Cat rape: What REALLY happens when you refuse to spay your cat

This article isn’t aimed toward those who rescue a pregnant cat. It’s for those who refuse to have their cats spayed or neutered, especially those who want their female cat to experience the miracle of kittens being born. Many cat owners think it necessary to allow their cat to have one litter before being spayed just so the cat can experience being a mother.

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

Here’s what REALLY happens when you refuse to spay your cat. A female cat reaches sexual maturity anywhere from around five months to one year and can become pregnant. An unneutered male cat can pick up the scent of a female in “heat” or estrus cycle from up to a mile away.

Once every unneutered male within that radius picks up the scent, the male cats head off to find the female, where she is repeatedly chased then raped by every tomcat who can catch her and pin her down. Repeatedly. For DAYS!

Don’t count yourself lucky if you only have an unneutered male cat. Tomcats are known for getting into vicious fights with competing males, making them susceptible to injuries as well as FIV/FeLV.

Female cats are seasonally polyestrous, meaning they go into heat every two to three weeks, usually between mid-January through August. After delivering a litter of kittens a female will go back into heat within weeks. It’s not unheard of for a female cat to be nursing one litter when she becomes pregnant with another.

This “miracle of birth” later leads to the litters (and sometimes the mama cat) being dumped at the shelter when the family decides the cats/kittens aren’t so cute anymore. These cats are called “owner surrenders” and aren’t subject to state hold time as strays are. The shelter already knows who the owner is, meaning they can kill the family at any time.

Many of these cats and kittens are euthanized for space or the kittens get sick in the shelter environment and die on their own or are euthanized. So please consider the problems you’re creating for everyone involved when you’re considering the decision not to spay or neuter your cat.

Communities usually have low-cost spay/neuter clinics. You may have to ask around to locate one near you but it’s well worth it. Your cat will have a healthier life and you can thank yourself for being part of the solution instead of part of the problem.

Anything I missed? Please leave it in the comment section. This is an excellent article if you’d like more information about what happens during estrus.

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At What Age Should A Cat Be Spayed Or Neutered?

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Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

59 thoughts on “Cat rape: What REALLY happens when you refuse to spay your cat”

  1. NatureIsViolentButItDoesntHaveToBe

    BRAVO ELISA & MICHAEL! Something being natural doesn’t mean it’s necessary. It also doesn’t make it any less violent & painful, nor heavily health-taxing & resource consuming for the mom. In case the morons in the comments hadn’t heard, the feral cat overpopulation crisis is now in the hundreds of millions. Tht is not just thanks to cat breeding behavior being too effective, but also thanks to HUMANS & human behavior. It is on us to end the unfathomable misery tht results from overpopulation. And WE CAN so why shouldn’t we? Yes, natural cat breeding behavior is horrendously violent, painful, & in every way certainly resembles what humans would call rape. Humans have been instrumental in permanently altering the evolutionary story of not just dogs, cats, & animals kept for consumption, but literally every species on this planet. Just b/c something is natural doesn’t make it a good thing. Why shouldn’t we free female cats from the misery tht is “natural feline breeding behavior?” They’ll live longer, safer, healthier, happier lives; millions less will suffer the horrific deaths tht are common for feral/stray cats & kittens; & the literal billions of individual animals from the many species they prey upon, some even endangered, will survive!
    Why anyone is getting hung up on semantics is fucking beyond me. Your pseudo-arguments are dumb & pointless. Shut up. Like seriously just please shut up. . .

    1. All feral cats are the product of the careless human. Cat domestication was not meant to be like this. Cat domestication is arguably a failure because half the 500 million cats on the planet are feral. And the numbers drown out all the wild cats combined.

  2. Spay and neuter. Cat sex is violent, but is not rape. This is how free-roaming cats mate. Purebred cats are one male and one female to better the breed. I used to raise Sphynx cats, and Siamese as well. Now I just have happy altered household pets who can enjoy a large outdoor run any time they want. I’m also an advocate of early spay/neuter. I fixed mine before they even knew if they were male or female.

  3. Don’t call this rape. Mating for cats and many other animals is a biological imperative. The males and females cannot control their responses to the hormones.

    We and some other species can.

    You made your case with the other points

    1. Well, the author wanted to get people’s attention. I guess she succeeded. It is hard to get the attention of people on the massive and expanding internet.

  4. Pretty disgusting, to draw click to your page by exploiting rape. You’ve made a case for nothing except your willingness to throw serious terms around as emotional exploitation.


    1. You may well boo the page but it serves a purpose: to highlight the need to spay and neuter cats and if it has some success in that goal the page should not be criticised.

  5. the title makes sense to me. if people are anthropomorphizing their cats, believing they should have a litter for “emotional reasons” it makes sense to continue to use that anthropomorphic mindset to make the case for spaying and neutering. its an effective means of getting the point across.

    1. Excellent comment. Nicely put. The goal was to get the point across and it succeeded. Thanks Jo.

  6. This is quite possibly the dumbest article I have ever read. Are you seriously trying to conflate human rape with cat mating rituals? Cats go off of instinct while humans are sentient, thinking beings. If cats did not mate the way they did, they would be an extinct species. Wow.. I just can’t even. I hope the author of this article is in junior high, otherwise s/he is mentally challenged. At least it gave me a good laugh, thanks for that.

    It is one thing to tell your readers to spay/neuter your cats and it’s another to humanize your animals to the point where you place social stigmas and crimes such as rape onto them. LOL Please don’t quit your day job.

    Also, the barbed penis serves a purpose despite you ignoring that in the comment section. If humans had a barbed penis, we would have to adapt or else we would die off. That’s just the way nature works, get used to it or be an ostrich who puts their head in the sand.

    1. Without wishing to be impolite, perhaps it is you who is being dumb. The purpose of the title and the tenor of the article is to get people to read it with the intention of increasing the percentage of female cats which are spayed. There is a significant but small percentage of female cats who are not spayed in America because their owner thinks that these cats need to have one litter (for emotional reasons). These owners are anthropomorphizing their cats. To recap: the title is deliberately provocative to get it to be read. In that sense it has been successful because this article has been read over 20,000 times. So please, before you insult people try and think a little bit more about how the Internet is so competitive and how you have to make an article standout for it to be read in the interests of animal welfare.

      1. It’s exploitative. It’s disgusting.

        Yes, people have clicked, I’m sure someone made money off that. But no one is learning anything other than how far some people will go to propagandize a subject.

        1. It is not about making money but educating cat owners. The page has probably made about $1 over its entire lifetime in advertising revenue! Big money. I am so motivated by money….

  7. It didn’t look much like a “mating ritual” as others have characterized here. If these were the only two cats left on the planet fine, but otherwise, brutal and unnecessary.

    1. Suzanne are you for real? You do realize once upon a time our ancestors did the same thing to females? That’s the way the animal kingdom works, the only difference with humans is we developed a large brain and over the years empathy and social standards. Some animals mate violently and others do not.

      1. We know that there is no such thing as cat rape because rape applies to humans only but…the point is made and the point of the article is to get owners to spay their female cats and for owners to realise what happens if you don’t. It is a good message so please don’t take a holier-than-thou stance on this.

        1. Michael – I think the way to get people to spay and neuter is to talk about too many cats being there, cats and kittens being killed, and also bring up behavioral issues. Calling mating ritual “rape” isn’t going to convince anybody, if anything, it’ll just make them ignore the rest of your arguments.

          1. Well that’s your opinion. The title was chosen by Elisa and I did not discuss it with her. I think it is fine. The article is very successful getting around 20,000 unique visitors to see it. Not bad. Damn good in fact.

            1. The title doesn’t mention rape, it just says “Here is what happens”, unless you read the article you can think it’s about cats being killed in a shelter.

              Besides, I bet if you take an anonymous poll of your readers’ views on neutering/spaying, you’d see most if not all already do.

  8. I have witnessed what you are talking about in a way that makes it clear it is rape. A tiny very young feral female being relentlessly “pursued” by a gigantic male feral.The female was terrified and trying to escape. That was very sad. That same male was so aggressive he was a threat to my neutered male, bullying and attacking at his pleasure all the cats in the neighborhood. Now I never let my cats out.

    1. After see this happen I got every few in the colony in my area spay. So no more kitten and I still feed the colony. Anytime a female comes around even the neighbor cat I get it spay. Its the least we can do.

      1. Great work and well done. I have a lot of admiration for people like you. You go about your work quietly almost invisibly sometimes but you do good work and you improve the lives of these poor cats. And sometimes you work against the odds because neighbours don’t like to see it. This makes it even harder. People who object to the kind of work you do are ignorant. You are doing good work.

        1. Thanks for the encouragement. My family thinks I’m crazy because of the expensive way it cost. Since the pandemic a crew comes around once a month and you have to know some to get an opportunity to have just one cat fix. Most of the vets have sold put due to the pandemic so I go 200 miles one way to a big city to get these cats taken care of two at a time and it coat a grand for the two plus motels. Check Ian 68 and my husband is81 and we figure we need to give back. After my last cat past for ten years I shut my doors. My husband brought in a Tom cat we call timeshare and this venture continues. We only wish we had brought a larger home but I have a good size front price to any cat who needs food or shelter it feels good. And I’m going to keep it going with a trust once we both are gone.

  9. Cats aren’t being raped by other cats. That isn’t a thing and calling their mating rituals “rape” is seriously offensive. Not to imply that cats shouldn’t be spayed/neutered to reduce unhealthy population growth. Just saying that the edgy title is grossly inappropriate.

    Also, I dunno what those comments said, but removing part of them and publicly calling the posters trolls doesn’t look good on your part, Makes your moderators look like fascists. :3

    1. Three points: (a) this was a genuine troll, very insulting and all he wanted to do was provoke and insult. He had to be deleted (b) I am not a fascist. The fact that I have left up your comment tells you that because you have insulted me and (c) the title is provocative but in a good cause as it got lots of hits and educated people to spay their female cats preventing unwanted pregnancies and unwanted cats. Got it. Try and be polite next time.

      1. Michael Broad – why was this person a “troll”. He or she has an opinion different from the person he replied to and was very passionate about his opinion. But a definition of a “troll” is someone who writes inflammatory comments just to provoke a reaction. This wasn’t the case, IMHO. Incidentally, I think many a rape victim or someone who knows a rape victim might find a post that calls natural animal behavior as “rape” offensive.

        1. If I call a person a troll they are a known troll. There are several who frequent this site. I know them and know what they write. Sorry but you don’t know these people.

      2. Yes. Exactly, emotionally exploitative clickbait that uses what rape victims go through for attention. I’ve been raped & this is vile.

        Shame on you.

  10. I just had my 2 gorgeous tom cats neutered and chipped, best thing i have ever done, now they are mostly stay at home, loving gentle cats, brothers by the way, instead of the dirty stop outs, “raping”and hunting down females and attacking each other with intent to mate.

  11. I have had cats before and allowed them to have kittens. They did get neutered at later date. I would class it as rape as this is natural for most animals.

    I do believe that animals lovers shd think clearly before giving pets as gifts to there children. As most kids get bored after a while. I also think if u r on low income and do not have time or patient then maybe u should neuter u cat from early.

    1. Thanks Dawn. It is certainly essential I am afraid to spay and neuter cats nowadays. And it must be done as early as possible consist with good veterinary practice.

  12. Not to forget that not neutered Tom Cats cause cat fights and healthy & innocent other male or female cats can get attack in those bloody cat fights and they can get infected with Fiv or Felv.
    Once tame cats are rescued from the streets and then get tested positive for FIV or Felv, many rescue groups don’t want them and often those poor cats get euthanized! Especially Felv positive cats get euthanized.
    So Spay & Neuter to avoid overpopulation and to avoid bloody cat fights and to avoid cats fighting over living space & food.
    Spayed and Neutered cats live more peaceful together!
    And very important: many people hate cats because un- spayed & un-nutered cats meow at night when in heat or starting up cat fights and therefore feral cats get killed (poisioned, trapped and dumped at kill shelters) because people want them gone!
    Very sad! And not to forget the endless amounts of kittens born unwanted into the world with no future!
    We have to spay & neuter to get a grip of cat overpopulation!

  13. They can be hit by cars in their pursuit of females, become lost, get attacked by people or dogs. It not not kind to not neuter your cat. An unneutered cat is also much more likely to spray urine and their urine has a stronger stink when they are not neutered. If your cat could talk, he would say, please get me neutered so I will be healthier and live longer. Thanks Elisa??

    1. They aren’t “healthier and live longer” in my area. Any stray cats, collared or not…. (remainder deleted as it promotes animal cruelty – Admin)

  14. Elisa Black-Taylor

    Someone calling himself “Learn about Biology” has a comment in moderation. I won’t post it because it would give him free reign for a lot of nonsense but I will post what he wrote, just to be fair.

    “Really people need to stop anthropomorphizing animals. Male cats do not “rape” female cats. Also the barbs evolved to help make sure the female actually ovulates making the eggs available for fertilization at the optimal time when fresh viable sperm is present. This ensures the preservation of the species. Obviously this evolutionary strategy has been successful judging from the abundance of cats.”

      1. Elisa Black-Taylor

        It may be asinine but it worked. I didn’t come up with the term ‘cat rape’ on my own. Someone commented on an article awhile back and said there was nothing sweet about cats mating, that the female was repeatedly raped by every male in the area. That’s pretty much what happened.

        1. It may have worked, but your credibility as a learned and educated person has been compromised.

          Next I suggest you begin a campaign to eradicate Dihydrogen Monoxide. I hear that stuff is a real killer.

          1. Elisa Black-Taylor

            I’ve watched female feral cats being chased relentlessly while in heat before the colony was TNR’d. I write about what I’ve seen. I write about experiences others tell me about. There are many others who agree with what I’ve written here.

            When you’ve published more than 7000 articles on individual shelter cats in need of homes or rescues in need of funds for a medical case cat, THEN you can judge me. Until then I don’t give a shit what you think of me Terr.

            1. Any self-serving troll on a keyboard can publish that many bloggers’ articles in a year or two. It doesn’t make any of them correct or right.

              “If even 7 billion people are saying and doing a foolish thing, it remains a foolish thing.”

              Your self-promotion numbers mean absolutely nothing. And, in fact, if that’s the only proof of your “credibility” it only proves that you know and are nothing and have no credibility.

              1. Yes Elisa cares about the views of others but many of these people are trolls and therefore she has to ignore them. Also Elisa cares deeply about the welfare of cats and dogs.

              2. Elisa Black-Taylor

                The idea for this article came after several TNR caregivers used the word ‘rape’ for what they personally observed happening to any females they hadn’t managed to trap yet. I wouldn’t have thought of it without their comments.

              1. Elisa Black-Taylor

                Start doing like I do. Copy and paste their comment but don’t actually approve it for moderation. That way they get their point across but can’t take control of the article.

    1. Thank you for not printing that comment from someone who is ignorant to all the cats killed daily at shelters because of never ending kittens.
      Thank you for the great article, I believe it may catch the eye of some who normally ignore articles of spay neuter benefits. Keep up your great work.

      1. Elisa Black-Taylor

        FeralFriend, would you consider what a female cat in heat goes through as rape? I’d never thought of it in those terms until someone commented on an article I’d done and said it was rape.

        1. The female cat may or may not want the first male to take her, but surely all the rest are definitely rapes. No female in her right mind WANTS to have any barbs ripping that tender area; especially not multiple times a day/night.

          1. Elisa Black-Taylor

            Anyone who disagrees with your comment should ask to go along on a feral feeding where the caregiver is still in the process of getting the adult females spayed. It’s not a pleasant experience spending hours keeping 5+ male cats away from a female in heat. It doesn’t take long watching this until you’ll consider it rape.

            This article was never meant to offend victims of rape. The word is also a verb and in any form it’s an ugly word.

            I chose to use it in the title to discourage cat owners from wanting their cat to experience the miracle of birth before having the cat spayed.

    2. I agree with “learn about biology”. Calling natural animal behavior “rape” is ridiculous. I am all for spay/neutering for cat population control, but you are the one anthropomorphizing.

        1. The title doesn’t mention rape, it just says “this is what happens”. In terms of the visitors – most people, if not all, who read your blog are for spay/neutering already.

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