Can I Stop My Cat From Mounting Other Cats?

CatChannel behavior expert Marilyn Krieger, CCBC, helps an owner whose cat mounts other cats.

By Marilyn Krieger | Posted: August, 13, 2010, 3 a.m. EDT

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Q: My 4-year-old male neutered cat, Rocky, sometimes really embarrasses me. He will start licking my other male cat’s head and neck. That’s OK, but then he grabs Bubba by the neck and mounts him. It usually ends up with a minor altercation, where neither cat is hurt. It’s really embarrassing when he starts doing this when I have guests over! I don’t dare invite anyone over anymore because I don’t know when he’s going to start mounting Bubba. Why is he doing this and how do I get him not to do this?

A: Based on your description, Rocky is mounting Bubba as a statement of dominance. In other words, he is showing Bubba he is the boss. There are other factors that can trigger this behavior. These include a queen in heat hanging out in the neighborhood or the remote possibility of a crypt orchid, which is an undescended testicle. Rocky of course, is unaware that his exhibitionism is embarrassing to his favorite human.

You might have some success modifying the behavior by providing Rocky other ways of displaying his dominance that are more acceptable and less embarrassing. Vertical territory such as tall cat furniture or other tall objects and furniture with different levels of shelving may help the situation. One way cats show their status to each other is by how high they sit in relationship to each other. The status is flexible; it changes depending on the rooms the cats are in, the time of day as well as other factors.

Scratching posts and horizontal scratchers can also help. Besides giving themselves manicures, cats scratch for a number of other reasons. Cats mark their territories and communicate information both visually and with scent when they scratch. They have scent glands on the bottoms of their paws that release pheromones whenever they scratch.

Increasing the environmental enrichment by providing both cats interactive toys and engaging Rocky in regular play sessions every day will also help to refocus his attentions away from Bubba and may help to decrease the mounting behavior.
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;    LCS, MD

8/31/2010 1:32:29 AM


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