Why do female cats scream after mating?

If you are of a squeamish disposition you might want to stop reading ?. I am just joking because I am sure by now that most people know why female cats scream at the end of mating. The title is a question that people ask but is slightly inaccurate because the female screams at the end of copulation when the male withdraws his penis. This is not, strictly speaking, after mating.

Female cat screaming at the end of mating
!! I can’t show the sex act plain and simply as advertisers don’t like that kind of stuff. Sorry. The picture is deliberately blurred and hard to read.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Most also know that, unlike the smooth penis of other mammals, the cat’s penis is covered in sharp, backward-pointing spines. In essence it is a barbed instrument of torture when withdrawn after mating. In fact, there are between 120-150 sharp spines attached to the tomcat’s penis. They are designed to trigger ovulation.

It is inserted easily but it rakes the sides of the female’s vagina when removed. You can now see why female cats scream at this point of the mating process. They are briefly in intense pain. The male cat has no choice and he hangs on to the female’s scruff of the neck with his teeth. The female turns to bite him. He releases her and moves away when he feels it is safe to do so.

The more sexually virile the male, the bigger the spines. So, the sexiest males cause the females the most pain. Uhm, does that ring a bell in the human world ?.

There is a reason behind this apparently sadistic approach to sex from the male’s standpoint and masochism from the female’s. The female cat only ovulates (releases her eggs) afters she has been mated. The intense pain described above triggers the ovulation. It is called induced ovulation.

Within 25-30 hours of the first mating act, she is shedding her eggs, ready to be fertilised. Within about 30 minutes of experiencing this pain she is ready to do it all again within another tom. This cycle continues at a gradually decreasing rate for a day or two, says Dr. John Bradshaw in his book Cat Sense. Once her receptive period is over, she removes herself from the area and the tomcats disperse. If she does not become pregnant, she comes into season again every two weeks until she conceives successfully.

The domestic cat mating ritual evolved long before domestication of the wildcat. It was a time when every female lived in her own territory and perhaps several miles from the nearest male cat. But Bradshaw believes that this form of “delayed ovulation” evolved to give the female time to select the best male. This system allows females to attract several males and then to observe them for hours or days so that she can assess which one is the most likely to provide the best kittens in terms of genetic health.

Note. Google Adsense will not allow me to put a picture of a male’s penis on the page as it may upset its advertisers. I respect that decision. That’s why it ain’t here. They even don’t like to see cats mating. I have camouflaged the picture to half hide the act! It’s strange because it is entirely natural. It’s a weird world we live in.


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Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

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