Can Cats Be Gay?

We’ve all heard the phrase ‘sexuality is a spectrum’ before, which it definitely is, but have you ever wondered where cats fall on that spectrum? 

Whether your cat is showing a preference for one gender, or you just want to find the answer to these lingering questions, we have done the hard work, so you don’t have to sully your Google searches.

There is some degree of an answer to this wide question, so read on to find out.

What Do We Mean By ‘Gay’?

The term gay has been on a rollercoaster of amelioration and new definitions, but let’s be clear that the term is referring to intergender relations, at least for humans.

Being homosexual isn’t a black and white concept, and the term’s boundaries are often decided by the person who it refers to. 

The point is that just because your cat shows an affinity for the other male cats around him doesn’t immediately mean he is homosexual.

Even if your cat is engaging in sexual acts with another cat of the same gender, this doesn’t always mean they are homosexual. 

These sexual acts can be something very different within the animal world, and it is important to remember that we are viewing their behavior with a human lens.

So there is always going to be some disparity between their intention and our perception.

Can Cats Engage In Homosexual Acts?

Well, this is true. There are reports of male tomcats mounting and even penetrating other members of their gender. This also occurs in female cats too, just not as obviously. 

Bruce Bagemihl’s Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity delves into these exact reports and their biological significance.

Moreover, a 2009 paper published in Trends in Ecology & Evolution suggests that homosexual behavior is exhibited in almost all animals.

Yet, it’s important to make the distinction that just because an animal engages in homosexual behavior doesn’t necessarily mean that they are what we would consider to be ‘gay’.

It is likely a combination of biological and social factors within groups of animals.

Why Would An Animal Engage In Homosexual Behavior?

It’s often a large misconception that animals have sex for purely reproductive reasons.

Many animals engage in courtship rituals, or what humans might refer to as ‘foreplay’, such as oral sex, which has no reproductive purposes. 

For example, in 2014 two captive male brown bears were observed over a period of 6 years. During these 6 years, the bears engaged in 28 acts of homosexual oral sex. 

What is evident is that there are clear and documented examples of homosexual, non-reproductive, sexual behavior among animals where reproduction is not necessarily their main goal.

Put simply, your cat has needs too, just like you.

Bagemihl suggests in his research that animals may engage in non-reproductive, and homosexual, acts for many reasons such as group cohesion, lessening tensions, dominatory behavior. 

So, this means that sexual coercion is also possible in the animal kingdom as well, which Bagemihl also proposes as a potential reason for homosexual activity among animals, although rare.

Interestingly, Bagemihl’s research was actually cited by the American Psychiatry Association, as well as other groups, in their brief to the court in the Lawrence vs.

Texas case which ultimately led to homosexuality becoming legal in the US and sodomy laws being abolished. 

So, the very fact that homosexual behavior is exhibited in animals is a case for why homosexual acts in humans are ‘normal’ in a biological sense.

Why Is My Cat Engaging in Homosexual Behavior?

We have talked about animals at large, but what about the domestic cats that live in our houses. Well, these cats are just as likely to engage in homosexual acts as other animals and mammals are, which, given, is fairly rare.

Yet, while rare, it is totally possible that your cat is engaging in these sexual acts homosexually. This could be for a  myriad of reasons that can be hard to relate to as a human. Most of the time it’s likely group cohesion. 

If you have a lot of cats in one place, they could engage in homosexual behavior (although not necessarily penetrative sexual acts as we imagine) purely to bond as a group, but this could be for many reasons. 

There is absolutely nothing to worry about if your cats do seem to be engaging in homosexual behavior, this doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with them.

This is simply a natural interaction between animals, as it often is between humans.

As Bagemhil’s research proposes, homosexuality among sentient beings is totally natural and normal biological phenomena.

Does This Mean My Cat Is Gay?

Well, who knows really. What we as humans perceive as sexuality is intertwined with so many societal factors, emotions, and romantic facets that many animals don’t have the ability to consider. 

What we label as homosexual is based on our own perceptions of sexuality, which are undoubtedly molded by our cultures and societies. This isn’t so cut and dry for cats, especially domestic ones. 

Considering all the weird situations we put our cats in, neutering them as we see fit, diagnosing them with mental disorders, and dressing them up in strange outfits.

The least we can do is have some empathy for their sexual interactions.

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it. Your cat can indeed engage in homosexual activities if they so wish to.

There is much sufficient evidence that many species of animals engage in homosexual activity, and heterosexual activity, without reproduction in mind. 

Whether your cat is ‘gay’ or not is up for debate. We are forcing a human framework onto an animal that has no understanding of these things, so our perceptions and their intentions will almost never match up. 

If you think your cat seems to be engaging in homosexual activity, there is absolutely no cause for concern as a pet owner, just as there should be no concern for its presence in humans.

The best option is to ask your cat, although they may simply reply with a ‘Miaow’, and that should be enough.

Courtney Trent
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