Do Neutered Cats Hump?

As cat owners, we adore our furry companions for their playful purrs, gentle kneading, and loving cuddles. But what about humping? Yes, you heard it right. Despite being neutered, some cats may still engage in this behavior. But why do they do it? And is it a cause for concern?

Before we dive into the reasons behind this behavior, let’s first understand what neutering entails. Neutering is a surgical procedure that removes a male cat’s testicles or a female cat’s ovaries and uterus. The goal of this procedure is to sterilize the cat and prevent unwanted litters while also reducing aggression and decreasing the risk of certain health issues. However, neutering may not completely eliminate all sexual behaviors.

Cats can hump for various reasons such as stress, anxiety, or dominance. While it might seem cute or funny at first glance, it could indicate an underlying issue that needs attention. It can also lead to other problematic behaviors like aggression or excessive grooming.

If you’re a cat owner who has noticed your neutered feline engaging in humping behavior, don’t panic. In this blog post, we’ll explore why cats may continue to hump after being neutered and provide potential causes and solutions for this behavior. We’ll also discuss how you can handle the situation as an owner.

So let’s scratch beneath the surface and uncover the curious case of neutered cats and humping together.

Understanding Humping Behavior in Cats

Firstly, humping is a natural instinct in cats that can be triggered by various factors such as stress, anxiety, boredom, or even excitement. In unneutered cats, humping behavior is associated with sexual arousal and mating purposes. However, getting your cat neutered does not necessarily mean that the humping behavior will stop completely.

Neutered cats can still exhibit humping behavior due to several reasons. One of the main reasons is the habit of humping that may have developed before neutering. In such cases, neutering may not entirely stop the behavior since it has become a learned behavior. Another reason why neutered cats may still hump is due to dominance or territorial issues.

It’s important to understand that humping behavior in cats does not necessarily indicate sexual arousal or aggression. Sometimes, it may just be a form of play or attention-seeking behavior. However, if the humping behavior becomes excessive or aggressive, it’s important to consult a veterinarian or animal behaviorist to rule out any underlying medical or behavioral issues.

So what can you do as a cat owner to manage your cat’s humping behavior? Firstly, identify the trigger that causes the behavior. Is your cat stressed or anxious? Are they bored? Once you’ve identified the trigger, you can work on addressing it. You may also redirect their attention by providing them with toys or engaging in playtime with them.

The Impact of Neutering on Humping Behavior

While there’s no straightforward answer, neutering can reduce a cat’s desire to mate and decrease the frequency and intensity of humping behavior. However, it’s not a guaranteed fix for all unwanted behaviors.

When male cats are neutered, the source of testosterone responsible for driving sexual behavior is removed. Consequently, neutered cats are less likely to engage in humping behavior. Yet, it’s important to note that neutering does not always eliminate humping behavior entirely. Some cats may continue to display this behavior due to habit or other underlying behavioral issues.

Humping behavior is not exclusive to male cats; females can also exhibit it, although it is less common. Moreover, humping can be a form of play or dominance behavior when interacting with other cats or humans. Therefore, it’s essential to identify the trigger behind the behavior and redirect their attention towards playtime or toys.

It’s worth noting that humping behavior in cats is not necessarily always sexual in nature; it may also be a sign of stress or anxiety. Thus, observing your cat’s behavior is crucial in managing any unusual behaviors. Consulting with a veterinarian or animal behaviorist is recommended if you have any concerns.

Common Causes of Humping in Cats

However, it can also be a sign of underlying health issues or behavioral problems. That’s why understanding the common causes of humping in cats is essential to determine if it’s normal or a cause for concern.

One of the most typical reasons for humping in cats is sexual behavior. Unneutered cats during the breeding season are more likely to exhibit this behavior. But even neutered cats may still hump due to residual sexual hormones.

Another reason behind humping in cats is play behavior. Kittens and young cats often use humping as a form of play behavior with toys or other animals.

Humping can also be a sign of dominance behavior, particularly in multi-cat households where cats are establishing their social hierarchy. In some cases, cats may hump as a way to relieve stress or anxiety, especially if they are experiencing changes in their environment or routine.

Lastly, humping can also indicate underlying medical issues such as urinary tract infections, skin allergies, or hormonal imbalances. If you observe your cat humping more frequently than usual or showing any other signs of discomfort, it’s crucial to consult with your veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues.

How to Reduce or Eliminate Unwanted Humping Behaviors

While humping in cats is often associated with sexual behavior, it can also be a sign of stress, anxiety, or boredom. Fortunately, there are several strategies that cat owners can use to reduce or eliminate unwanted humping behaviors in their pets.

Identify the Underlying Cause

One of the first steps in reducing unwanted humping behaviors is to identify the underlying cause. If the behavior is related to anxiety or stress, providing a more comfortable and secure environment for the cat may be helpful. This can include providing plenty of hiding places, comfortable bedding, and engaging toys to keep the cat stimulated and entertained.

Redirect Attention to Appropriate Activities

Another strategy for reducing unwanted humping behaviors is to redirect the cat’s attention to more appropriate activities. For example, if a cat is prone to humping when it is bored, providing interactive toys or puzzles may help to keep the cat occupied and reduce its tendency to engage in inappropriate behaviors.

Seek Professional Help

In some cases, it may be helpful to consult with a veterinarian or animal behaviorist to develop a more targeted approach for reducing unwanted humping behaviors. This may involve medications or specialized training techniques designed specifically for cats with sexual behavior issues.

Positive Reinforcement Training

Positive reinforcement training is another effective method for reducing humping behaviors. Rewarding your cat for good behavior with treats or praise while redirecting them away from unwanted behaviors (like humping) can be very effective. For example, if your cat starts to hump a pillow, you can redirect their attention by offering a toy or playing with them instead.

Create a Consistent and Structured Environment

Creating a consistent and structured environment for your cat is also important. This means establishing regular feeding and play schedules, as well as providing a designated area for rest and relaxation. By keeping your cat’s routine consistent, you can help reduce stress and anxiety which may be contributing to their humping behaviors.

When to Seek Professional Help for Unwanted Humping Behaviors

Although some humping behaviors are normal, excessive or persistent humping can be an indication of an underlying issue that requires attention.

Anxiety and stress are potential causes of unwanted humping behaviors in cats. Humping can be a coping mechanism for cats to deal with their emotions. Seeking assistance from a professional behaviorist can provide insight into how to alleviate these feelings for your cat. With the help of a trained behaviorist, you can evaluate your cat’s behavior and develop strategies to create a calm and structured environment that reduces anxiety and stress.

Medical issues such as hyperthyroidism or bladder infections can also cause increased sexual behavior in cats. Before seeking behavioral assistance, it is crucial to have your cat examined by a veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical issues.

If your neutered cat is displaying humping behaviors, it could be due to residual hormones or the neutering procedure being performed incorrectly. Consulting with a veterinarian or animal behaviorist can determine the best course of action for your cat.


In conclusion, while humping behavior in neutered cats may not necessarily be a cause for concern, it’s important to keep an eye on it and identify any underlying issues that may require attention. Neutering can help reduce the frequency and intensity of humping, but it’s not a foolproof solution.

Cats may still exhibit this behavior due to habit or other behavioral issues such as stress, anxiety, boredom, or dominance. As a responsible cat owner, it’s crucial to understand these common causes and address them appropriately.

One effective strategy is redirecting their attention towards playtime or toys. This can help reduce unwanted behaviors and provide your cat with a healthy outlet for their energy. Additionally, creating a consistent and structured environment for your furry friend can help reduce stress and anxiety levels.

If your cat’s humping behavior becomes excessive or aggressive, seeking professional help from a veterinarian or animal behaviorist is highly recommended. They can rule out any underlying medical or behavioral issues and develop effective strategies to manage the behavior.

So, neutering may not completely eliminate all sexual behaviors in cats like humping.