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Do Male Cats Understand A Female Cat Is Spayed?

Discussion in 'Cat Behavior' started by MissClouseau, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. MissClouseau

    MissClouseau Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    There are two female stray cats here. One is for sure spayed as her ear is clipped. The other we are not sure -- she never showed typical signs of heat and never gave birth. Intact male cats ignore the spayed one. But they do "serenade" the one we are not sure.

    My best guess is she's not spayed but there's infertility issues, or a hormonal problem that makes her not want to mate while still releasing pheromones the male cats can smell (if it's at all possible.)
     

  2. Kieka

    Kieka Snowshoe Servant Staff Member Forum Helper

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    Male cats, and even the female cats themselves, wouldn't understand that a cat is spayed. They would understand if the female isnt producing the hormones, giving off a scent of fertility and/or not yowling to attract attention. Since cats don't mate for affection or self satisfaction there is no point in mating if the female isnt fertile and it won't produce offspring. If the males are serenading the other female she likely is still fertile and should be spayed.
     
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  3. MissClouseau

    MissClouseau Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    That's my guess as well but the vet says because she didn't get pregnant at least since 2017, she must be spayed. I find it more likely for her to have a hormonal health problem/infertility.
     

  4. lutece

    lutece TCS Member Top Cat

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    Males can tell when a female is in heat by her scent, and they will be more excited when a female is in heat. But many sexually mature males will also try to mate with females that aren't in heat, spayed females, male cats, kittens, stuffed animals, blankets, etc. Male behavior isn't a definite indication one way or another of whether a female is spayed.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
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  5. lutece

    lutece TCS Member Top Cat

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    I'm not sure what you mean about cats not mating for self satisfaction? Intact male cats get really horny, have a powerful desire to mate, and they do seem to derive satisfaction from mating. It's pretty common for males to try to hump anything they can...
     
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  6. MissClouseau

    MissClouseau Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Can they smell it's a female WITHOUT her being in heat? They don't serenade other male cats but they do serenade this female cat.
     

  7. lutece

    lutece TCS Member Top Cat

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    If a female isn't spayed, but isn't in heat at the moment, she probably smells similar to a spayed female... but we don't know exactly what male cats can smell.

    If I were you, I would take this female in to be spayed (and if she's an outdoor cat, have her ear tipped). She might have already been spayed, in that case they can find out for sure and close her up and she will not have to go through it again. Alternatively, she might have been incompletely spayed with some tissue remaining... or she might have never been spayed and just hasn't become pregnant yet for some reason.
     

  8. MissClouseau

    MissClouseau Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Unfortunately I can't really do anything right now. Funny enough I'm in a very similar situation with my own cat as well and her health doesn't allow surgery still. (We are gonna do tests in September, if her health allows then. Fingers crossed!) With my cat at least I can say "Well she's outdoors only for couple hours a day" but this other cat, stray, she's outdoors 24/7. I keep scaring off male cats when they get close to her in case she's not spayed so I'm trying to figure out if it's for no reason.
     

  9. talkingpeanut

    talkingpeanut TCS Member Top Cat

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    Please keep your girl who isn’t spayed 100% inside! It’s not worth the risk, especially if she has health issues.
     
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  10. lutece

    lutece TCS Member Top Cat

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    It literally only takes a few seconds for a cat to successfully mate... they can mate while your back is turned for just a moment. So, trying to scare away males isn't an effective birth control method for either cat, if they are fertile females.
     
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  11. MissClouseau

    MissClouseau Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    I would if I could. Not possible.
     
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  12. MoonstoneWolf

    MoonstoneWolf Cat Food Bowl Referee Top Cat

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    I don't know. When I grew up we had a spayed female (Mom took her to be spayed) and the male dogs still tried to mate with her. Not sure if the same with cats are not.
     
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  13. talkingpeanut

    talkingpeanut TCS Member Top Cat

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    Why not possible? You are risking her life if she gets pregnant with health issues.
     

  14. DreamerRose

    DreamerRose TCS Member Top Cat

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    She's a stray, not her cat.
     
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  15. MissClouseau

    MissClouseau Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    No offense but I hear a version of this anti-outdoor every single time I mention the cats go out and you can imagine it reaaaaalllly got tiring to explain. But please understand not everyone in the world or their cats have the same circumstances. We all want the best for our cats. That’s why we are on this website :-)
     
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  16. talkingpeanut

    talkingpeanut TCS Member Top Cat

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    I am referring to her indoor cat, who has health issues which are preventing her from being spayed. Unless I have misunderstood, there are two cats here.

    I am not referring to letting cats outside in general. I’m concerned for your cat in particular because of her health issues. I was also hoping we could help you to troubleshoot since you said you would keep her in if you could.
     
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  17. MissClouseau

    MissClouseau Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    You are sweet to want to help in case there’s something I haven’t tried but no need. :-)
     

  18. Kieka

    Kieka Snowshoe Servant Staff Member Forum Helper

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    I have not had experience with unaltered cats, mine are always neutered. My understanding was they don't mate like humans do just for the satisfaction of it. If I am wrong, I stand corrected.
     

  19. MissClouseau

    MissClouseau Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    I'm bringing back an old post to update. Long story short my Hima was a stray I take care of in the yard first. I adopted her later. Normally when a female cat is spayed they clip her ear by cutting a small piece. Hima doesn't have that. That made me believe she wasn't spayed. And then during the winter-spring the unneutered male stray cats kept serenading her. She didn't show them any interest nor any typical signs of being in heat though. The vet believed she was spayed, otherwise she would want to mate herself and have kittens the two years I have known her. But she couldn't explain why then the male cats were coming to my window to serenade her. My guess was she wasn't spayed but there was a hormonal problem or something prevents getting in heat.

    Well, I now agree more with the vet and believe Hima is indeed spayed and the reason male cats serenaded her was because there was no fertile female around. 3 of these male cats still live in our condo and I saw at least one of them serenade two spayed females - their ears are clipped. (We have free clinics run by the municipality for spaying/neutering but they prioritize female cats. They neuter male cats only if someone brings them to the clinic and they don't have a sick animal to take care of which they almost always do.)

    My guess is whoever got her spayed did it when she was a small kitten and they didn't want to do anything to her small ears.

    What is the most interesting to me in this is that male cats can still smell something and understand a cat is female even if she's spayed.
     

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