You’re sitting and enjoying weekend lunch with your friends and family when your kitty joyfully hops in – with his favorite toy. Everyone releases a joint “awwww cute” at this adorable sight — until he starts humping his toy!
It can be both funny and embarrassing for you but regardless of that how you’re taking it – You should know that humping a toy is a common behavior in felines.
Sometimes the reason can be marking territory or feeling stressed or just an addiction.
But I can feel your concern that you must be confused that why is your cat humping his toys? Is it harmful to him?
Hold on! You are at the right place for the solution.
In this article, we’ll discuss whether it’s normal for a feline to hump his toy or not and how to stop it?
- Humping toys is a common behavior in cats.
- It’s normal for male cats to hump their toys, it’s not always related to sexual desire.
- Fixed cats can also hump their toys, it can be due to marking territory, stress, boredom, or hormonal changes (especially after sterilization).
- Humping toys can also be a way of playing, marking territory, killing boredom or indicating stress.
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Is It Normal For A Male Cat To Hump His Toys?
YES! It is normal for a male cat to hump his toys.
For the first time when you caught your male cat humping his toy – You must have wondered that “What is this happening?”
It is not uncommon to relate humping to sexual desire, especially in the case of male cats. But is it so?
Your male is humping his toys and that is not always about the sexual urge. There can be several reasons for this weird behavior like marking territory, showing dominance, releasing excess energy or it might be possible that your Tom is simply bored.
You may like to read – Blanket Humping Cat? Understanding & Solving the Behavior
Do Fixed Cats Hump Stuffed Animals?
Being an owner of a fixed cat, you must expect that he should not get indulge in sexual practices like humping toys.
First, let me clarify a common misconception that neutered/spayed cats shouldn’t hump. Sterilizing won’t change their nature; it can just save your cat from excess aggression, and he will not be the reason increasing population.
Humping his stuffed toys is a way for him to mark his territory or it can be an alarm for you that he is stressed.
If your cat is recently neutered then the humping chances increase – After sterilization, it takes 6-8 weeks for hormones to leave the cat’s body.
So, during this period, your fixed kitty might hump his toys as she is facing hormonal changes and disturbance in his body.
Most probably he will forget this habit after a certain time. You can help him to stop this behavior through positive reinforcement and proper training.
Interesting Read: Neutered Male Cat Mounting: Reasons & Solutions
What Are The Reasons Behind Your Cat Humping His Toys?
1. A Way Of Playing
Many times, we cannot differentiate between humping and playing. Few cats play with their toy by pushing them down which seems like a humping act.
Most probably your cat doesn’t have much idea about playing or he didn’t play much as a kitten. So, he discovered his own of playing which is obviously disturbing you.
2. Marking Territory
Cats believe in marking territory as their ancestor used to do in the woods. However, domestication doesn’t allow them to live in the same environment as their ancestors, but territorial control is in their nature which cannot be changed.
In some cases, cat marks their territory by humping and rubbing scent glands on their toys.
Especially when they have got a new toy, they mark them as their territory by humping so that no other cat can claim it.
If you have two kitties, then humping toys by them is very common. They both don’t want to share their toys.
So humping is the best way for them to mark it.
Must Read: Why Do Cats Hump?
If your cat doesn’t have a proper daily schedule to function with his different daily activities, then you are giving chance to your cat to indulge in unwanted habits.
Excess free time allows your cat to get involved in habits like toy humping. He might hump his toy to kill his boredom.
4. Stressed Kitty
Cats are sensitive souls. When it comes to their comfort, they do not prefer many new changes in their surroundings or in their company.
Sudden changes can be the bullet of stress for your feline.
These changes can be anything including a new home, a new pet, or a guest in your house. Cat takes their own time to adapt to any certain change.
So, all of a sudden if your kitty started humping his toys then it might be possible that she is informing you that she is stressed.
So as an owner, it becomes your responsibility to recognize the change in his surrounding so that you can help him to reduce stress.
May you like to read- How Long Does It Take A Cat To Adjust To New Home?
5. Way To Show Sexual Urge
If you have an intact cat, then humping chances definitely increase. Intact cats are more likely to hump toys in comparison to fixed cats because of hormonal demands.
If your kitty is above 5-6 months, then his sexual urge is increasing day by day as a natural happening. When your Tom doesn’t get any partner to mate then he starts humping his toys as a supplement to show his genuine sexual tendency.
Your intact cat is not only full of sexual hormones, but he has more aggression too and that aggression can also be the leading factor of humping.
6. Medical Reason
Cat humping is natural but, in some cases, it works as an indication of different ailments like UTIs, skin allergies, depression, etc.
So, a vet visit is a must to be sure that your cat is not suffering from any mental or physical disease.
Interesting Read: Will Male Cats Try To Mate/Hump With Other Males?
Should I Let My Cat Hump Toys?
Now you know almost all the possible reasons why your cat is indulging in habit of humping toys.
And yes! Humping toy for cats is normal and sometimes ignorable just like other feline awkward habits.
Though there is nothing to be worried about, sometimes it can be embarrassing for a few pet owners. So, it totally depends on you what you prefer for your cat.
If you want your cat not to continue this habit. Then make sure that never get angry with your cat for humping or never try to punish her as it is a natural behavior for her. Instead, train him to avoid humping with care and love.
But in case you don’t want to force your kitty to leave his nature of humping toys, then at least keep a keen eye that it doesn’t become an addiction or obsession. Make him clear by training that he should practice it in his private space.
Interesting Read: Why My Cat Humps Me? Is It Normal For Cats To Hump Their Owner?
How To Stop My Cat From Humping Toys?
1. Play More With Your Kitty
When your cat has too much energy, he can use that energy toward an unwanted behavior, like humping his toys.
If you can properly trench the feline’s energy each day with organized exercise and playtime, then you can support your kitty to avoid using its energy on humping toys.
Jumping and walking opportunities can help your cat to burn excess energy. Provide him ample space to play.
2. Socialize Your Kitty A Little More
Take your kitty out to play in parks or gardens so she can meet new cats and people which will help her to get distracted from toys.
If your kitty is mostly home locked, then there are many chances that she will feel depressed and bored. Taking her out will teach her to get engaged in different activities instead of humping toys.
Socializing will prevent her from anxiety and stress as well.
Interesting Read: Why Do Female Cats Hump And How To Stop It?
3. Sterilize Your Intact Cat
If you have an unneutered cat, then as a first step sterilize your cat if you don’t want the humping habit to be excessive.
Neutering will not only help him to get rid of sexual hormones, but it will also reduce his aggression at a certain level.
That means reduced sexual hormones and less aggression will together cooperate with your kitty to avoid humping toys.
Though neutering won’t create magic in one night, it will take time to work. In a few cases even after neutering your kitty might keep continuing his humping as a learned behavior.
But don’t worry you can redirect this behavior by training.
Around 10% of neutered males continue to mount objects out of habit, with their behavior triggered by ‘Intense stimulation’ such as strangers coming into their territory.Bonnie Beaver writes [2nd edition, page 174]
4. Remove The Toy
Occasionally some kitties hump particular toys, and they build a habit – whenever they see that toy, they grab it and search for a corner and start humping.
This behavior starts as an act of fun or sometimes even pleasure and ends up as a harmful obsession.
If you notice your cat is humping any specific toy on daily basis, then try to hide or remove that toy from your cat’s reach.
Though a few initial days will be tough for your Tom, he will miss his humping toy partner, but he will forget in some days.
5. Train Your Kitty
If your cat humps his toys, you may try to train them to obey your commands to avoid humping.
As soon as you notice your cat is humping his toy or about to hump, start saying ‘NO…NO’ so that he can understand that you are not liking his behavior.
Once he will understand that humping toys is not good conduct then he will avoid this behavior.
6. Positive Reinforcement
Once you start training your cat to avoid humping you will notice a slow positive response. Appreciate that positive change by giving a treat or a toy to your kitty as a reward for good conduct.
This technique will motivate your feline to adopt more positive behavior for getting more treats.
7. Medical Help
Though humping toy is nothing uncommon. But if it becomes an obsession or a pain for your cat then it is more than a danger.
Your cat’s behavior of humping his toys could be linked to an underlying medical condition that causes your cat to act that way. Some medical conditions can be serious if not treated and need proper medical attention. If you believe your cat has causal issues, take them to the vet instantly.
Likely medical conditions that could contribute to your feline’s behavior include urinary incontinence, humping, and skin allergies.
You can even consider meeting a cat behaviorist for the solution.
Interesting Read: Why My Cat Humps My Dog And How To Solve It?
Frequently Asked Question
Why Female Cat Hump Toys?
Female cat hump toys for several reasons like marking territory and showing dominance. Stress and boredom can be another possible factor for your female kitty to hump toys.
Especially during the heat female cats look for mating opportunities as it is their reproductive phase. They hump toys in the heat for sexual urges or it can be a way to release pent-up energy.
If your cat is not spayed, sterilize her first. Try to redirect this behavior of your female feline by distraction and positive reinforcement. Try to increase her playtime and exercise.
If you get worried every time you spot your dear cat willingly humping a toy, don’t.
You know that your cat basically doesn’t follow the similar social norms that we humans do. The humping of random items – stuffed toys– is completely normal and healthy feline behavior.
But still, if you feel that there is something wrong with this habit like excess toy humping, your cat is facing pain or humping obsession then without delay discuss your concern with your vet.
Tell us in the comment box – How do you help your kitty to overcome toy-humping behavior? Is it too frequent or normal?
Interesting Read: Cat Humping While Kneading (Reason And Solution)