Cats are unique little creatures that we love and adore. They tend to have some very peculiar behaviors in many aspects of their existence. It’s beneficial to understand feline behavior, especially if you share your life with cats. One awkward question that comes up is, why do cats scream when mating?
Not only are cats vocal during the actual act of mating, but females can also be vocal throughout the entire process of being in heat. We’ll investigate the courtship and mating of cats to best answer the question.
In a female cat, the ovaries do not release any eggs until mating has taken place, known as stimulation-based ovulation. You will notice that when a female cat comes into heat, they tend to be very affectionate and vocal, they will do a lot of grooming and rolling around during this time. This is due to an influx of hormones and is an indicator that she is ready to ovulate and is trying to attract a male to complete the process and become pregnant.
Not all females make the loud vocalization when in heat, called trilling, but most do. Females can begin heat cycles as young as 4 months of age. Breeding season for cats is all year round and a female will typically go into heat every 2-3 weeks until she is either spayed or becomes pregnant.
When a male cat is lured in by a female through scent and vocalizations, the mating process will begin. The reason why there is so much screaming during the mating process is that male cats have a barbed penis that is very painful for the female to endure.
The male reproductive organs are barbed to stimulate the female to ovulate and though it is not so pleasant, it’s necessary for reproduction. It is not uncommon for the male to screech and scream as a response to the female’s noises while they are engaged in mating as well.
After mating is complete, which is typically under a minute, the female tends to act aggressively toward the male, likely due to the discomfort she endured. The male will typically leave the female alone until she starts vocalizing to attract him or another male to mate again.
Once the male has left, the female will go back and forth between grooming herself, rolling around, and trilling again. Most females will want to mate at least 3 to 4 times over a 1-to-2-day span and may mate with several suitors over this period and it is not uncommon for a litter of kittens to be fathered by different males.
After mating has commenced, the female tends to act quite strangely. They may act completely out of character due to the surge of hormones they are experiencing.
Spaying and Neutering Cats
It is very important to note that spaying and neutering your cats is an important responsibility of a cat owner. There is currently a crisis when it comes to the homelessness of domesticated pets around the world. In the United States alone, 1.5 million dogs and cats are euthanized each year, 860,000 of those being cats.
Sterilizing your cat will prevent many unwanted pregnancies and kittens. There are simply not enough homes for the number of cats in this country. Not only does spaying and neutering help with the overflow of shelter pets, but it also has medical, behavioral, and financial benefits.
When Can I Spay/Neuter My Cat?
It is typically considered safe to spay or neuter kittens as early as 8 weeks of age. It’s important to avoid urine spraying from males marking their territory and heat cycles in females, which each typically start around 4 to 5 months of age.
It is best to speak directly with your veterinarian about the process and ensure the surgery is completed promptly to prevent unwanted pregnancies and any associated behavioral issues you can face with unaltered animals.
Adopting straight from a rescue or shelter is a wonderful option that will ensure your new cat is spayed or neutered before coming home.
We now know that the reason cats scream during mating is due to the barbed reproductive organs of the male causing physical discomfort for the female. Occasionally, the males will reciprocate with vocalizations in response to this as well.
It’s vital to have your cats spayed or neutered unless you are a reputable breeder. It will not only save the female from the pain of breeding but has many other benefits. We all must do what we can to prevent homeless pet populations and mass euthanasia of our companion animals.
Featured Image Credit: christels, Pixabay