What’s up with cat humping, anyway?

I have brazenly lifted the title to this post from the Catster.com website. The title interested me. I thought how often do people see domestic cats humping? For the sake of complete clarity humping is slang for sex. I mean we don’t see it very often do we? We might see it more often with feral cats but in the UK you hardly ever see feral cats. I’ve never seen one over decades and I am observant.

I would love somebody to write a comment and tell me that she sees humping all the time! I’m referring to cats by the way 🙂 . I do actually know a bit about cats humping because my male cat, despite being neutered at the requisite time, likes to hump my arm when, and only when, I am wearing an old dressing gown which I presume has the texture and feel of a female domestic cat!

Gabriel having sex on my arm
Gabriel having sex on my arm. You can see him gripping my dressing gown in his teeth in the belief he is gripping the nape of the neck of a female cat to stop her swiping him angrily. Photo: PoC.
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

And the Catster.com author (JaneA Kelley) advises what you could do to try and stop it. Well, I take the exact opposite view which is typical of me. I allow it to happen and even, on occasions, encourage it by putting on that old dressing gown just for him because throughout a hot summer he never gets the opportunity. Why do I encourage? Because it makes him happy. It is as simple as that.

It is an outlet for him. It is natural and instinctive to him despite being neutered. He wants to do it. He needs to express himself. In the inimitable words of Jackson Galaxy, when he is humping my dressing gown he is experiencing Total Cat Mojo. It is the raw cat coming out. You know, what does a wildcat do but eat, hunt, sleep and have sex occasionally when called to do so by a female on heat.

There is a rhythm to the normal life of a domestic cat that we should be allowed to happen. Within that rhythm you might add humping from time to time.

Savannah cats mating
Savannah cats mating. Photo by Michael. Taken at A1 Savannahs. These cats were the opposite to reluctant.

If you have the opposite attitude to me and want to stop it happening because you just don’t like to see it perhaps the best way to achieve this is to distract your cat. You can normally predict when it is going to happen because by observation you can see that your cat follows a pattern of activity leading up to that objectionable act! There may be a trigger event as is the case for me (sitting down in the armchair with that old dressing gown).

The Catster.com author says that if your cat is humping compulsively you might need to provide some stress relief. It made me smile because I would have thought that humping is a form of stress relief 🙂 . That’s what humans think about it when they do it. I am sure it is the same for domestic cats.

Conclusion

Having sex is a natural form of behaviour for any animal including the human-animal. As a cat guardian we owe it to them to allow them to express as many of their natural desires as possible in an environment which is as natural as possible for them. My advice, therefore (which won’t be typical), is to allow your cat to hump if he wants to. If it doesn’t do any harm to anybody and pleases him why stop it?

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