What Is The Cat Mating Position?

Cat mating is an important part of the feline reproductive cycle. Understanding cat mating behaviors and patterns can help cat owners better care for their pets. Knowing when cats go into heat, what mating looks like, and signs of pregnancy can help owners make informed decisions about spaying/neutering and proper care. While mating behaviors may seem unusual compared to humans, they serve an essential biological purpose for cats. Learning about normal cat mating helps owners understand their pet’s instincts and needs.


The mounting position is the first step in cat mating. The male cat will approach the female from behind and place his front paws on her shoulders or mid-back. He will then proceed to thrust against her hind end in an attempt to penetrate her to mate. This mounting behavior allows the male to properly align his penis with the female’s vagina for intromission.

Male cats have barbed penises that induce ovulation in females during mating. The barbs rake the walls of the female’s vagina which stimulates ovulation. This is why female cats scream during mating – the barbs can be painful.

Mounting between two male cats is common as well, though no penetration occurs. Male-male mounting is a dominance display and is instinctual cat behavior. The dominant male will mount the subordinate male in an effort to establish hierarchy.

According to https://gayweddingsmag.com/why-is-my-male-cat-trying-to-mate-with-another-male/, the best way to curb male-male mounting is to neuter the cats. Neutering reduces testosterone and sexual urges in male cats.

Neck Biting

During mating, the male cat will often bite the female’s neck as a way to hold on and maintain control during intercourse. The biting gives the male better leverage and restricts the female’s movement.[1] This neck biting behavior serves an important evolutionary purpose – by immobilizing the female and holding her in place, it allows the male to successfully mate and pass on his genes.

The neck biting can often be quite aggressive and even painful for the female cat. The degree of biting force varies by the individual male cat. Some may apply only gentle pressure while others will clench down firmly with their teeth. The pain from the bite causes female cats to sometimes react aggressively, hissing, growling or trying to scratch the male. However, the male’s firm neck grip generally overpowers the female’s attempts at resistance.

While the neck biting may seem harsh, it is simply instinctual mating behavior wired into male cats. The goal is not to harm the female, but simply to stabilize her body and facilitate coupling. It’s part of the mating ritual that has evolved to optimize successful reproduction in the species. The discomfort for the female is temporary, ending once the male cat releases his grip post-mating.


Treading is an important part of the mating process for cats. The male cat will tread on the female by standing on her rear end and making a squeezing, kneading motion with his forepaws. This treading motion stimulates the female to ovulate and signals to her that mating is about to occur.

When a male cat treads, he is essentially imitating the nursing actions of a kitten. This causes the female to react as if her kittens are kneading and nursing from her. The pressure and stimulation from the male’s paws releases hormones in the female and brings her to optimal receptiveness for successful mating and conception.

Treading can occur both before and after the actual mating act as part of the male cat’s courting behavior. It is an important bonding experience that helps promote ovulation in the female cat. The repeated treading motion also serves to leave the male’s scent on the female to mark her as his mate.


After the male cat’s penis penetrates the female’s vagina through a forceful pelvic thrust, ejaculation occurs, releasing sperm cells mixed with fluid from the prostate and seminal vesicles through the penis into the vagina. This fluid gives the sperm cells energy and helps transport them to potentially fertilize an egg. According to research, male cats are capable of ejaculating just like most male mammals. The ejaculation itself lasts just a few seconds. Once ejaculation is complete, the male will release his grip on the female’s neck and dismount. The mating then comes to an end.

After Mating

Both male and female cats exhibit interesting behaviors after successful mating. The female cat in particular can act quite unpredictably and appear agitated after mating according to Vet Approved Advice (https://www.hepper.com/how-do-female-cats-act-after-mating/). She may roll around, thrash, and even turn aggressive if approached too soon after mating.

According to the Cat Health Guide on Omlet (https://www.omlet.us/guide/cats/cat_health/cat_pregnancy/), the whole mating process for cats can take between 30 seconds and one minute. Immediately after, the female cat will seem very agitated and roll and thrash around. This restless behavior is normal for a female cat after mating.

The male cat typically quickly loses interest and disengages from the female after ejaculation and successful mating. He is likely to groom himself and then go about his usual activities.

Mating Sounds

Cats make a variety of vocalizations during mating, especially the female cat in heat looking for a mate. The most common sound is a loud, persistent yowling or meowing. Female cats will caterwaul almost constantly when they are ready to mate. This helps attract potential male suitors. The yowling and meowing tend to get louder and more frequent the longer the female goes without mating.

In addition to yowling and meowing, female cats may also make other sounds like soft trilling, cooing, mewing, and howling as they seek out a mate. Male cats respond with loud yowling and meowing as well. The vocalizations between the male and female help facilitate mating.

Once mating begins, cats continue vocalizing. Females may growl, shriek, and cry out during the act. The male’s penis is barbed, so mating can be painful for the female cat. The male may grunt or growl as well. Cats tend to be very vocal before, during, and after mating.

Source: http://meowsic.se/mate.html

Mating Seasons

Cats typically have breeding seasons that align with longer daylight hours. This means their mating instincts kick in during the spring and summer months. According to Purina, the mating season for cats in the Northern Hemisphere runs from March to September. For cats in the Southern Hemisphere, the mating season is usually from September to March. The exact timing and length of the mating season can vary by climate and breed.

Female cats generally come into heat multiple times during the mating season. Their cycles last about 2-3 weeks, with 7-10 days of peak fertility each time. This means there are many opportunities for mating over the spring and summer months. Unspayed female cats will likely attract male cats when they are in heat and ready to mate.

Some key signs that a female cat is in heat and receptive to mating include vocalizing more, becoming affectionate, rolling around, and raising their hindquarters when scratched near the tail. The drive to mate is very strong during these seasonal periods of heat and fertility.

Pregnancy Signs

One of the earliest signs a cat is pregnant after mating is pink or reddened nipples. According to Webmd, the nipples will become enlarged and redden around 2-3 weeks after conception1. Purina notes the nipples will go through ‘pinking up’ around 15-18 days into the pregnancy2. Wikihow also states the nipples will become pink, red and enlarged around 15-18 days3.

Other signs include the cat’s back starting to look swayed as the abdomen swells with the growing kittens. Her belly will also fill out and may exhibit gentle movements from the fetuses. Appetite and urination may increase as the pregnancy progresses. The cat may seek quiet, private places for nesting as she gets closer to birth.


In summary, understanding the mating behavior of cats can be very beneficial for pet owners. The mounting, neck biting, treading, and mating sounds are all part of the natural mating ritual for cats. Being aware of these behaviors, the mating seasons, and signs of pregnancy can help owners properly care for their pets. Knowledge of mating positions, sounds, and seasons empowers owners to make informed decisions about spaying/neutering and potential pregnancy. Overall, a basic understanding of feline mating provides owners with insights that allow them to be responsible caretakers and promote the health and wellbeing of their cats.

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