Frustration can be expressed in many ways and the root cause might very well be related to reproduction.
However, what you should do depends on the cause and nature of the frustration.
Some cat owners are convinced it’s sexual frustration that requires relief in some way, shape, or form.
If that is the case, there are a couple of steps you can take to avoid this from happening.
Please keep in mind that giving in to the cat’s perceived desire to mate is not going to end well in most cases.
Only consider mating if a breeding program was properly set up, both cats are thoroughly health-tested, and the owners are 110% committed to caring for the kittens.
Many cat owners believe that their cat’s hot-tempered behavior would subside if they would just let nature take its course.
There is no evidence that cats ponder the long-term implications of not reproducing and no evidence that a one-off mating will calm a male cat down in the long run.
But cats may feel temporary frustration which can be managed in most cases.
Most of the time, males display these signs but females can seem frustrated too, especially if they’re in heat.
Recommended Reading: Male Cat Behavior Around Female in Heat
Relief For a Sexually Frustrated Cat
To relieve the sexual frustration of your cat, you can remove the trigger or limit exposure, distract your cat with exercise and brain games, or opt for medication or neutering in severe cases.
Separation and limiting exposure can be done in many ways.
If the male shares a household with a female cat in heat, it may be harder to separate the cats and even if you find a solution, you’d need something to mask the female’s smell.
Distraction may only work temporarily but can relieve stress in general.
Medication should only be given under veterinary supervision.
Neutering is commonly associated with a reduction in undesired behaviors but comes with risks as well as benefits.
Frustration might manifest in your male cat with the following signs:
- Excessive marking
- Lack of focus
- Restless pacing
- Walking in circles
- Aggression around males
1. Separation Avoids Frustration
Separating your male cat from a female in heat or generally limiting access to females as well as exposure to enticing odors such as a female’s urine may help calm down your sexually frustrated cat.
What the eye does not see, the heart does not grieve over, right?
While that holds true in many cases, it might not be entirely accurate.
Your male cat may still go berserk even if he’s just smelling that enticing neighborhood female in heat.
What you should do now depends on your circumstances.
If the female cat is in your house, separate them when left alone and try to mask the scent.
Unfortunately, this problem won’t resolve itself as your female won’t stop going into heat and you’d need to find a long-term solution.
Consider spaying or neutering and discuss with a vet you trust to see what would suit your situation best.
If the female is in the neighborhood but not your house, changing your walking route might help to calm down an agitated male feline.
Keep your furry friend away from spots where the female may have urinated to avoid worsening sexual frustration.
If a female cat has urinated inside your home, consider using a cleaning solution to remove the scent.
Cat daycare should be avoided if your cat is distressed by a female being in heat there.
Whether your cat is neutered or not, a female in heat can put a lot of stress on our felines.
2. Separation Pairs With Distraction
Distracting your cat with exercise, obedience training, or mental exercises will not only help keep their mind occupied, but it will also help your cat to calm down in general.
Exercise prevents a lot of issues and is one of the first things cat owners should address when it comes to separation anxiety or other destructive behaviors.
The following options could help calm down a sexually frustrated male:
- Exercise outside
- Obedience training
- Brain games (such as puzzles)
- Treat-dispensing toys
Neutering might help with avoiding sexual frustration but the issue may be related to training instead. It’s not advised to neuter your male cat unless there is a strong medical indication.
If your cat’s distress becomes unbearable for them, you might want to discuss options with your vet.
It doesn’t always have to be “go big or go home” (i.e. giving in to your cat’s urges or neutering).
You might try to address the issue and see if it’s training-related.
Behaviors that surface temporarily around females in heat can be avoided.
On the other hand, signs such as constant mounting, excessive licking, or even aggressive behaviors might point toward an underlying issue.
Either way, the issue needs to be addressed to avoid your cat provoking fights with other males, or even aggression directed toward people.
Poorly socialized cats may not heed a female cat’s warnings and that can lead to fights too.
How Do I Know If My Cat Is Sexually Frustrated?
Your cat may be sexually frustrated if they display symptoms such as excessive whining, panting, licking, pacing, marking, or if they mount females repeatedly. Males around females in heat are more likely to seem frustrated.
Any one of these behaviors alone doesn’t mean your cat is necessarily sexually frustrated.
However, if you notice a combination of these behaviors and perhaps even notice it more around females or you encountered a female in heat, it might be the cause.
Separation can work wonders if used alongside distracting and exercising your cat.
However, for some owners, the signs are just so extreme that they need to discuss options with a veterinary behaviorist.
Sexually Excited Female Cat
A sexually frustrated female cat may show signs such as restlessness, irritability, whining, urine marking, and humping other cats, humans, or even objects.
Female cats can display frustration in the same ways males do.
Whereas males tend to display a lot of whining, circling, and marking, females may tend to be more irritable and commonly hump.
Many cat owners still believe humping or mounting to be a sure sign of cat “dominance”.
Mounting is most commonly rooted in arousal, play, or anxiety.
Some females mount due to overexcitement or stress and may incorporate mounting in play which is not always reciprocated by other cats and may lead to conflicts.
However, mounting can also be rooted in hormonal changes, especially with intact females.
Lastly, it’s essential to keep medical issues in mind.
- Obsessive behavior
- Urinary incontinence
- Urinary tract infection
- Skin allergies
- Retained ovaries or tumors in spayed females
Whatever you do, it’s best not to encourage or punish these behaviors, whether they’re rooted in your cat’s sexual excitement or other behavioral or medical issues.
Negative attention is just another form of attention and your cat may learn to seek it out if you constantly react to the humping.
Distracting your cat with a command or other behaviors and then positively reinforcing said command may help.
Other than that, you should regularly exercise your cat and incorporate 1-on-1 time in the form of play and training.
Long-term, it’s essential to figure out the cause and talk to your vet to rule out medical issues.
Just keep in mind that it’s possible even for neutered cats to continue any behaviors that are currently attributed to sexual excitement or frustration.
These issues may actually need to be addressed in training sessions.
Disclaimer: This blog post does not substitute veterinary attention and does not intend to do so. I am not a veterinarian or pet nutritionist. If your cat shows any sign of illness, call your vet.