Maybe you were rubbing your cat’s belly and were surprised to feel tiny bumps — are those his nipples?
Turns out, male cats (and all male mammals while we’re at it) have nipples, but they aren’t used in the same ways that female nipples are.
Cats have how many nipples?
Cats have eight nipples in total, four on each side of their stomach.
However, keep in mind that while eight nipples is the standard, individual cats may have more or fewer.
Dr. Sievert told The Dodo, “The number can vary from one individual to the next, yet oddly enough, almost all cats have an even number of nipples.” “Cats have a lot of babies at once, so they have plenty of nipples to feed them.”
If you’re worried about your cat’s nipples, you can always consult your veterinarian to make sure everything is well — but it’s most likely just a one-of-a-kind characteristic.
Male cats have nipples for a reason.
Nipples are present in male cats because they were born with them.
“During the first several days of pregnancy, both male and female embryos develop similarly, and nipples develop during this time,” Dr. Burch told The Dodo. “The nipple is developed and present for the life of the male cat once the Y chromosome leads the embryo to develop testes and release testosterone.”
So, while male cats do have nipples, they aren’t utilised in any way. Males do not have the ability to nurse their kittens with their nipples, as females do.
Dr. Sievert explained, “All mammals have nipples that grow before the sex is known.” “On male cats, nipples are vestigial structures.
Male cats don’t produce milk since their mammary glands aren’t fully matured.”
What are the characteristics of male cat nipples?
“Male nipples will remain tiny and non-functioning as cats mature,” Dr. Burch stated. “Female nipples can expand the underlying mammary gland tissue and become more noticeable.” For six weeks after giving birth, a female’s nipples will provide milk for her kittens.”
Nipples on male cats are often smaller than those on female cats, making them more difficult to notice.
If you’re curious about your male cat’s nipples, look for hard, tubular formations around his tummy.
Is it possible for male cats to produce milk?
While your male cat producing milk is extremely unlikely, it is possible.
Enlargement of the nipples and mammary glands in male cats, as well as the production of milk, always suggest the need for a veterinarian examination. “It could be related to local injury or infection if one nipple is swollen or red,” Dr. Burch stated. “Cats with enlargement of all nipples, mammary glands, or milk production are more likely to be exposed to oestrogen.” The oestrogen exposure could be due to a prescription or a medical condition.”
Take your male cat to the doctor if he is producing milk (or if his nipples are big or abnormal in any way).