A few days ago, I got a new pet. I didn’t plan to do it, but when I saw a kitty hiding from the rain, I knew I couldn’t leave it alone. But I was unsure whether it was a male or a female cat. I moved the fur and saw nipples so I said, “It’s a girl,” but then I stopped and asked myself, “Wait, do male cats have nipples too?”
I asked many of my friends, but none of them knew the answer. Then I did my research and found the answer I was looking for. That’s when I decided that I want to help all those cat owners who are asking themselves the same question.
Do male cats have nipples?
Before we start digging into the topic, we need to learn the basics first. And what’s a better start than mentioning how many nipples cats normally have?
The standard number of cat nipples is eight. They are separated into two parts, so they have 4 nipples on each side of their belly. However, I have an interesting fact for you. Even though the standard is eight nipples, cats can still have more or less of them and still be completely normal and healthy.
Even though most cats have an even number of nipples, it still isn’t unusual to see kitties with different numbers of them. It’s even possible that they have 5 nipples on one side of the body and only three on the other. And it doesn’t matter if they are male or female cats.
Cats have so many nipples because mother nature ensured that all newborn kittens can access their mother’s milk. There are usually 4 kittens in one litter, but the number can range up to 12, so they need to have enough nipples.
However, I know that most cat owners worry about everything that makes their kitty different. So if you’re still concerned, you can contact the vet to make sure everything’s fine. Trust me, if your cat has more or less than 8 nipples, it’s probably just something that makes her even more special.
Why do male cats have nipples?
Okay, now we know that male cats also have nipples, but why? Believe it or not, almost every cat owner has asked the same question. Luckily, there is a scientific explanation behind it.
While a little kitten’s embryo is developing inside his mom’s uterus, female and male embryos have very few differences. Many people say that they look almost exactly the same.
And that means that both of them develop nipples. It’s not only the case with cats; all other mammals have them as well, regardless of gender. So, every cat has them because nipples are created even before the gender is determined.
The only difference is that female kittens have nipples connected to the mammary gland. And if we’re talking about male kittens, they will still have small mammary glands. But how? That’s because of their testosterone.
If you ask evolutionary biologists, they will tell you that it happens because it’s natural for all mammals to have nipples. Since they are not a threat, mother nature never bothered with them, so even males have them.
There was no need to get rid of them, so they just stayed present in every mammal in the world.
Where are they located?
You probably already know that the nipples of all animals are located on their tummies. But, do you know exactly where they are on your kitty? If you’re unsure how to answer this question, I’m here to help you!
Your kitty’s nipples can be on the right or left side of her tummy, but also in the middle, and we call them a cat’s midline. However, the most common case is that cats have an equal number of nipples on the left and on the right side.
Even though looking for nipples sounds like an easy job, it can actually get very tricky. Why? Because of all the fur your kitty has. So sometimes you might need to move the fur in order to find your cat’s nipples. From my experience, I know that it’s actually easier to feel the nipple than to search for it in the fur forest.
But how to know whether you just felt a nipple or it was something else? A cat who never had kittens will have smaller nipples and they might feel like a tick or a bug bite (but they will have a distinct point).
The nipples are soft on the edges, but you can feel that they are a little more firm in the middle. It might sound complicated, but feeling a nipple is not a hard task.
What do they look like?
What do you think? Do male and female cat nipples look the same? Well, you’re about to find out, so let’s get into it.
When someone asks me to describe male cat nipples, I say they look like small round protuberances. And they are always the same color as the skin that’s located on that part of the body.
Sometimes they can be so small that people confuse them with ticks, and they start worrying. However, you can see a clear difference between a tick and a cat’s nipple when you get close to it.
So if you think it’s a tick, please don’t try to get rid of it before examining whether it’s that or just your kitty’s nipple. It can hurt a lot!
I promised to tell you whether female and male cat nipples look the same, so here I am. If we’re comparing the nipples of a non-pregnant queen cat, or the one who never gave birth, to a king cat, then we can say that their nipples look exactly the same.
However, when a kitty gets pregnant, her body needs to prepare itself for feeding those little kittens. So it starts producing milk, and her nipples become much bigger. In most cases, even after her kittens stop drinking her milk, her nipples stay visibly larger than they were before she got pregnant.
Are male cats able to produce milk?
Okay, we know that all cats have nipples, even male ones. But can a tomcat produce milk? It’s extremely rare, but it can actually really happen!
It’s possible that your cat’s nipples and mammary glands become bigger, and they can sometimes even produce milk. However, both options require a professional’s help. So the best thing to do is to call your vet right away just to make sure everything’s fine.
That’s because enlarged nipples, that appear red and swollen might be a sign of an infection or even an injury you weren’t even aware of.
When cats’ nipples enlarge, that means they are exposed to bigger levels of estrogen. And that estrogen can come from a disease you didn’t know about, or it can be a reaction to a medication. Luckily, it’s not hard to see the difference between normal and swollen nipples.
So if you notice that your tomcat’s nipples look bigger than before or they even produce milk, it’s best to take him to the vet as soon as possible. Most of the time, they will just examine him and give him the best medication. Don’t worry; it’s usually nothing serious, especially if you react on time.
Can you guess the gender according to nipples?
Most of the time, if you’re looking at a male cat and a female cat who was never pregnant, you won’t be able to figure out which one is which. But the difference is visible when one cat had kittens as her nipples become much bigger.
However, in other cases, it’s almost impossible to notice the difference. Especially if you’re comparing a spayed cat to a tomcat. If you really need to determine the gender, it’s always the best option to check their genitalia. If you’re still unsure, you can always ask a vet.
Can male cats get mammary tumors?
Unfortunately, both male and female cats can get mammary tumors. However, the truth is that they are much more common in female felines.
The mammary tumor is the third most common type when we’re talking about feline cancers. It’s mostly diagnosed in older cats (10 years and older). Just as women have to check themselves for lumps, you can do the same for your kitty.
It’s always easier to find the right treatment when you react on time.
Since you were interested in finding out the answer to “Do male cats have nipples?”, I wanted you to become the real expert on the topic so I included more interesting facts. I hope you had fun and you learned something new today!