Do Cats Masturbate?

Do Cats Masturbate?

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Our question this week was:

Dr. Debra – I have a cat that pulls clothes out of the laundry and basically humps it. He gets a strange look in his eye, makes pelvic motions as he straddles the dirty clothes and generally bites or chews a bit of the fabric in his mouth. He is 6-years-old male (neutered) and has done this his entire life. It doesn’t really bother me but I’ve never heard of this and was curious.

Sandy P.


Hi – thanks for your email. You wrote asking if cats masturbate. The answer is yes they dog/can. Intact males, neutered males, intact females and even spayed females can all masturbate. It is most common in males.

Why do they do it? Well, they probably have derived pleasure from this behavior in the past and have continued it. Many cats will mature out of this behavior and do it less often as they age.

We have an article on PetPlace that might be helpful to you is Compulsive Reproductive Behavior.

This article talks about humping and masturbation behavior of cats.

There is nothing you can really do but cats will often “grow” out of this behavioral after they are neutered. I recall having a clinic cat that would drag out towel or whatever he could find and do his thing at least once a day his entire life. He lived to be 15-years-old.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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