10737 Venice Bl.
Los Angeles, CA 90034
(310) 559-3770
See Map >
Is it normal when a neutered cat masturbates a lot? Dr. B says he understands owner could feel moritified, but says nothing to worry about, Dr. B recommends steps to take to curb behavior if needed.

Neutered cat masturbating a lot. Help!

My cat’s having his way with himself. A lot! Do I have a reason to worry?

Dear Dr. Baum–

Dr. Baum, my kitten began masturbating at around 8 weeks old. I was a little disturbed at how often it seemed to happen, but I figured it would calm down once he was able to be neutered. Well, approximately 4 hours after I brought him home from being neutered the other day, he began doing it again! I stopped him at that point because I was afraid he would injure the place of surgery (and I think it did hurt him because he stopped for a few days). Well, he’s back at it again. I’m pretty sure he does it more than once a day. Do I have reason to worry?

Britt
Los Angeles, CA

Dear Britt —

There is no reason to worry but I can imagine your mortification, especially when this occurs in mixed company! It takes approximately three months for testosterone levels to decrease to insignificant levels. Neutering removes the major source of production of this hormone, but does not immediately cleanse his system of it. As the hormone level decreases the level of masturbation should decrease.

In the meantime you should remove anything that you think is acting as a stimulus for this behavior. Deleting the centerfolds of “Cat Fancy” magazine as well as removing the adorable little stuffed toy that serves as the object of his affections should help. There is a product called Fel-O-Way, which is a pheromone (hormonal) spray, that can be gently sprayed over him and his environment and will have a pacifying effect when used regularly.

One final note. I am assuming that this cat is a young adult — under a year of age. If he is an older tomcat that has been free to wander and mate over the years, his behavior may continue to be influenced more by habit than by hormones. An oral female hormone (megesterol acetate) can be given in low doses to suppress the behavior.

Good luck!
Dr. B

Dr. Barry Baum, Chief of Staff, Center-Sinai Animal Hospital, Los Angeles veterinary services, full and emergency pet care

About Dr. Baum

Dr. Baum has been the owner and Chief of Staff at Center-Sinai Animal Hospital, Los Angeles, California since 1979. The hospital has been serving the Los Angeles community for over thirty years.

Read more about Dr. B!


As seen on:

NBC, Los Angeles Times, CBS and Animal Planet