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Humping problem and common causes

post #1 of 71
Thread Starter 
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.
post #2 of 71
Thanks for posting this! It will be helpful for everyone who has a humping cat!
post #3 of 71
Thank you so much for sharing! Neither of my cats hump, but if they ever start to, I will understand why!
post #4 of 71
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?
post #5 of 71
Does this apply to neutered male cats that hump spayed females?
post #6 of 71
Wow - that's great info. George does this every now and then, but I've never been able to find/figure out why.
post #7 of 71
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
post #8 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by M.L. View Post
Does this apply to neutered male cats that hump spayed females?
That actually may be more of a dominance thing rather than actual humping.
post #9 of 71
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.
post #10 of 71
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.
post #11 of 71
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.
post #12 of 71
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
post #13 of 71
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.
post #14 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
That actually may be more of a dominance thing rather than actual humping.
Tosh does this to Oreo (spayed female) and now Jazz (neutered male).
post #15 of 71
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

post #16 of 71
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?
post #17 of 71
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?
post #18 of 71
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!"
post #19 of 71
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!!!
post #20 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by calwinegirl View Post
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.
post #21 of 71
My male Persian started this behavior just before he was neutered at 6 months old. I thought the neutering would end the humping wrong.. I have a fuzzy blanket on the bed. he gets on top of me while i am sleeping every night might be 1 time but usually its 4 or 5 times during the night and humps. It wakes me up he is meowing and seems in a trance hes not interested in me patting him either at this time. He gets humping so bad hes shaking. I have to make him stop it..
I had the vet check him out and he says all seems ok health wise. And some males just do this and often will out grow it. I hope so..


He gets plenty of attention and is a big love bug.But this humping is annoying! I never knew male neutered cats did this untill I had this cat.And I have owned many males before. I wonder if its the blanket as thats the only thing he humps? Guess I will try taking the blanket off.
post #22 of 71
my neutered 3 year old male has also just started humping - it was triggered by a new blanket I bought which he seems to have fallen in love with.
I don't think it's attention seeking, he's at the blanket when I'm not around. There were no changes in his living arrangements either, only thing I can think of is that there may have been a female in heat nearby. It's a bit sad that they can still have urges after neutering.
post #23 of 71

I am so "happy" to read this. My Chincilla Persian is 2½ years old and started it a few months ago. At first I thought he was kneading (because he is so longhaired it was hard to see), but when I rolled him over on his back he had an erection.

 

This continued to go on. Only when I'm laying down he will do it on my arm or leg. When I move him he gets cranky and makes a "meeeeh" noise & at times I get a little bite.

I took him to the vet, as I was worried he was in some sort of pain as it started out of the blue. He got a hormone injection, but he is still doing it.

 

He gets lots of attention, so I don't think that would be it. Have any of you guys had any luck with ways to get them to stop? Or do I have to accept this is a lifelong thing?

post #24 of 71
This is a very old thread and I saw that I posted in 2008 that Wellington had stopped doing it. I was wrong, he still does it with Biscotte, and she and I just accept that it is something he does. The strange thing is that often now he does not 'mount' her but experiments with other positions -often it will start when they are curled up together ot lying side by side. I never knew cats would do that. But I have spoken to several vets about it and either they don't really believeme or they have no solutions. Si I would just accept your cat's behaviour as part of his expressive personality.
post #25 of 71

thats happening with my male cat. i also thought he was in love with the stuffed toy

 

post #26 of 71

I had a humper, Cloudy, who lived to age 19, and was humping up to the last day of his death. No joke.

 

My ex thought it was sick that I let him, but, I would once in a while, since I just thought there was no real harm.  I mean, he just knew if felt good. That's all. 

 

Oh, and he'd get really upset if I  tried to interrupt him.    I always felt bad for him, since it never seemed to be over for him.  Like there was no completion of the act. He'd just sit there in his little trance humping away. Poor guy. 

 

Now my new cat, male, age 2 has started it.  I don't want to go down that road again.   He will do it in my lap. He'll start off just kneading, then he turns a little humpy. Once he's finished, he'll just settle down and take a nap in my lap.  It's no where near as long and drawn out as it was with my previous cat, Cloudy, God rest his goofy little soul. :-)   

 

I will try blowing in his face as someone else suggested.   I don't want to make him mad. But at the same time, if this is really a dominance issue, I don't want him to dominate me.

 

My BF says my last cat abused me and had no respect for me, since I let him dominate me.  Now, I want to do whatever I can to keep the respect of the new guy.   Have you ever heard of anything so absurd!!


Edited by YoSoyGottino - 4/30/12 at 9:59am
post #27 of 71

Thank you. It all makes sense and I think I new in my heart the problem. We rehomed two cats who had been fostered and confined to a small room in a windowless house for 8 months.They were sold to us as 10 year old brothers but shortly after having them it was evident one was much older and soon became frail with mulitple illnesses. The last few months we were hand feeding caring for sick cat and it was during this time the humping begun in the other well cat.

 

Sadly our cat died so I can now give more time and affection to the humping one.

post #28 of 71

Oh, wanted to give an update on my little Gotti monster.  

 

I tried blowing in his face to distract him, and it WORKS!!!!     He stops, and just settles down on my lap.

 

Wish I would have tried this with Cloudy cat!

post #29 of 71

I enjoy that this thread has been going for 6 years :D And I'm really glad I came across it. I moved into my grandmother's house at the beginning of this year. She has two cats (one 10 y/o male and a 4 y/o female) , and when I moved in, I brought my 3 y/o male into the home. No problems. The boys actually get along much better than the female does with either of them. Well about a month and a half ago, Grandma's male started biting her arm and doing a little "dance" on top of her. I work for an animal rescue and recognized the signs. He had never had a humping problem before. I decided to look it up today, as I, like the OP, thought it was weird that a cat that old would start this kind of behavior. Well, thinking back to about the time he started this behavior, I had brought home almost-weaned, bottle baby kittens, and then 2 weeks later, another foster kitten. Based on the OPs' consultation, I completely believe that the attention factor must be why he started this behavior. He is a pretty independent cat, but he likes his "Momma-Simba Time." Since the kittens have been old enough to wander around on their own, they have taken over his favorite snuggle spot, Grandma's lap. So whenever he gets on her lap, or gets some private time with her in the bedroom (haha), where the kittens can't go, this behavior occurs, to varying degrees and with varying frequency.

 

I was surprised to find this information, but very glad I did. Of course, Grandma feels bad, but now that she knows, she has vowed to make sure he gets some extra time with her - no kittens.

post #30 of 71

My Persian is still humping  a couple of times a day always on a soft blanket,

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