Can cats be asexual?

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

I’m referring to domestic cats. The word “asexual” means to lack the desire to have sex. Both intact male and female domestic cats naturally desire to procreate and therefore have sex. It would be a rare cat indeed who was genuinely asexual because it’s in the DNA of intact domestic cats to procreate in the interests of the survival of the cat’s DNA in generations to come.

When you ask Google whether domestic cats can be asexual, the search engine is a little confused. It struggles to answer the question properly. Perhaps this is a sign that asexuality in regular intact domestic cats is more than rare. I’ll try and do the question justice here.

The question can be answered substantially if you refer to spayed and neutered female and male domestic cats respectively. Most domestic cats in the West are sterilised.

If you remove the hormones from these cats the desire to procreate, to have sex, is removed, it is said. Wrong!

Neutered males can have a libido

Male cats can sometimes retain their sex drive after they have been neutered which entails the removal of their testes and with them the means to produce testosterone, which is the sex drive (libido) hormone.

I can vouch for this because my neutered male cat still likes to have sex on my arm at least once a day perhaps twice a day if he is in the mood. He is frustrated as there are no female cats. I don’t have a percentage on the number of male cats like mine.

Spayed females

The spaying operation for females removes her ovaries and entire uterus and therefore she should not cycle and should not display heat behaviours as the hormone oestrogen drives the desire to mate. If she does go into heat a search for oestrogen should be made to rule out a piece of ovarian tissue left inside after the operation. Spayed females should be asexual and should not going into heat i.e. call out for males and attract mating.

Male tortoiseshell

There is a type of domestic cat which is betwixt and between male and female; the very rare male tortoiseshell. The chances of finding a male tortoiseshell cat have been calculated at about 200 to 1 but possibly rarer.

The male tortoiseshell cat’s masculinity leaves a lot to be desired. They are sterile. Their behaviour is odd and they act “like a masculinised female rather than a true male”. The quote comes from Dr. Desmond Morris.

The male tortoiseshell is asexual. They don’t spray urine at the age when they typically should and they do not court or attempt to mate with females on heat even though they are anatomically equipped to do so. The male tortoiseshell may show some interest in females when they grow older but they do so without enthusiasm.

My conclusion is that domestic cats can be asexual as described above and sterilised male cats can still shun asexuality sometimes. It’s a mixed picture.

Humans

Humans can be asexual. I suspect quite a decent percentage are but it is not talked about much. Interestingly, Generation Z are turned off by TV romances. A study has revealed that most of the participants aged between 13-24 would rather see friendships, platonic relationships or romances depicted on screen and I don’t want to see sex scenes. Is this a trend towards asexuality?

Some studies have concluded that women are more often asexual than men. This might be true but it might be the case that men don’t want to admit that they are asexual because of their egos and social pressures whereas women might be more open about it. I don’t know. I’m just discussing it.

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