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Why Does My Cat Gyrate? (Is This A Mating Call?)

If your cat has been seen gyrating you may be wondering why this happens and what their intentions are for doing this…

Why does my cat gyrate?

Your cat may gyrate for several reasons. But, the most common reasons is playfulness, humping, or a lead-up to mating. Some of these actions may seem like gyrating, but may not be, so it can be difficult, or subjective if your cat really is.

So, now you know. But, is this a good thing? Could this be a prequel to mating? Could a cat do this in its dreams? Keep reading to get these answers, and much more…

What is gyrating?

Why does my cat gyrate?

A kitten gyrating & dancing next to a blue door.

Gyrating is the act of moving your body in a circular, sexy motion. And is often synonymous with dancing or seduction. For humans, it is often seen as a way to arouse the opposite sex in a sexual motion.

For cats, humans may see them do something similar but it may not mean the same thing as it does to us. Also, there may be cases where the cat is attempting to catch something and momentarily looks like it’s gyrating. But, in reality, it’s not.

Is your cat gyrating a good thing?

If your cat is caught gyrating while being playful then it can be seen as a good thing. However, if it is seen humping your leg, then maybe not so.

So, whether it is good or not depends on what your cat is up to at the time of doing it. It is a grey area in truth. Why? Well, firstly it hard to prove the cat is really gyrating in the first place. Then, it may be hard to understand its intentions.

But, we can be clear about one thing, if it is intentionally gyrating to hump your leg then this is a definite no-no that should not be condoned.

Should you discipline your cat for gyrating?

It is not a good idea to immediately discipline your cat for gyrating. And, when I say discipline, I assume negative reinforcement. for example, shouting at the cat, or worse.

There are two reasons for this. Firstly, you have no idea why the cat was gyrating in the first place. And, lastly, discipline like this is never acceptable. Cats rarely respond well to this action. And, to make matters worse they hardly ever do exactly what you want as a result of this.

In addition to this, because your cat is unlikely to understand the reason for the discipline, in this manner, it may make it resent you for what it sees as an unprovoked attack. And, this can just lead to a determination in your relationship.

Is gyrating and somersaults a sign of playfulness?

A white cat gyrating, dancing & jumping.

A white cat gyrating, dancing & jumping.

If you see your cat rolling around on the floor, gyrating, with its belly exposed it could well be a sign of playfulness. It is a way for them to communicate that they want to play with you at that time.

This is one form of gyrating that should be well received and why not play with your cat at that time? It will make you bond better and keep your cat happy, right?

Also, sometimes while your cat is playing, for example catching a ball. It may seem to be popping a somersault, and in an attempt to regain its balance, it may gyrate, or at least appear to be, are you with me?

Could this gyrating be sexual?

It is possible that this gyrating action could be used for masturbating sexually. There has been at least one report of some cats doing this to their owner. It sounds weird, but in a cat’s mind, there is no shame in this behavior.

The interesting thing about this is the fact that these cats in particular were neutered cats. And, many people would assume they would not have the urge. Why? Because neutered cats have been medically altered and it affects their testosterone levels, it affects their sexual urge.

Should you stop a male cat gyrating on your leg?

You should stop a male cat gyrating on your leg. This is because the chances are it is humping you. And, as much as this may make your cat happy it’s not the best for a human. So, you should stop it doing this.

Also, it can be embarrassing if it does this in front of some gusst. Or, even worse, it attempts to do this to your guests. Once you train your cat not to do this, you can save yourself some headache and embarrassment.

Do male cats gyrate when they try to mount a female cat?

In the build-up to mating male cats will often be caught gyrating. This is assumed to be their way to get their momentum for mating or a way to line themselves up correctly.

However, there have been reports of some cats attempting this and getting their aim completely wrong resulting in the cat ending up away from the female’s entry point and ending up near its head, yes, you read that right!

The sad thing about this, all jokes aside, is that it could be painful for the male cat if they bash themselves while attempting to gyrate and mate in this way.

Could a cat’s dream cause it to gyrate?

A cat can be sleeping and seen to be gyrating. This is believed to be due to the dreams they are having. But, there has not been any hard evidence to support this mainly assumptions from a cat owner who witnessed this.

I guess it makes sense for a cat to do this. Why? Well, while they are awake there have been many people that have had a cat attempt to hump them, so why not in their sleep, right?

Do all cats gyrate?

Not all cats gyrate. Their personality and desires play a big part in this. Also, there may be some that do but have never been caught doing it. Meaning, maybe they do it once or twice in private and never to be seen again.

Some cats are docile and mainly stay at home, eat and sleep. And, it is unlikely that these types of cats would ever consider this. Also, elderly cats will usually not have the energy to do this.

What can trigger this gyrating motion?

If a cat has some catnip it is believed some can start gyrating and may even act frisky. This is one of many weird effects that catnip can potentially do.

However, other times it could just be a practical move. For example, if your cat had an itch on its back it may decide to flip-over, gyrate and scratch that itch. Maybe you have seen your cat doing this before and wondered why they are doing this? Well, hopefully now you know why this has happened.

Lindsey Browlingdon