or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Health › What makes an unneutered male cat have hard cheeks?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

What makes an unneutered male cat have hard cheeks?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
and what is the reason for it? I just brought in a 12 year old unneutered really beat up male cat from a trailer park. He was left behind 2 years ago when someone moved out. He is deaf almost completely, missing one ear, his fur is all weird and missing in places, he has poo on him, he put up a great fight when I scruffed him and shoved him in a carrier and he has HUGE monster cheeks but he is purring and kneeding his paws!

Anyways, where do these big hard cheeks come from? What causes it?
post #2 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen View Post
and what is the reason for it? I just brought in a 12 year old unneutered really beat up male cat from a trailer park. He was left behind 2 years ago when someone moved out. He is deaf almost completely, missing one ear, his fur is all weird and missing in places, he has poo on him, he put up a great fight when I scruffed him and shoved him in a carrier and he has HUGE monster cheeks but he is purring and kneeding his paws!

Anyways, where do these big hard cheeks come from? What causes it?
I'm just guessing here, until someone more knowledgeable comes along - but I think they're called stud cheeks? And my assumption is that it has something to do with the marking glands cats have in that area of their bodies.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kluchetta View Post
I'm just guessing here, until someone more knowledgeable comes along - but I think they're called stud cheeks? And my assumption is that it has something to do with the marking glands cats have in that area of their bodies.
hmm that makes sense. but why do they get so big? is it the actual glands getting inflamed? is that a bad thing? I think it looks kinda cool when they have it a little bit. His are like a large hard object almost under the skin there!
post #4 of 9
I've heard that some of it is built up scar tissue from fighting, and some of it is built up muscle from fighting, but I don't know how true either is.
post #5 of 9
They are called "jowels". I think that they form like that in intact males for added protection in fighting, since a lot of bite wounds happen around the face. I'm not sure if it is just extra skin that develops around the head and neck, or what it is exactly.
post #6 of 9
I have an intact male that my grandmother fed for about 6 years in Houston. He survived hurricane Ike and when my grandmother moved to Alabama, we brought "Ike" with us. He has enormous cheeks! According to my vet, this is due to being intact and allowed to breed at will for so long. The vet advised that the cheek size is directly related to testosterone. Go figure ...

henbane
post #7 of 9
I think it's muscle. Just like how bulls have larger necks, I guess to protect them when they fight.
post #8 of 9
They are called jowls or shields and are part of the secondary sexual characteristics of male cats, and are thus hormone driven. There are glands but also considerable muscle tissue, which acts both as a shield as the name implies, but also allows the tomcat to bite down with considerable force.
post #9 of 9

 My cat Popeye is about 4 years old I got him fixed around 3 months ago. Now he no longer has those strange but adorable HUGE "balls" under his cheeks :(  he also used to love love love being outside but since being fixed he now prefers being inside and is more playful and not so uptight

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Health
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Health › What makes an unneutered male cat have hard cheeks?