, 20170 found this helpful

Our indoor/outdoor cat sprayed the Christmas tree a couple of times. We realized that a neighbor's unaltered male cat had probably sprayed the tree while it was outside in a bucket of water, and our cat was trying to assert his territory (they do NOT get along). I've sprayed some Nature's Miracle Calming Spray on the tree and hope it settles things down. Also washed the tree skirt (treated it with NM first).

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