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How to "Fix" Cat Sex Behavior Problems

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Voyeur cats get tails in a twist simply from hearing, smelling and seeing romantic cat antics.

Photo Credit: © Amy Shojai, CABC

Cat behavior related to cat sex affects not only intact (whole) breeding kitties, but also spayed and neutered cats. When love is in the air, romance prompts behavior problems that include spraying urine, loud-mouth calling, and aggression from both intact and "fixed" felines.

Cat Sex 101

Estrus or heat-when girl kitties conceive-lasts five to eight days followed by a resting period of three to fourteen days. Girls cycle in and out of heat about every 21 days from February to October, until they are spayed, or get pregnant.

Boys usually can "do the deed" by nine months, while girls reach sexual maturity between seven to twelve months. However, Oriental-heritage felines like Siamese can get pregnant as early as four months old, while other breeds like Persians may not cycle until two years or older. Cats stay fertile most of their life and the girls can have two or three litters a year.

Extreme Cat Sex Behavior

Cats in heat show more behavioral than physical clues, and can seem bizarre compared to 'normal' cat activity. Owners have mistaken heat behavior to be symptoms of rabies, extreme pain, or even psychosis. In fact, cat reproductive behavior may drive owners mad.

Male cats literally sniff out attractive girls and spray smelly urine to announce macho cat status. The boys defend urine-marked territory from other wannabe suitors in loud and often violent fights.

Girls aren't shy about what they want. During the first couple of days of cat heat, a female becomes more vocal, treads with her hind feet, and becomes excessively affectionate toward people and other cats of both sexes. With full estrus, she howls her readiness for Romeo for minutes at a time, rolls about on the floor, and spends most of her time in an elevator butt position.

Cat Mating

Once she's ready for romance, a girl cat crouches in the lordosis (elevator butt) position and gives a distinctive cry that stimulates Romeo to mount. He approaches from one side, gently bites the skin of her neck and straddles her as he treads with his rear feet. This prompts her to arch her back, raise her rump and move her tail to one side.

He ejaculates as soon as insertion takes place, and spines on the penis stimulate ovulation as he withdraws. The spines also prompt the female to scream and roll away, and she may nail him if he doesn't get out of range quickly enough. She'll then spend five to ten minutes rolling, stretching and grooming.

Cat Behavior Fallout

Spaying and neutering eliminates kitty romance and the behavior problems associated with reproduction. Why should you care, since your cats are already fixed? All this romance-the noise, the smells, the (urk!) sights-can drive indoor kitty voyeurs crazy, even when they're spayed or neutered.

A single breeding may last 30 seconds to ten minutes and another breeding may follow immediately, or be delayed for several hours. A single pair of cats may breed 20 or more times during the female's receptive period. It's also possible for a single litter to be fathered by more than one male. After kittens are born, the mom-cat can go into heat again a week or so following weaning.

Your indoor cat "owns" whatever can be viewed from the window. Stray cats stomping on the lawn, leaving smelly love letters, or screaming and yodeling for affection elevates indoor cat stress. Learn how to reduce feline anxiety in this article.

Stressed indoor cats may spray, scratch furniture, or engage in redirected aggression toward each other. Blocking window views, cleaning off outdoor urine marks, and shooing cats away from your yard can help.

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