Humping problem and common causes

calwinegirl

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I have a 10 y/o neutered male short hair cat who has recently begun humping everything! He drags my clothes out of the laundry basket and humps them, as well as his cat toys, pillows, blankets, etc. Seems to be anything soft and/or furry. This is an actual humping action, not just kneading. He makes odd crying sounds and just humps away. It's not only strange, but it is very irritating as he does this in the middle of the night and wakes us up.

After searching the internet and finding many stories about similar behaviors and nothing about any real solutions... I called the University of California at Davis - Small Animal Hospital of Behavior Science. I had a 10 minute consultation with a graduate student who specializes in feline behavior problems. He said that it's a common occurance in neutered male cats, that likely happens when the cat is seeking attention. This behavior can be brought on by a traumatic experience like an injury or surgery, or when a new cat or human is brought into the household. The cat that's humping is manifesting it's need for affection/attention through it's humping behavior. The humping behavior is not neccessarily a sexual behavior, it's just a physical reaction to their feelings of neediness.

The solution is to give the cat extra attention, especially when it starts with the humping behavior. Pick the cat up, talk to the cat, pet the cat, etc. In extreme situations, an anti-depressant can be prescribed for the cat (I do not support this idea), which will not only improve the cat's state of happiness but also will decrease it's sex drive (as it does in humans).

I hope that this info helps some of you out there. I've been paying extra attention to my cat and he has decreased his humping behavior. I'm hoping that it will eventually just go away.
 

ncarpi75

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Thank you so much for sharing! Neither of my cats hump, but if they ever start to, I will understand why!
 

mmicha02

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My 4 year old neutered male just started humping my blanket. Twice in the last week. The blanket was on me, and he humped the area that wasn't touching me, but then aggressively jumped on me. Did your cat ever get aggressive when he was doing this?
 

lisakmusco

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Wow - that's great info. George does this every now and then, but I've never been able to find/figure out why.
 

tethys

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I have never seen or even known about cats humping, i had a few neutered males in my life and never come across this kind of behavior. Until I adopted a pair of brothers, both were neutered very early at about 2months of age. shortly thereafter one of them started what i thought was a dominance gesture, he climbed on his brothers back and started biting his scruff and neck, not so bad... until a few weeks later noticed the humping moves. Oh boy!
i know that this kind of behavior in dogs has rarely a sexual meaning and im glad to hear it isn't in cats either. so i just try to give my lil perv kitten more attention and see if it makes him feel better
thank you very much, this is a very helpful post
 

yosemite

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Originally Posted by M.L.

Does this apply to neutered male cats that hump spayed females?
That actually may be more of a dominance thing rather than actual humping.
 

emmylou

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The grad student may be understating the sexual aspect of it. With my cat it's clearly sexual... there's an orgasm at the end. And it doesn't happen more when the cat is alone more; it happens when the furry blanket is around. This was true of another male cat I had growing up, who only humped this one pillow. I think that some male cats retain more male hormones post-neutering. Or they're aroused by certain objects/textures.

Attention-seeking or stress may be the cause in cats that are doing it constantly. When it's once a day or once every few days, I figure my cat is just enjoying himself; he's certainly purring and happy.
 

jennyr

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Wellington started doing that after his brother died, and he was very upset. But then he adopted Biscotte after she joined us and although he continued for a while, including humping her especially before she was spayed, he gradually grew out of it. It rarely happens now.
 

mews2much

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That is a very good Vet School. My Vet went there and was in the top 16% in his Class. I even talked to them about a Kidney Transplant for Yoshi before he died. I am lucky i never had a Male cat hump anything.
 

prettypusscat

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My Jess does this but only to my daughters teddy bear and not just any teddy bear its the same one all the time i just thought he was in love with it
 

larke

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It occurred to me that as your cat is 10 yrs old and just started the behaviour, I might consider taking him to the vet to be sure there's no 'male' problem, either physical or hormonal that is provoking things, outside of normal sexual desire. I guess I might be thinking of prostatic problems in humans ... if male cats have similar things, or who knows? My beautiful Russian blue did this routinely, but was not such a late starter as yours at all.
 

mysticalimage

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Buster our beautiful tabby, just recently started humping our cozy blankets.
We have his mother (Agfa and Movie) who all so live with us. He started doing this about 2 months ago. I'm glad to have read the advice. I'm wondering if he is in fact asserting his dominance as he is the older male and Agfa first born. We love them all to death, and Buster even sleeps at my feet. Nothing much has changed here, so were just curious, thanks for the info, he can be known to wake me up, if I leave this particular blanky above me head he can sometimes hump for 45 minutes, and then he just passes out!!! Silly boy, this isn't an everyday occurence but does happy more and not!
We love him either way, but boy he sures looks silly


 

cr1creed

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My cat recently started humping a blanket - he has never done it before (to my knowledge) and has only done it since I brought the blanket out of our linen closet to use as a throw on the couch (I get super cold!) He only humps this blanket.

I noticed once that he had a little kitty-erection and I thought it was odd, and then I noticed him kneading and thrusting on the blanket - when I flipped him over, there it was again.

I am super weirded out that he is only amorous with this blanket. He has been neutered since he was old enough, and he's 3-4 now.

I guess I just don't get why it's only one blanket.. any insight?
 

nikie1986

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My kitty Max started humping after he got neutered about 2 months ago and my fiance and I were just awestruck when he started humping the blankets. This is really great info I had no idea. However he's still pretty aggressive, and it doesn't seem like he wants to be pet or anything. I don't know if maybe it's because he's still a kitten or something else anyone have an idea?
 

lsanders

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Interesting, but I can't imagine a cat who gets more attention than our Albus, so I'm not sure it's a lack of attention causing it for him. Especially since he seems a little annoyed with us when we try distracting him while he's humping by giving him attention, like, "Do you mind? I was in the middle of something there!"
 

3catsn1dog

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Out of all the cats Ive had growing up I never had a humper till we got Fatman...He hasnt done it in a while but before when we went to bed he would try and get both back paws on your leg and then started humping. I think after we booted him from the bed enough times he got the hint. NO KITTY HUMPING IN BED!!!
 

maryq

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Originally Posted by calwinegirl

I have a 10 y/o neutered male short hair cat who has recently begun humping everything! He drags my clothes out of the laundry basket and humps them, as well as his cat toys, pillows, blankets, etc. Seems to be anything soft and/or furry. This is an actual humping action, not just kneading. He makes odd crying sounds and just humps away. It's not only strange, but it is very irritating as he does this in the middle of the night and wakes us up.

After searching the internet and finding many stories about similar behaviors and nothing about any real solutions... I called the University of California at Davis - Small Animal Hospital of Behavior Science. I had a 10 minute consultation with a graduate student who specializes in feline behavior problems. He said that it's a common occurance in neutered male cats, that likely happens when the cat is seeking attention. This behavior can be brought on by a traumatic experience like an injury or surgery, or when a new cat or human is brought into the household. The cat that's humping is manifesting it's need for affection/attention through it's humping behavior. The humping behavior is not neccessarily a sexual behavior, it's just a physical reaction to their feelings of neediness.

The solution is to give the cat extra attention, especially when it starts with the humping behavior. Pick the cat up, talk to the cat, pet the cat, etc. In extreme situations, an anti-depressant can be prescribed for the cat (I do not support this idea), which will not only improve the cat's state of happiness but also will decrease it's sex drive (as it does in humans).

I hope that this info helps some of you out there. I've been paying extra attention to my cat and he has decreased his humping behavior. I'm hoping that it will eventually just go away.
I'm fostering two cats who recently lost their home and family of people and other cats. The male, a 2-3 yo neutered male, finally came out from under the couch after 4 days, craving love and attention. I petted him, and tapped foreheads with him, but he's a bit aggressive and over-eager, and he seemed to work himself into a frenzy and started humping. He wasn't on my leg or any part of my body, but he was on the bed next to me, in a trance, humping, with his paw between his legs. A friend of mine told me he's trying to assert his dominance. She said the best way to stop cat behavior you don't like is to blow in their face. It doesn't hurt them, they don't know that you are the one who's doing it so they don't get mad at you, but they hate the sensation a lot. It totally worked! He jumped off the bed to get away. I appreciate the insight into why he was humping, and I will definitely do my best to give him the attention he craves, but I don't want him to hump, so I'm going to try not to reinforce the behavior with attention.
 
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