Do cats hump blankets? (Why? & how to stop it)
Maybe you have seen your cat humping and are freaked out, or maybe you are just curious if your cat is going to soil your bed (Click here to see my 5 best cat beds for kittens to save your blankets!). Either way, I am going to help explain if they will do this and more importantly why…
Do cats hump blankets? Yes, they do as well as several other items such as woolen sweaters, pillows, soft toys, and even us humans. This can happen regardless if they are neutered or not, believe it or not. There are several reasons why this happens.
Now that you know that cats do hump blankets, I am going to explain why they do this, why a cat may start doing this all of a sudden, how to stop it from happening without distressing your cat, and a lot more. Keep reading…
Why do cats hump blankets (& other things)?
This is an instinctive hormonal reaction that is often seen while cats are mating. You may even notice your male cat doing this to another male cat. This may be confusing, and may even make you double-take. The reality is, this stuff happens.
If you notice your male cat doing this to another male, by the way, this could be a show of dominance and is nothing to be worried about.
You may see this happening if your cat has some unspent energy. He may just need to release this energy. You can help this by offering more playtime. Or some other way to deal with this energy overload.
Lack of Attention
If you have been neglecting your cat, this could be a reason for the humping. If that’s the case, this is easy to resolve. Simply pay him more attention.
You can also spend more time cuddling and allowing him to jump on your lap more, are you with me? Just subtle things like this might make him get the attention fix he requires.
An attempt to show dominance
If your cat is humping another male cat, then you are seeing an example of feline dominance. While fighting is the most common way that cats will attempt to show other cats who the boss is, humping is another way that they will do this.
This will usually go on until the other cat stops fighting, so there is little that you can do until one of the males takes a submissive role, essentially telling the other ‘okay, you’re dominant here, please stop!’.
Just in case your cat’s amateur acrobatics haven’t made it clear, cats have quite impressive stores of energy. As such, they need something to do with it, and if they are bored of their current toys and have too much idle time, then they might just hump something!
If you believe that this is the case, then it’s a good time to ‘break out’ or simply purchase a laser pointer and play a little with your cat to tire them out. They’re just bored, so a little quality ‘laser time’ can do the trick.
Some kind of trauma
Previous trauma or even current pain, such as from a recent surgical procedure, fight, or accident, can cause your act to act out in odd ways and humping behaviors are one of the things that cats will commonly do.
It basically boils down to ‘I feel bad, but this feels good’, and while it’s more common to see this when a cat has not been ‘fixed’, it can still occur if they have been neutered and developing a ‘humping habit’ that they’ve had for some time.
A recent environmental change
Cats hate is when you change anything in the house. New furniture, fancy new incense, and especially new people or animals are all things that will stress your cat out. To comfort themselves, the familiar-feelgood option of humping something helps your cat to destress as they learn to deal with the issue.
This should die down as they adjust, though some extra playtime with your cat can help your cat to accomplish the same thing, without resorting to humping everything in the house!
An imbalance of hormones (Cat is not neutered)
Spotting or smelling another cat or even a simple matter of springtime or hormonal imbalances can turn your cat into a ‘humping machine’. This can be a bit of a surprise, of course, but neutering your cat can definitely help this behavior to lessen or even disappear altogether.
Aside from calming them down, neutering also can extend your cat’s life, making them much less prone to testicular and other types of cancers that cats can sometimes develop in their later years.
Why would a cat start humping all of a sudden?
If you have had a cat for a while and noticed he has started humping recently it could be a result of a change in your household.
There is usually some trigger that causes this, such as:
- A new addition to the family (baby)
- Somebody moved in.
- An additional pet cat has recently moved in.
These small changes can cause anxiety in your cat. This anxiety can trigger weird behavioral changes such as this humping you are seeing.
Is it normal for cats to hump blankets?
To some it’s comical, while others may blush and feel awkward, everyone agrees that humping behavior in cats is normal. If they haven’t been neutered, then this is more likely to occur, and you also see it more in older cats that have already developed ‘humping habits’ over the years and have decided to keep them.
Too much energy, anxiety, stress, or even boredom are all reasons that you might see this but don’t worry – typically this behavior won’t last very long, with the possible exception of unneutered cats in the springtime.
If this is troubling, just remember that neutering your cat will calm them considerably and also has health benefits in the form of a lower chance of many feline cancers. Alternately, a little extra playtime might help your kitty to vent their extra energy and this can also reduce humping behaviors quite effectively.
Do Cats Hump as Much as Dogs?
— Nick Adams-King (@Nickking) January 21, 2016
No, not really. Dogs are regular humpers. To a weird extent, this is almost accepted behavior from a dog. They thrust their waists and hump anything that moves and they get away with it.
How many times of you watched a Hollywood comedy movie and seen a humping dog as the punchline for a funny scene? Exactly, I am sure you have at least one memory that comes to mind right now, right?
Cats, on the other hand, are different. This does happen with cats but it’s not as common. And, it is not as accepted as a dog. A cat thrusting and humping are often frowned upon in society.
Why do Neutered Cats Hump?
In this section, we will look into the reasons why a neutered cat would still attempt to hump. It may come across hard to believe because the whole idea of neutering is to sterilize your cat to stop reproduction.
One would, therefore, assume that it would get rid of the urge to hump. Well, the reality is, it’s not that simple.
Humping, along with behavior like spraying to mark territory are things that are instinctive and somewhat ingrained into your cat’s brain.
Especially if your cat was neutered at a later age, such as after one year old. If this is the case, then chances are you probably won’t be able to get rid of this behavior with neutering.
If your cat was recently neutered, then you can expect this to happen. Unless he has been done longer than 12 weeks ago, there is a high chance that he will still hump in this way. Also, believe it or not, he can still be sexually active in this period as his body adapts to the changes.
Do Female Cats Hump Kittens?
As weird as this sounds, this does happen (or shall I say, it seems to be the case). It is more seen with spayed cats. It appears to be the case but in reality, it may not be real humping that we know of.
There is an argument that this is the mother’s way of disciplining her kittens in some weird way. You will usually see the mother grab one of the kittens by the scruff of its neck and then press the kitten to the ground, in a humping motion (Click here to see if female cats hump too).
When this happens some people believe that the mother is simply directing the kittens to stop the unwanted behavior. However, this has not been proven.
How can you stop your cat humping in this way?
In this section, I am going to offer you some suggestions to stop this humping from happening. However, in my opinion, the best method is “redirection”, but let me explain…
This is simple in concept but may take some practice to implement. Essentially you replace the blanket your cat is humping (or another item) and replace it with another desirable item. An item you are not worried about using.
So, when your cat starts his “thing”, you simply switch his “love object” with your desired item. It may not work the first time, but in time he will start to select the replaced item.
Sap His “Love Energy”
No, this is not what you are thinking 😉 You need to offer him a way to release more of his stored energy. This could be the reason why it’s happening.
For this method, you simply offer him more playtime and the opportunity to release this energy.
Pay him more attention
It may just be a simple case of giving him more attention. If that is the case you just need to show him more love. You can stroke or pet him more than normal and spend more time with him.
Release Some Anxiety
If your cat is feeling anxious, you can consider releasing some of this attention. An easy thing to try is a pheromone collar (Click here for my 3 best pheromone collars for aggressive or anxious cats). This can help to calm down some cats.
Can trauma cause a cat to hump?
Yes. Trauma can cause a cat to act out of character or seek comfort. In this effort you see them resorting to humping. This may seem weird to us but for cats, this is the way they may choose to deal with it.
This type of trauma can come from various things such as pain from the past or if it has recently had surgery and is on the road to recovery.
Do all male cats hump?
No. Not all male cats hump. But, if they are not neutered, then this behavior is quite common. Even if this is the case, not being neutered, they may not hump. But be prepared, it is likely that they will.
When the male cat is neutered, on the other hand, they lose the urge to do this. Therefore it’s unlikely to see them do this in these circumstances. When I say ‘unlikely’ I mean there is still a chance it can happen.
This is because they may have recently been neutered then it may take a few weeks for them to adjust. During this transitional period, they may hump because of habit.
What signs do cats display before they hump?
Some common signs to look out for when a cat is about to hump include pupils dilating, getting over-excited during a petting session, or kneading aggressively.
Depending on your cat there could be other signs. The best tactic is to make note of its behavior before it does this and look out for it doing it again.
Can cats get turned on by humans?
No. Cats do not get turned on by humans. But, they may hump you. This may sound like a contradiction but their choice to hump is mainly a release of pent-up tension.
This is why you may see a cat humping a cuddly toy, such as a teddy bear. It does not mean the cat is turned on by the teddy bear, it’s just a tool to release its frustration.
Do cats prefer male or female owners?
According to a recent study, cats prefer females more. However, it does not mean they dislike males. It means they are more likely to gravitate to a female over a male.
It’s worth noting that other factors have to be considered. For example, cats are likely to favor the person that feeds them. So, if your husband often does this, it could sway your cat’s choice.
In this section, I will answer some frequently asked questions related to cats humping blankets. If you have any questions that you have, that haven’t been answered, please leave a comment below…
Will a Neutered Cat Still try and mate? Not usually. However, as discussed earlier, if they have been neutered less than 12 weeks ago there is a chance they will attempt this. Because it takes some time to set in.
Why does my male cat bite the neck of my other male cat? This is a form of sexual aggression. In some cases, it crosses the borders of dominance or territorial aggression. You may notice your cat grabbing the neck of another cat with its teeth and then thrustingsexuallyr when this happens.
Why does my cat hold a blanket in his mouth? This is often a way of leaving its scent on the blanket. You may also see this in combination with kneading the blanket (Click here to see why a cat bites a blanket and kneads it same time). This kneading in addition to biting is often a form of comfort, which is typically a throwback from its life as a kitten.