Questions About Male Cats

Male cat

Visitor Questions About Male Cats

Is Cat's Behavior Sexual

We have a four-year-old male cat that has begun acting in an odd manner. While standing on your lap, on a bed, in a chair or on the floor, he arches his back and begins to paw his declawed front feet. He also slightly jerks his tail. If he is sitting on your lap, he will sometimes bite down on your hand or arm and not let go. My wife thinks this is a sexual behavior as though he is biting a female cat while mating. Is there any way to stop this action? Any ideas what his actions might mean? Thanks for any help you can provide.

~~Tod

Expert Reply

Hi Tod,

You don't mention if the cat is neutered. The kneading is not sexual. Kittens knead their mothers and this action is a sign that he is feeling affectionate and comfortable in your presence. However, your wife is correct that the jerking tail and biting can indicate sexual behavior. If your cat is not neutered, I would look into having this taken care of. This will also prevent nuisance behaviors, such as spraying. If he is neutered, you may want to have some blood tests run to check his hormone levels as they may be out of whack.

If the hormone levels are fine, he may be growing over stimulated from petting. Try to watch for signs of when he starts this behavior and back off on the petting and attention before he reaches the biting stage. Often, a cat's pupils will dilate before he bites.

Hope this helps!

~~Lori

Neutering Grown Cat

We have been adopted by the neighborhood tomcat "Chico". Chico appears to be four to five years old. He spends some time inside with us, and then goes outside to do his business, usually overnight. He is very aggressive with other cats in the neighborhood. We would like to be responsible and have him neutered to tone down the aggression and to keep any unwanted kittens from appearing. Is four to five years old too old for him to get fixed?~~Pat N.

Expert Reply

Dear Pat,

Neutering is important to prevent unwanted kittens, but it should also cut down on Chico's territorial behaviors with other cats and keep him from wandering as far from home. These days, it is recommended that you get a cat neutered before he reaches sexual maturity or, at the very least, by the time he is eight years old. One of the main reasons to do it as young as possible is because younger cats recover more quickly and are less likely to develop bad habits, such as nuisance spraying. However, it sounds like Chico is still a young, healthy cat so he should recuperate quickly. Since Chico is fully mature, you may want to discuss any possible complications with your veterinarian before the procedure. The good news is that the male cat's surgery is easier than the female's. The vet will basically remove his testicles (castration).

You may also want to have a discussion with your vet about the vaccine for cat flu since Chico goes outside and interacts with other felines. Cat flu is highly contagious and there is no cure for the disease.

Thanks for your question.

~~ Lori

Neutered Cat Displays Sexual Behavior

I have a question about my neutered male cat. He's two years old now, and was bitten in the head by a dog when he was a kitten. He still thinks he is a small kitten. My question is about the fact that he humps stuffed animals all the time. I don't know why he does it, and it's a little hard to explain when company is over. Everyone tells me they've never seen a cat do that. Do you have any idea why this is happening?

~~Dragonflame

Expert Reply

Hi Dragonflame,

Is there a reason you believe your cat thinks he's still a kitten? His current sexual behavior wouldn't quite fit with that scenario, but if he sustained any lasting brain damage from the bite it could certainly contribute to his confused behavior.

I'm also curious just how old your cat was when he was neutered. Cats that are neutered as young kittens are less apt to display humping behavior, but the habit would be harder for an adult cat to break. There's no guarantee that neutering would put a complete stop to it.

Either way, I would suggest that you remove his stuffed animals and give him something completely different to play with. A cat scratching post with a few hanging toys to bat at would be a great change of pace, and would also provide him with exercise and mental stimulation. A laser mouse is another toy that is fun for people and pets.

I believe these changes will be beneficial for your pet, and should eliminate the unwanted behavior.

Thanks for your question!

~~Kelly

Visitor Follow Up

Thanks Kelly,

My cat was six months old when he was fixed. Maybe "confused" would be a better description of his behavior. He's scared of everything outside, and he runs into things even though the vet says his eyesight if fine. He just doesn't act like a normal cat.

He does play with the laser light, and he has a cat tower/scratching post. I've tried to take the stuffed animals away, but I also have a small child who has a room full of toys; keeping the door shut doesn't always work.

Do you think that this behavior would harm him in any way, or possibly develop into new odd behavior? I am only curious since I've had tons of cats, but never one that acts like this.

Thank you for all your help.

Expert Follow Up

It sounds like your cat probably did sustain some permanent damage, but it also seems like you're on the right track addressing his problem. My only other suggestion would be to add a toy box with a lid to your child's room to keep the stuffed animals off limits.

I don't think his behavior is harmful to him, but I can understand how it could be a bit embarrassing in social situations. Will he develop other odd behaviors? It's possible, especially if he truly has some brain damage. Since it has been about eighteen months since his injury I wouldn't expect any more significant changes, but you can't predict these things. Just keep loving him for the unique creature that he is.

~~Kelly

Male Cat and Kittens

Should I keep the daddy cat away from the mommy and babies after the birth?

Thanks~~ Jo Ann

Expert Reply

Hi Jo Ann,

That really depends on your male cat's personality. Some Toms are great around the kittens, while others may become predatory.

To be on the safe side, I'd recommend keeping him separated from the kittens for at least the first four weeks. After that you can try to introduce everyone under supervision and see how it goes.

Keep in mind that any female kittens in the litter may become fertile as early as four to five months old, and need to be kept separated from intact males unless you plan to do some spaying and neutering. This includes brothers and dad.

Thanks for your question!

Kelly

Are Both Cats Really Males?

I just brought home a new male kitten that has been neutered. I also have a one-year-old neutered male cat that is very friendly, laid back and loving.

I'm wondering why he has been mounting the new kitten and biting his neck? It does not appear that the kitten is in pain or afraid. He does not try to get away from the older cat. Neither are hissing or seem angry. Is this normal?

~~ Laurie

Expert Reply

Hi Laurie,

What you're describing sounds very much like breeding behavior. It's a little unusual in the respect that you're dealing with two neutered males, so let me ask you some questions about your new kitten.

  • Exactly how old is he?
  • Did he come to you neutered, or did your own vet perform the procedure?
  • Have you investigated his sex yourself, or did you just rely on the information given to you by the person or shelter you got him from?

Sometimes it's possible to mistake one sex for the other because cats don't like to be examined as a rule. Now if your own vet did the procedure, you should be able to rely on his/her information, but if the info came from a shelter, then you should have your vet check just to make sure. There's a possibility your kitten's records could have been mixed up with another. I do know of one case where this has happened.

That said, I suppose the mounting could be your older cat's way of displaying dominance over the kitten, but that would also be a bit unusual. Mounting is typically a dog's way of showing dominance, not a cat's way. Cats will usually chase and fight to declare their territory.

Rest assured that even if there is a case of mistaken sexual identity about your kitten, your neutered male won't be able to get her pregnant, even though he hasn't completely lost his instincts. However, if the kitten does turn out to be a female, you'll want to have her spayed so no other males could breed her.

I hope my own questions will help you to shed a little more light on the situation and figure out what's really going on here. Let me know what you find out.

~~ Kelly

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Questions About Male Cats