Neutered Male Cat Acting like Female in Heat

by Carleigh
(Nebraska)

I have had my cat since I was 3, I am now 18. He was neutered when he was very young (we are not sure exactly at what age).


There are many questions I have:

Recently my mom and I noticed he was yowling extremely loud, we both ran to his rescue because we thought he was hurt! It was such an awful sound.

He has began 'humping' at first I did not know what was going on but then I saw his penis and he was licking himself. Even more interesting almost everytime he is humping he will gag and spit up (not throw up, but it is like baby spit up) and then run to a different area in the room to lick himself.

He is very territorial and sprays everything outside, and even when he is in his litter box he sprays. At first I thought that was just the only way he would use the bathroom but he had an accident (in my bathroom ha) in front of me and he didn't spray. (and neutered cats are very unlikely to continue to be extremely territorial, and less likely to spray everything.)

Looking at female cat signs of being in heat, my neutered male cat has all of them! When I stroke my cat from his head to his tail he elevates his bum and gets into a mating-like position, he has recently become extremely friendly and rubs his head and neck on everything, and also the long weird howl he makes.

I guess I am mostly concerned at what is happening when he kneads ('humps') and spits up while doing so, but I thought I would post the other interesting actions in case they had anything to do with each other.

Thank you very much and hopefully you will erase my worries, he is after all my best friend.


Reply from Liz (Editor): Thank you for giving me such a detailed cat behavior question, it really helps me to get a clearer picture and hopefully answer you better.

This behvior is odd, in the context you describe it. The main things that concern me are the sudden loud yowling and the humping-type behavior combined with spitting.

I think it's worth getting him checked over by the vet as soon as you can. I'm wondering, from what you describe, whether he's in pain and perhaps has some sort of urinary tract infection or an infection / problem around his penis / rear end. The licking of his penis, running to a different area of the room to do this and the accident he had in your bathroom (where he didn't do his usual spraying) all indicate this is a possibility. This page on cat urinary tract infection gives you more information on this and other signs to look out for.

I think the lifting of his bum and the rubbing of his head is just him being friendly and probably not related to the rest of the behavior you describe.

I'd definitely get him to the vet and just make sure he's OK - at least then you'll have peace of mind. Good luck and thank you again for your question.

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