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Can Cats Be Gay? (A Myth Or A Real Thing)

Can Cats Be Gay? (A Myth Or A Real Thing)

We all know cats are not monogamous animals. When in heat, female cats will actively seek out as many males as possible.

The same goes for male cats; they are always looking for an attractive female to mate with! 

Okay, these animals engage in intercourse as soon as they become sexually mature. And it’s all good until you notice your male cat is not humping females, but rather – cats of the same sex!

What’s going on? Can cats really be gay?!

Yes, your cat might show fondness for same-sex felines. But, does this mean she’s gay? Not exactly. 

There have been studies on animal homosexuality and there are conflicting opinions on the subject. Still, there is no scientific evidence that will confirm cats indeed can be gay.

Things might not be so simple, so, let’s dive into this issue.

Does Homosexuality Exist In Cats?

Two cats sleep on the table

Most animals live by following their instincts, which tell them to reproduce. Since homosexuality excludes reproduction, many of you probably believe that cats can’t be gay.

However, you might have witnessed your cat showing sexual behavior towards cats of the same sex. What’s this about?

Well, they are not likely to enjoy sexual intercourse at all, at least not in the way humans do. 

Female cats scream while mating, and this happens because males have scratchy reproductive organs, which causes females to feel pain. They scream because it helps them to endure.

Therefore, cats don’t feel the same about intercourse as we do, so pleasure is not the reason for homosexual behavior.

Also, cats don’t have a concept of sexual orientation; they are simply following their natural instincts and trying to find a cat that will love them back!

Your cat showing sexual desire for the same sex doesn’t mean she can be labeled as gay. 

So, homosexuality doesn’t really exist in cats, at least not in the same way as we perceive it in humans.

Why Do Cats Engage In Homosexual Behavior?

two cats licking each other

If they can’t actually be gay, why do cats show homosexual behavior?

Some of them might show homosexual drive due to frustration.

See, if you noticed your male cat running away from home, he has probably become sexually mature, and is now in search of a female to mate with.

If this doesn’t happen soon enough, your cat might become frustrated and will be ready to mount even a male cat! 

Cat’s Sexual Behavior Might Be Misinterpreted Sometimes  

Your cat sharing some love with the same-sex cat isn’t necessarily a sign of homosexual behavior.

This could be a form of playing for two kittens or even a way of releasing stress.

The same goes for grooming. I bet your kitty spends most of her day licking her precious fur. Sometimes, she might groom a cat of the same sex, but, this doesn’t mean she prefers females over males! This could be a simple sign of affection.

Furthermore, same-sex mounting could also be a form of showing dominant behavior. How to tell which cat is dominant in your household? Just look for the one that is sitting on or mounting the other ones!

What Does Science Say About Homosexuality In Animals?

two cats lying on red bed at home in winter day

Homosexuality in animals has been a taboo topic and an interesting subject of research for many years now.

As the News Medical Life Sciences suggests, homosexuality is common among animals, and many of them even solve conflicts by practicing same-gender sex.

Some of the animals that display same-sex behavior are dwarf chimpanzees, sheep, and dolphins. Some of them will show same-sex behavior during a certain period, while others might practice it throughout their life.

Why do they engage in intercourse with animals of the same sex? Because of the natural instincts that drive them to find a partner.

Still, there are some other explanations for homosexuality in animals, cats specifically. 

Mary Peng, the co-founder of the International Center for Veterinary Services, states how she owns two male cats that are very close to each other:

They sleep with each other, look out for each other and snuggle together. But I don’t think it means anything other than that they have a bond in their social group.

Same-sex behaviors are interesting if we look at them from our human perspective, but we have to understand that what they are doing has nothing to do with being ‘gay’ in human terms. What they are doing is only natural.

Therefore, not only animal homosexuality is a rather controversial topic – but it has also been an ongoing debate without an ultimate answer so far.

A Study On Homosexual Mounting In Cats

two different cats standing side by side outdoors

Akihiro Yamane [1] studied male homosexual mounting in group-living feral cats.

He investigated male homosexual behavior in cats living on a small island, intending to test five possible hypotheses for male mounting behavior: dominance-assertion, mistaken identity, fighting, sexual play for practice, and an outlet for sexual tension.

Results showed how older males mounted younger and lighter ones, therefore, sexual play for practice is ruled out as a likely explanation for male-male mounting.

Since cats didn’t mount those with which they were competing for receptive females, the fighting hypothesis wasn’t the answer for homosexual behavior, either.

Males that mounted others were also more dominant, so dominance-assertion was eliminated as the reason, too. 

Mistaken identity is, on the other hand, a possible reason for homosexual behavior, since males that were mounted were similar in size to sexually mature females included in the study. 

The outlet for sexual tension is the hypothesis that is most likely to be the reason for homosexual behavior in observed cats. 

Male-male mounting in this study occurred just after females might have evaded courting males. So, an unsuccessful mating with females might have led to homosexual mounting in observed male cats. 

What’s The Final Verdict?

Science hasn’t given an explicit answer to the question of whether cats can be gay. So, no, I cannot say either that your cat is homosexual if he has shown affection towards a cat of the same sex.

The most important thing to understand here is that felines are not like humans; they don’t have a distinct sexual orientation. Therefore, we cannot simply label them as straight or gay.

In the end, this shouldn’t even be important for us, as long as our kittens are happy and satisfied!


[1] Yamane, A. Male homosexual mounting in the group-living feral cat (Felis catus).

May 2010, Ethology Ecology and Evolution October 1999(4):399-406. DOI, Retrieved April 06, 2023.

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