Do Male Cats Have Nipples?

Do Male Cats Have Nipples? This might be an absurd question which you could have been avoiding if you do not have a male cat in your house. But when some child asks this question you might find yourself in shallow water.  Male cat owners know the answer to the question do male cats have nipples, is yes. But these nipples are vestigial and the mammary gland growth doesn’t happen in male cats like male humans and there is no milk as well.

Do male cats have nipples is not the only question that comes to the mind of people when they ask about nipples and mammary glands in male kittens or grown-up cats. The questions might seem absurd in the beginning to ask but still, knowledge is power and with the help of important knowledge you can save your cat from mammary gland issues, tumors, and cancer.  so without further ado, let’s start our quest for knowledge:

Do Male Cats Have Nipples?

If you are a cats lover and have a male grown cat at home you don’t need to ask yourself do male cats have nipples? But a person who doesn’t have a male furry friend will surely get perplexed by seeing regular or enlarged nipples on a cat`s body. Female cats rear their young ones through lactation from mammary tissue just like other mammals. Watching a cat feeding the kittens is definitely a heart-melting sight.

But the nipples on the male cat will surely make you question why do male cats have nipples. You don’t need an evolutionary expert and top-rated veterinarian to answer this question. With some logic and example of male humans and other animals like male dogs, you can deduce that these nipples are present in both genders. But only the female has the mammary gland growth which produces milk for child-rearing.

Nipples: What are these, and why do cats have them?

You have got the answer to the question do male cats have nipples. Let’s move towards the nipples in the mammal body. The nipple is a growth of muscle on the mammal body in the belly or chest. Felines do have nipples in both sexes. Just like the female, male cat nipples are also visible on the body. But male nipples do not produce milk to rear the kittens.

Male cat’s nipples do not get subject to mammary gland growth and lay hidden in the fur without any purpose. These vestigial nipples are present in almost all the male members of mammals and they serve no purpose. Both the male and female kittens are born with nipples because when they are in the stomach of the mother in the beginning there is no difference between the male and female body.

The nipples are there in the early stage of the gestation period and after the growth of the fetus reaches the next level only then the reproductive organs are produced. But evolution hasn’t removed these nipples from mammal`s body. There are some exceptions in the number of nipples but still, these are there in both.

Where are nipples located on a cat`s body?

Cat nipples are not hard to find organs on a cat`s body. The female cat has bigger nipples during and after pregnancy. These nipples are the growth of skin tissue on the chest and belly of the cat. These nipples are 6 to 8 in number and they are visible on the body of both male and female cats. The kittens of both genders do have them at the time of birth.

After the growth of the kitten, these nipples still remain there throughout the life of the feline. When the female cat grows to puberty and gets pregnant the mammary glands under these nipples go through the growth process and get ready for the lactation process. Estrogen and progesterone are associated with the growth of mammary glands and lactation. After the growth, these nipples are visible throughout the chest and belly of the female cat.

Do male cats have nipples in an odd number?

Cat’s body doesn’t go through metamorphosis like butterflies and other insects. Just like all mammals female and male kitten is born with nipples. Male humans have two nipples which are considered vestigial organ that doesn’t serve any purpose throughout their life. But the female humans and female cats go through mammary growth in puberty and pregnancy. This mammary growth makes them able to rear their young ones by giving them milk from these nipples.

The number of nipples in male humans is two and the number of nipples in male cats is prone to change. The female cat has 6 to 8 nipples as per the requirement of the large litter most of the time. And the male cat also can have 6 nipples on the chest and body or 8 as per the genes received from the parents.

Do the nipples on the male cat produce milk?

Male cats and male dogs have nipples just like the other male members of the Mammalia family. These nipples have mammary glands in both male and female cats. The nipple formation in the fetus is done before the gender is decided inside the womb. Once the gender is set in the fetus these nipples are there to remain there throughout the life.

Just like male humans, there are mammary glands under male cat nipples but during puberty, the lack of estrogen and progesterone doesn’t make them grow to become able to start lactation. The lack of growth doesn’t trigger the milking process and male nipples remain dry of milk for the whole time. These male nipples are not there for milking and rearing the kittens, rather these are vestigial limbs that do not produce milk.

Are male cat nipples prone to breast cancer?

Mammary gland tumor or mammary tumors are not common in male cats. Female cats do suffer from breast cancer because of genetic issues, environmental factors, or various other conditions. The ratio of breast cancer in female cats gets higher in middle and older age. And you can reduce the chances of breast cancer in the female cat by spaying them at an early age. Research indicates that spaying helps them stay away from breast cancer in middle or older age.

The male cats do not have to suckle their young ones and there is no growth in the gland which doesn’t make them immune to breast cancer but still, this condition minimizes the risk to the minimum. Male cats have lower chances of breast cancer and if you see any swelling or lumps in the breast are consult your vet at once to protect them from a medical emergency.

Is there any variation between male and female cat nipples?

All the mammal are born with nipples regardless of their gender. The male and female kittens also have nipples at the tie of birth. You cannot determine the sex of the kittens because of these breasts in the kittens at an early age. The male mammal in human also do have nipple and they are vestigial or not in use at any stage.

Actually, there is no difference in the male and female nipple but once the cat hits puberty or becomes pregnant and gives birth the mother cat tends to have larger nipples that are prominent, pink, and pointy. These swollen and pinkish nipples are also a sign of heat in female cats or they reveal the pregnancy.

Leaking nipples: Should I worry about them?

A pregnant cat can get leaking nipples because of the hormonal change in the pregnant body. You don’t have to worry and take your cat to the vet for this issue. It is a common condition in mammals that during pregnancy the mammary glands are activated to start lactation.

Early lactation before childbirth also happens with felines and the female cat’s nipples start giving off white secretion of milk. Things could be worse if there is blood coming out of nipples in this scenario you should consult your vet at once and take subsequent measures.

Can I tell if my cat is pregnant by her nipples?

You do not have to keep a vigilant eye on the cat’s belly to get the idea about pregnancy. Most of the time when a female feline gets in heat their nipples get swollen or pink. People usually confuse this sign with pregnancy. But the nipples also get pink after 30 to 35 days of pregnancy. 

If you are aware of the other routines and symptoms like nesting behavior and change in eating habits, with the help of change in nipples you can tell if your cat is pregnant or not.  

What to do if my cat has swollen nipples?

Ragdoll cat, Persian cat, or other species with long hair are a bit difficult to diagnose with swollen nipples. The cat’s nipple is usually hidden under the thick coat of hair and you need to look for any swollen sign in these cats. Swollen nipples are not a usual sign in the kitten but if it does consult your vet at once.

And for the elder cats if swollen nipples are not associated with heat or pregnancy and your cat is suffering from fever this is the sign of infection and you should go to the vet and start medication.

Abnormalities associated with nipples and how to spot them?

The mammary system of cats is more prone to issues and medical conditions because of lactation, environmental factors, and various other issues. The glands under the nipples are under the constant threat of developing tumors or other medical issues. The spaying of a female cat is the process when vets remove the reproductive organs like ovaries and they also remove mammalian glands responsible for lactation.

The cats with spaying at an early age have half of the chance to contract any breast and nipple-related disease compared to the cats without this procedure. The abnormalities related to nipples and breast are:

  • Mammary duct ectasia
  • Feline gangrenous mastitis
  • Nipple calcifications
  • Cutaneous horn of the nipple
  • Abscess of the Montgomery gland
  • Nipple adenoma
  • Feline mammary hypertrophy
  • Mammary cancer
  • Feline psychogenic alopecia

The best way to spot any abnormality is to look for swelling or change in color in nipples. And the other way is to feel any lump, sign of pain, infection, or excessive nipple licking in cats. Do consult your vet if you find any of these issues and get medication accordingly.

Can cat nipples reveal their gender?

A newborn kitten has nipples regardless of gender. The male kitties have 6 to 8 nipples just like their male cat parent. But the fewer nipples are not an indication of danger. The cat’s gender cannot be determined with the nipples at an early age. And you can never determine the gender of a kitten by just looking at the nipples.

When the female cat hits puberty, is pregnant, or starts feeding the size of nipples will increase, and only then you would be able to guess whether the cat is female. Regardless of these above-mentioned situations, there is no luck for you to guess the gender of the cat with the help of its nipples.

Frequently asked questions

Do Pink Cat nipples mean pregnancy?

Pink nipples could be an indication of the pregnancy but some other conditions might make the nipples pink or red. When the cat is in the heat it will make the nipples reddish or pinkish. After 35 days of pregnancy, the cat nipples will enlarge and turn pink in color.

Why does my cat only have two nipples?

If the cat is spayed it means that the nipples were removed at an early age and now only two nipples are visible but if your kitten had two nipples it is a rare case that is likely to happen. Still, you don’t need to worry about this situation as your cat will do just fine.

Why my cat doesn’t have nipples?

If your cat male or female doesn’t have nipples you need to check more carefully. All the cats have nipples but if the female cat is spayed at an early age the nipples will be of the size of a pencil tip. There is seldom the case that a cat male or female is born without a nipple. If it is so you dot need to worry about this condition at all.

Do the cats in the same litter have the same number of nipples?

It is not always necessary that all the kittens in a litter have the same number of nipples on them. There are chances that the number of the nipples is not the same on the kittens regardless of their gender. A male kitten could have 8 nipples and a female kitten could have 6 nipples. You don’t need to visit a veterinarian for this situation.

Wrapping up

The answer to the question do male cats have nipples has a big fat yes. Just like dog’s nipples on both male and female dog, the male cats also have vestigial nipples that have no purpose at all on their body. A male cat owner also has nipples that are enough evidence to support the answer. The nipples are created on mammal fetuses inside the womb before their reproduction organs are made. That’s why kittens and other mammals are born with nipples regardless of their sex. See also When do cats stop growing?