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Do male cats have nipples?

A question that most people often ask is whether male cats do have nipples? The answer is yes because, like other mammals, male cats have nipples, only that they do not function as those of a female cat. In female cats, nipples are very important because they are used to feed kittens. It is because milk is typically produced by mammary glands, also known as breasts. The nipple is one of the important parts of the breast that usually get sensitive when kittens start sucking them. Therefore the milk gets released via the tubular canals.

Why do male cats have nipples?

Even so, in males cats, these nipples do not have a clearly defined function or purpose. Since male nipples lack purpose, most people will often ask why they got them. The DNA of all mammals makes the nipples develop early before the sex determination of the fetus has occurred. Therefore the nipples in a male are developed, but the process is not completed as in females. The nipples in males are hence vestigial structures from a genetic point of view. After sex determination, different types of hormones are produced in both females and males. In males, testosterone produced stops the development of the mammary gland.

Where to find nipples in a cat?

Generally, nipples are found on the underside of the cat’s belly. They are usually arranged in two rows. The nipples are evenly distributed on the two rows, both the right and left of the cat’s abdomen. But some cats have an added set of nipples. However, if you note that your cat has a mismatched number of nipples, you must seek medical help because it is not normal. It is very hard to locate the nipples of a cat because they are very tiny and are covered by the cat’s fur.

How many nipples do cats have?

Both male and female cats have a total of six to eight nipples each. These nipples are usually arranged in two rows on the cat’s abdomen, right and left. Therefore most cats got three to four nipples on the left and the right. However, some special cats have odd-numbered nipples, which are either fewer or more than eight. Hence it is important to note that the number of nipples on your cats depends not on gender, age, breed, or health since it is constant for all cats.

Do male cats have nipples

Differentiating between a male and female cat nipple

Since both male and female cats go the same number of nipples on both rows, it is challenging to determine the sex of a kitten based on the number of nipples. In most cases, one can only differentiate between the nipples of a male cat and a female cat when the female cat is pregnant because they usually get a little bit swollen. While male, they remain the same size and also retain the pink color of their skin. However, the nipples of male and female cats are typically alike, especially when the female is not pregnant.

Can male cats have swollen nipples?

It is very rare for a male cat to have a swollen nipple unless the nipple has an injury. Therefore as a cat owner, if you note that the male nipples are swollen, you are advised to examine the area around the nipple for any bruises, scratches, or injury. But if the swelling in all the nipples of your male cat, you are encouraged to visit your vet for more examination.

Do all cats from the same litter have the same number of nipples?

Generally, cats from the same litter have a common genetic background but are not identical. Therefore all cats from the same litter do not have the same number of nipples; some will have eight nipples while others got six.

Do male cats get breast cancer?

The answer is yes, even though their breast is non-functional. Breast cancer is one of the medical conditions that are very rare in male cats, but it is still possible. It is the main reason why you are recommended to take your cat to the vet, especially if you note some are swollen around the breast without any scratch or bruise around. In most cases, you will also find your vet examining your cat’s nipples during your visit, irrespective of if your cat male.


In summary, it is important to note that male cats got nipples even though they are vestigial structures. You can confirm this by trying to locate them on the underside of your cat’s abdomen. Therefore you can do so to get to know how many nipples your cat has?

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Categories: Cat Curiosities Cats

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