Sex(less) Kitten
August 23, 2010 7:06 PM   Subscribe

Help me prove that my cat is not a masturbation addict.

Last week my cat started kneading me…y'know, making biscuits. I noticed he had a boner (despite being neutered), and I lightheartedly pointed it out to my girlfriend sitting next to me.

She took it entirely the wrong way, and now she's convinced that the cat is trying to 'get off' (her words) every time he gives me a massage. She says he has a 'sex face' when he does it. It disgusts her, and she has banned all cat massages in her presence from the house.

This is bullshit logic and completely irrational. Still, any reasons I give are immediately countered with 'But what about the boner?' And I have no explanation. But for chrissakes, he's not purring and kneading me so he can fap.

Help me bring some sense to my girlfriend: give my cat's erection some context outside of 'masturbation addict.'* The more objective, the better. I need cat massages in my life.

* I bet you'll never hear that line again.
posted by spamguy to Pets & Animals (19 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

...Forgive what may sound like a personal question, but -- do you ever get random erections when you're not aroused? Say, in the morning, before you've gotten up for your first pee?

Whatever it is you're doing isn't sexytime, is it? Right. And now considered -- you're NOT neutered. Your cat IS.

....Try pointing that out to her.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:11 PM on August 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

If your cat is doing it right, point out to your girlfriend how little his penis is involved with the whole operation, and the fact that his pelvis his relatively stationary. Ask he if she's ever seen cats having sex and how unlike it is to what he's doing.

Add, "I don't know why he would be rubbing one out - I jacked him off like six times before you got home!"
posted by smoke at 7:14 PM on August 23, 2010 [19 favorites]

Your girlfriend is going to give the cat a complex. Cats are pleasure seekers. An unfixed cat will sometimes outwardly display their, um, excitement.

If that's not enough for your girlfriend, have her repeat this helpful mantra: CATS ARE WEIRD. CATS ARE WEIRD. CATS ARE WEIRD. CATS ARE WEIRD.
posted by contessa at 7:14 PM on August 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

You actually might want to check this out with your vet. It's unusual for a neutered cat to have an erection, and sometimes it's because because they have a UTI or a blockage... or other physical problems.
posted by OolooKitty at 7:19 PM on August 23, 2010

Your cat being neutered doesn't mean he cannot derive pleasure from his penis. His body is thinking 'pleasure' and his penis is tied into pleasure somehow, so out it comes. My boy cat certainly purrs like crazy whenever he's washing that part of his anatomy.

Your cat is normal. Your girlfriend is weird.
posted by frobozz at 7:22 PM on August 23, 2010 [7 favorites]

Your cat is normal. Your girlfriend is weird.

This is rare but not completely atypical cat behavior. It is somewhat atypical girlfriend behavior.
posted by jessamyn at 7:38 PM on August 23, 2010 [14 favorites]

It is also weird that you refer to it as "giving you a massage" that you "need." And hilarious! Thanks for making me check my cats for sex faces from here on out, too.
posted by theredpen at 7:47 PM on August 23, 2010

It disgusts her, and she has banned all cat massages in her presence from the house.

Wait, does this boil down to the fact that your girlfriend is jealous of the possibility that your kitty is giving you teh hardcore nubbins? If so, that's all kinds of fucked up right there.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 7:48 PM on August 23, 2010 [5 favorites]

This is bullshit logic and completely irrational. Still, any reasons I give are immediately countered with 'But what about the boner?' And I have no explanation. But for chrissakes, he's not purring and kneading me so he can fap.

I'm sorry to help your girlfriend, but my (male, neutered) cat does the same to me, sometimes with a boner. And, since he runs into the corner to lick his crotch afterwards, I'm pretty sure he is doing it for sexual pleasure.

My husband finds it annoying when the cat does this to me--and only me! I guess I'm special--but I couldn't care less, and generally just ignore it. Even neutered adult animals are sexual creatures. Who am I to stop a creature likely lacking in higher-order thoughts from fapping?
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:58 PM on August 23, 2010

Oh, my cat often grabs something in his teeth while doing this, too--a blanket, me (in which case he gets kicked out of bed)--which makes it appear, at least, even more like male cat mating behavior. If yours doesn't, I guess that could be evidence of his kitty purity.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:01 PM on August 23, 2010

My cat does this to my Mr. and other friends of mine. He even has a distinct preference for guys with facial hair and sturdy builds. I find it sweet and amusing and tell friends about my gay, bear-lover cat. Cats just like feeling good; your girlfriend is the one with issues.
posted by matildaben at 8:18 PM on August 23, 2010 [2 favorites]

THe link jessamyn provides has an adorable sublink within it, wherein a group of kitties answer a similar question. Let me give you the most important part:
Dahlia:Whatever you do, please know that your cat is not trying to make you uncomfortable. He can’t help the fact that his body is responding to stimuli in the environment. He clearly loves you, and he can’t understand that his sexual behavior is making you uncomfortable.

Siouxsie: We cats don’t have the same kind of attitudes about sex or genitals as people do. Human attitudes, religious beliefs, family history and life experience tend to bring a lot of emotional baggage to sexual interactions. We’re not troubled by such things because for cats, sexual behavior is just something that happens (or doesn’t happen, in the case of spayed and neutered cats).
Your girlfriend is having trouble differentiating human sexuality from animal sexuality. You aren't trying to molest him or take your own pleasure in bestiality-lite. Your cat is expressing affection, and part of his body feeling good and affectionate towards you may or may not include an erection or a sensation that a human male might experience as specific sexual desire (as opposed to physical arousal). Erections aren't always directly linked to sexual actions in other species (nor our own, for that matter). They can be part of dominance displays in dogs and other animals like giraffes.

But the point isn't really 'is my cat fapping all over me?' Maybe. Maybe not. You can interrupt him, and have him stop if he gets too overtly sexual in his displays, or it makes you uncomfortable. The point is that this is an animal being an animal, and he is not disgusting for being what he is. Your girlfriend's disgust and fascination with this behavior to the point of 'banning it' in her presence, rather than a brief 'knock it off, kitty! that's enough!' reaction has to do with her lack of understanding. I hope some education will help her be more comfortable with the fact that other species are not like us, and that's okay.
posted by Uniformitarianism Now! at 8:24 PM on August 23, 2010 [6 favorites]

Also, the 'sex face' is probably the 'drooly' face that many cats make when making biscuits. Again, it's not necessarily's just blissed out and affectionate.

Incidentally, my female cat--spayed for six years now, and I've had her hormones checked--occasionally believes she is in heat and goes around the house propositioning the furniture (despite the presence of two neutered males, and a couple of unneutered neighborhood kitties who come visit her window). She's just into furniture. Okay, kitty.

I don't think the bookshelf is interested, but I admire her persistence.
posted by Uniformitarianism Now! at 8:29 PM on August 23, 2010 [16 favorites]

She doesn't want you to interact with your pet, which is mean and petty. I'm guessing that the kitty has had a longer relationship with you than she has, she's envious of him, and is ginning up a fight. As to the "sex face," cats can't actually have facial expressions. This reminds me of the people who go through Disney movies, frame by frame, and manage to find something perverted ("S-E-X" spelled out in clouds in The Lion King! The Prince has an erection in The Little Mermaid!).

Sorry, now to constructive advice: maybe talk to her and see if this is a symptom of being jealous of other relationships/friends/that you had a life before her? Could she possibly think that you are um, excited by your cat? (Sounds crazy, but maybe she does think so. She seems disproportionately disturbed by this. Is she very young?) Because it seems that there is a lot more going on than your cat having an erection once...
posted by sfkiddo at 9:26 PM on August 23, 2010

All the male cats I've ever had have been neutered, and all of them have frotted themselves silly on slippers, teddy bears, or even just the carpet. (I've posted here before about how one of them used to hump a little sheepskin rug that we had.) It's just a reflexive thing when they are happy and mellow.
posted by vickyverky at 9:48 PM on August 23, 2010

Exact same thing happens with my cat when he's really into kneading. My wife refers to doing any intense kneading as him "making love" - probably not that much help there. For us the needle sharp stabbing and drooly patch from where he tries to breastfeed on us are more of a problem.
posted by Artw at 6:53 AM on August 24, 2010

Damn, give the poor kitty a break. As is neutering him wasn't bad enough. Let him have his fun. If she's got a problem with this, well, what else is lurking behind the scenes? Could be the cat is the keeper, not the GF.
posted by wkearney99 at 7:36 AM on August 24, 2010

The kneading behavior is an echo of the kneading a kitten does when it's feeding from its mother just like petting a cat (or dog) mimics its mother's grooming behavior. If your girlfriend is prepared to ascribe an oedipus complex projected onto you to the cat, she shouldn't be petting it either. Actually, don't bring up the oedipus complex part.
posted by cmoj at 8:44 AM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

The cat is kneading because it is nursing behavior. It soothes him and it feels good. When human babies nurse, it releases a hormone in both the baby and the mother that is EXACTLY the same hormone released during sexual arousal. It is a 'blanket' pleasure response that is indistinguishable. Your kitty is comforting himself with you because he loves you - don't get all twisty about it.
posted by smart75 at 9:57 AM on August 24, 2010 [3 favorites]

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