Showing posts with label mating. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mating. Show all posts

Tuesday 27 February 2024

Is it true that a tomcat with bad teeth can never become a father?

You might think that it is strange to link a tomcat's bad teeth with a failure to becoming a father but it isn't. This will be a very short post and therefore it might not be interesting but the question needs to be answered.

Is it true that a tomcat with bad teeth can never become a father? Yes!
Domestic cats mating showing how the male grips the female's neck in his teeth to stop her swiping him. Picture: MikeB under license.
When a male domestic, stray or feral cat mates with a female in heat he clings onto the female's neck with his teeth. This subdues her and prevents her swiping him when he removes his penis because it hurts. It hurts because of the backward facing barbs on his penis which rake her vagina. It sounds a bit gruesome but these are the anatomical facts of the matter.

To answer the question, bad teeth which are painful to use, may curb his instincts to mate with a female in heat. They have to grip the back of the neck of the female quite hard and if the teeth hurt because of gum disease and general poor oral health, he may decline the offer of sex. That is the theory. I can't say that such a tomcat would NEVER become a father.

I'm not sure that it is entirely followed in practice because the male's instinct to mate is unshakeable. Tomcats cats have a few unshakeable instincts, one is the one mentioned in the other is to sustain their lives through successful predation. The other, for a domestic cat, is to seek security and warmth and lastly companionship with a human caregiver.

It seems likely that a young cat would not have rotten teeth and therefore they'd be no obstacle to mating. Only when they get older would there be gum disease at which time the tomcat may show a disinterest in mating.

Here is some more from Bing's Co-pilot:

  1. Health and Reproductive Function: A cat’s overall health significantly impacts its reproductive abilities. Bad teeth can lead to paininfection, and difficulty eating, which may affect the cat’s overall well-being. If a tomcat is in poor health due to dental issues, it might struggle with other aspects of reproduction as well.

  2. Nutrition and Fertility: Proper nutrition is crucial for reproductive success. Cats with dental problems may have difficulty eating and maintaining optimal body condition. Malnutrition can directly impact fertility and sperm quality.

  3. Behavioral Factors: A tomcat’s ability to mate successfully involves more than just physical health. Behavioral factors play a role too. If a cat is in pain due to dental issues, it might be less interested in mating or less effective in courtship behaviors.

  4. Age: Older tomcats may experience dental problems due to age-related issues. As cats age, their teeth can deteriorate, affecting their overall health and reproductive abilities.

  5. Dealing with Dental Issues: If a tomcat has bad teeth, it’s essential to address the dental problems. Regular veterinary check-ups, dental cleanings, and appropriate treatment can improve overall health and increase the chances of successful reproduction.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Thursday 12 October 2023

Unsterilised male cats produce more sperm during July to December (Brisbane)

It probably will not surprise you to know that unsterilised tomcats produce more sperm during the mating season which is spring and summer. A study - believed to have been conducted in Brisbane, Australia - found that tomcats produce more sperm during the months of July and December for Brisbane. Clearly the season depends on where the cats live! For Brisbane spring is September to November.

Unsterilised male cats produce more sperm during July to December (Brisbane)
Masculine-looking tomcat with jowly cheeks. Image: Pixabay.

The scientist who conducted this experiment used electroejaculation methods which I presume means using electricity to stimulate a male cat to ejaculate sperm.

It sounds pretty upsetting to be honest but the scientists who conducted the experiment said that it did not cause any harm or discomfort.

It seems that the purpose of the study was to see whether it is possible to provide information to cat breeders about those peak moments when their male stud cat is producing more sperm than normal and which would probably enhance the breeding process.

I don't know for sure whether a breeder would find this kind of study useful. They might not because they may know instinctively when their stud cat is more fertile and more able to produce offspring. Perhaps there is no problem whatsoever in a male stud cat producing offspring but a breeder will tell you.

My report here is based upon the summary of a study carried out by I. Johnstone entitled: "Electroejaculation in the domestic cat".

The scientist, found that there was a great deal of variation between "collections from the same cat indicating the necessity for at least five collections when assessing the fertility of a tomcat."

They found that "sperm counts were higher in the latter half of the year, at the time of increased sexual activity for cats in the Brisbane area."

They say that the "results have indicated that semen volume tends to increase from July to December, thus indicating increased accessory gland activity during the breeding season."

Saturday 3 December 2022

Neutered male cat wants to mate with a spayed female in the same household. Why?

A cat owner on the website finds it difficult to understand what their male cat is doing to their female cat. They are both sterilised. The male cat is neutered, and the female cat is spayed. Therefore, the female cat doesn't come into heat. Why is the male cat pestering the female for sex?!

Neutered male cat wants to mate with spayed female
Neutered male cat wants to mate with spayed female. Image: u/Ok_Reference2122 on Reddit

The owner of the cats asks: "What is my cat doing to my other cat??? He will do these little chirps and follow her around mounting her like this but why? They are both fixed so he can’t be in heat."

My answer on Reddit was: 

"Neutered male cats might still desire to have sex with a spayed female cat. They may also desire to have sex with their owner's arm! The drive to mate is still there despite being neutered and the removal of testosterone. It's in their DNA. So being fixed does not stop this but it depends upon the individual cat. The little chirps he makes is a sign of excitement before mating."

The fact of the matter is that male cats even after being neutered and therefore even after the stopping of the production of testosterone, can still have a drive to mate with a female even when that cat is herself neutered.

And sometimes male cats have sex with their owner's arm or perhaps a leg or some other similar object. We see this quite a lot with dogs as well.

RELATED: Reason why some dogs try to mate with your leg.

Clearly, the drive by a male cat or dog to mate with a female is in their DNA and they will try and do it even if it is impractical. It becomes instinctive and illogical sometimes because they want to have sex with your arm.

It's just this internal drive and a lack of testosterone doesn't stop it in some individuals. I think this is very much about individuals and how they personally react to being neutered.

I speak from first-hand experience by the way because my cat has sex with my arm every day! I let him do it because it pleases him. There is a duty on all cat owners to please the domestic cat and it doesn't do me any harm so why stop it!?

For most dogs, the environment is sterile in terms of opportunities to mate with females. Forgive the pun. There is no opportunity and therefore they dive for the nearest object which is a substitute such as their owner's leg or the leg of an armchair or something like that.

It's all normal and dogs and cats should not be criticised for this behaviour. It's just that humans put them in a world where this kind of 'strange' (to humans) behaviour happens. From the dog or cat's perspective it is not strange but entirely normal.

Saturday 26 June 2021

Can a neutered male cat still mate?

Yes, neutered male cats can still mate because they are driven to mate by 3 things including testosterone, but they can't procreate.

This question has been asked thousands of times and answered pretty comprehensively but I'm going to throw my hat into the ring. In this article I interpret 'mating' as the desire to have sex with a female.

It seems to me that there are 3 drives which make a male cat want to mate with a female and they are (1) it's in his DNA i.e. it is inherited, and (2) behaviourally he has learned to do it after mating with queens (unneutered female cats normally breeding cats) and (3) the presence of the hormone testosterone in his blood.

Gunner an unneutered male Sphynx cat. Photos: Helmi Flick.
Gunner an unneutered male Sphynx cat. Photos: Helmi Flick. As he is hairless his testicles are very visible. Sorry Gunner, I realise it is a bit rude to talk about you like that.

It is the last factor which is the most relevant and certainly the most relevant in this instance because it is the male cat's testes (testicles) in which testosterone is produced. Neuter (castrate) him and you remove the testes and you remove the testosterone although some of this hormone may remain in their body afterwards for a while. So, there should be less motivation to mate with a female once a male cat has been castrated.

But it's not true that there is no motivation because you will read stories on the Internet of male cats who want to mate with female cats even though they have been castrated. Certainly, male cats who have been neutered later in life may still want to mate with females although it is uncommon. It appears that they have a habit or a practiced mating activity which continues instinctively even though they're not driven to have sex with a female because of their testosterone.

And there must, it seems to me, be some inherited desire through their genetics to procreate and therefore that innate desire is present even without the hormone testosterone.

It also seems, though, that even young male cats who have been neutered at about 7 months old can retain their sex drive. And I have personal experience of this because my male cat regards me as his mother and when I wear an old dressing gown, he likes to have sex on my arm. He treats the dressing gown as his mother. It does feel a bit like a cat because it's woolly and about the rough shape of a cat! I know it sounds a bit ridiculous and bizarre but I let him do it. Given the opportunity he would do it at least once per day.

In short, he has a very strong sex drive even though he totally lacks testosterone and is about 6 years old so he's been without testosterone for 5.5 years. It seems that the two factors I mentioned above other than the testosterone drive have come into play for my cat. Instinctively, he wants or needs to procreate. He instinctively wants to mate with a female. This is strongly evident in his behaviour towards me.

And, it has to be said, it is not that strange for domestic cats to hump a person's arm or to hump something inanimate. The same thing happens with dogs. It entirely instinctive and we should not laugh at them or belittle them for it. Humans are no better when you think about it!

To get back to the question in the title, can a neutered male cat still mate? Yes, they can and I don't think that it is as uncommon as people think. However, they can go through the act of mating but they can't procreate because they have no sperm due to their missing testicles. That's obvious but perhaps it needs to be stated just in case it isn't that obvious.

The neutering operation is called an orchidectomy. Both testicles are removed and the cat can go home the same day. Neutering does not change the cat's personality except to reduce or eliminate the desire to roam and his sexual impulses. Clearly it does not entirely eliminate his sexual impulses but it presumably varies on a cat-by-cat basis. Also, males become less aggressive when neutered and this is partly because they are less territorial and a lot of their aggression is expended in protecting their home range.

Early neutering produces a cat which is slightly taller in size due to delayed bone growth plate closure. Early neutering might cause the inability to extrude the penis! For that reason, I insisted that my cat was neutered no sooner than 7-months-of-age. I wanted him to at least have a decent willie that worked for Christ's sake! It does and he has it out (it is erect) when he is humping my arm for around five minutes. He only humps my arm when I am wearing the same dressing gown.

He becomes very excited and makes a pleased squeak before he starts. He grips the cuff of the garment in his teeth in the classic mating position to stop the 'female' turning and slapping him when he removes his barbed willy. Yes, I am being a bit graphic but it is the reality of it. Oh, and he washes his willie after the mating. And then jumps back on my lap for a pleasant snooze.

Friday 19 March 2021

Males cats try harder when females struggle during mating

I am referring to domestic cats. My personal research indicates very clearly that during mating when the female struggles or complains the male tries harder and continues beyond the point at which he'd normally have stopped.

Cats mating
Savannah cats mating at a cat breeder. Photo: Mike B

You know that the male prevents the female moving away by grasping her by the scruff of the neck in his mouth (as seen in the photo above). It is quite a brutal process. It sort of looks a bit like rape as it includes violence of a sort. The biting of the females neck to keep her compliant and the barbed penis raking her vagina when it is withdrawn. It's not a loving event, let's put it that way!

My cat likes to have sex on my arm when I am wearing an old fleece dressing gown. This is not uncommon. Or this sort of vestigial sex is seen in various forms by male domestic cats and dogs even after neutering. Testosterone is not the only motivator for sex.

But if I move my hand when he is about to stop, he continues. And he will continue as long as I move my hand. He stops eventually but he sees my hand moving and decides that the female he is having sex with is struggling to be free of him. His response is to deny her that release and continue.

If my imaginative interpretation is correct, I am unsure why he does this. It may simply be a process of dominance and the struggle by the female may provoke him to continue. It may even excite him as violence can excite humans during sex.

I am speculating wildly but it is very noticeable so something is happening. It has never been reported before perhaps because it is hardly important.

The photo is by MikeB.

Saturday 13 March 2021

Do neutered domestic cats hump and get boners?

Yes and yes is the response. Neutering of male cats removes the testes. This removes the organ that produces testosterone. How do they feel emotionally going forward? I did an article about how a man feels when castrated to try and get inside the head of a cat. Click here if you'd like to read it.

Do neutered domestic cats hump and get boners?
Do neutered domestic cats hump and get boners? Yes and Yes.

Testosterone is not the only trigger or motivator for a feline's desire to have sex. It is a complex interaction of psychological, neural, vascular, and endocrine (hormone) factors, and is associated with sexual arousal. 

I guess that losing the ability to create one important hormone, testosterone, is not enough to stop a male cat's desire to hump and get an erection. But this be a personality issue too. It'll depend on the individual cat.

My male cat humps my arm when it is in a fleece dressing gown. He loves it and it substitutes having sex with a female cat. He was neutered when very young as is normal for rescue domestic cats.

He is also still territorial. He is still an aggressor to other cats who he likes to boss around. 

Some commenters say that cats gradually get used to not having testosterone in their bodies and will stop humping about 12 weeks after the operation.

This has not happened for my cat. He was neutered 5.5 years ago and he still humps my arm daily. It is as regular as that. Something more than testosterone is driving it.

Some say that when male cats are neutered at an older age they don't lose the desire to hump. Not so for me and my cat. As mentioned he was neutered at the earliest opportunity as directed by the cat rescue. This is about 8 weeks old.

Friday 5 March 2021

Do male cats mate with their siblings?

Yes, male cats do sometimes mate with their siblings. They are not choosy it seems. Neither are the females as they will mate with a series of males such that their litter might have different fathers. But it depends on the opportunity and the personality of the cat. 

Cat mating on a car's hood (bonnet in the UK)
Forgive the rudeness of the photo. Cat mating on  a car's hood (bonnet in the UK).
Photo: in the public domain.

Male domestic cats are often neutered as are female cats. And male cats arrive to mate with a female in heat and then disappear as they are solitary animals. Except when they are forced to live cheek by jowl for example in a rescue setting where many cats live in the same home of perhaps a cat rescuer who has turned into a hoarder.

I remember seeing a photograph of about fifty white cats in one home. Clearly the parents had procreated and the male had mated with some of the offspring on a regular basis to create this huge colony of lookalike cats stuffed into the tiny kitchen looking for their dinner.

And there is that well-known picture of a Japanese island famous for its cat colony. There are hundreds of ginger tabbies or that is the impression. They family has inbred for donkey's years to create this massive family of orgiastic felines going at it from one year to the next.

Japanese island colony of look alike ginger tabby cats
Japanese island colony of look alike ginger tabby cats. Photo: public domain.

The thing is you don't read about it in the books on cats. It seems that the top writers on cats don't like to write about it.

Notwithstanding the apparent reluctance to write about cat orgies, Dr Desmond Morris in his book Catwatching states that a single breeding pair of domestic cats can procreate their way to a staggering 65,000 cats in five years, at least in theory because many die. The calculation is based on the presumption that males and females are born in equal numbers and that they all start breeding when they are a year old.

Kittens can grow into unneutered adults who are content to mate with their mothers. The males desire to mate due to their testosterone is not concerned with the finer points of life. Their mother is another female to mate with. A friend of mine tried to get his male white Persian to mate with his mother. The male was entirely disinterested. Is that a personality trait issue?

Wednesday 2 November 2011

Are cats polygamous?

Savannah Cats Mating
Savannah cats mating. Photo: Michael
The answer is, no, strictly speaking because cats do not get married and polygamy is a marriage in which the spouse of either sex has more than one mate at the same time.

Cats have a mating system in which females mate with multiple males and males mate with multiple females. This is near a state of simultaneous polyandry on behalf of the female cat and polygyny on behalf of the male cat.

Polyandry occurs when a female has more than one male mate at a time. Polygyny occurs when a male has more than one female mate at a time.

However, females and male cats don't appear to have mates, at the time of mating, if we apply the usual definition of the word. Female cats may be inseminated by up to ten different males and some litters have more than one father. This causes an uncertainty as to paternity. The male is unlikely to attack kittens of any female that he mated with.

Associated page: Cat Mating

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