Why do neutered male cats hump?
Original Question: Hi, I have a cat that likes to hump. He will do it on blankets and likes it when my foot is under the blanket. What I would like to know is can he ejaculate even though he is fixed and also if there is anything that I have to worry about? I am just curious about the ejaculation part. I do realize that the behavior is a bit tacky and I do try to stop it when I see it. The information that I have found on the internet seems to be geared towards popping a pill and I am really not keen on that. We are a four male cat household and that is his only odd behavior. As a side note - the reason I called in to the show is because you do not come across as a pop-a-pill kind of vet. - Nancy
Thanks for the question.
This is uncommon. In fact, I have never seen a case of it in 15 years of practice but I’ve researched a lot of information about it.
Cats that still have testosterone production may have humping behavior due to this. My recommendation would be to have your veterinarian examine your cat’s penis. Cat’s that have testosterone production, will have ‘spines’ on their penis. If the spines are there, then you know your cat may have some testicular tissue remaining somewhere in the body and it would need to be removed to help reduce the behavior. Other than searching for spines, blood testing for testosterone can be performed to determine this.
I came across a report of neutered male cat humping after it was treated with a drug called Methimazole for cats because of a common feline condition called hyperthyroidism. If you are currently using this drug, I would recommend you eliminate it over time and treat the hyperthyroidism with either the medical diet or radioactive iodine treatment.
For treatment, the most commonly recommended strategy is to give your cat and alternate item to perform this behavior on. Try using a stuffed toy and then focus their attention on it with treats and catnip.
You can treat this behavior by implementing environmental enrichment. This would mean buying lots of toys, food-filled devices they play with, a laser pointer, or anything that gets them engaged in something other than this undesirable behavior.
If the behavior has a stress component, then you could speak to your veterinarian about anti-anxiety supplements and medications. I would recommend a short trial to see if there is any benefit before using it longer. Keep in mind, you may not need to use this indefinitely. It may only be necessary for a few months which can give your cat the opportunity to learn not to do this anymore. Then when the drug is removed, hopefully the behavior would not return.
I found reports of successfully treating this with hormonal medications called prostaglandins. You could speak to your veterinarian about this or get referred to an internal medicine specialist or theriogenologist who could help with this option.
All the best.
Dr. Clayton Greenway
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