Having the Awkward Talk About Cats Humping

Cats can do some pretty strange things, at times. They always want to cuddle when you’re in the middle of something important and they’ll knock things off the counter just to spite you. One behavior that is a little more than strange – it’s downright shocking – is cat humping. It isn’t uncommon for dogs to exhibit this behavior, but what does it mean when your cat does it?

Why Do Cats Hump?

Though you may think of it as a primarily male behavior, female cats will sometimes hump things as well. What is it that inspires this behavior? The cause may vary.

Related: Why Do Cats Go Crazy at Night?

Generally speaking, humping is a sexual behavior that is primarily seen in unaltered cats. There are cases, however, when a cat that has been spayed or neutered will exhibit this behavior as well. In these cases, it is possible that the cat wasn’t altered at a young enough age to prevent him from developing the sex hormones that trigger this kind of behavior. Even if your cat was altered at a young age, if the surgery was done very recently he could still have some sex hormones in his body for a full 6 to 12 weeks afterward.

Another potential cause for humping behavior in cats is stress or boredom. If you have an older cat that has never exhibited this behavior before, it may be a stress reaction to sudden change in the home environment. Have you added a new pet (particularly another cat) to your family or made some other significant change? If not, it may be a response to boredom or pent-up energy. If your cat doesn’t get enough play time or attention he may exhibit unwanted behaviors like humping.

What Can You Do to Discourage the Behavior?

Before you start thinking about ways to discourage humping behavior in your cat, ask yourself whether it’s really necessary. Humping can be an annoying or embarrassing behavior to witness, but it probably isn’t hurting anyone.

Related: Decoding the Mysterious Habits of Cats

Even so, you should take the time to figure out what it is that is causing the behavior and remedy the problem – this may reduce or completely eliminate the behavior without you having to do much. Whatever you do, don’t punish your cat for humping – not only will it be ineffective, but it could scare your cat and cause more stress. It could even cause your cat to fear you which is not good for either of you.

Cats can be very odd at times and it is sometimes difficult to understand their behavior. What you need to remember about humping behavior is that, while it may be annoying to you, it is completely natural and there is probably a reason for it. If you don’t want your cat to exhibit this behavior, try giving him a little more attention and work some extra play time into your day. If you suspect that stress is an issue, do what you can to remedy the problem.


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