Nipples are elevated areas in mammalian species on the surface of mammary tissue. They serve as a pregnancy indicator; delivering milk to the litter and inflamed nipples could even be one of the first symptoms to inform you of a breast tissue problem. Have you ever wondered how many nipples do cats have?
Cats are very reserved in terms of who can touch them, unlike pets such as dogs. But as a cat owner, I’ve wondered many times myself how many nipples my cat has. Does the number vary from cat to cat? How about between males and females? Let’s take a look to find out.
How many nipples do cats have?
So exactly how many nipples does a cat have? From cat to cat, the number of nipples can differ. Some cats might have four nipples, while others might have 8. There may even be ten nipples in some cats. The most common number of nipples, though, is generally either six or eight. Their nipples run in two rows along their belly. There will be either four or six nipples in each row. To each hand of their belly, they’ll be lined up equally.
Typically, the nipple itself measures 1cm in diameter. When you rub your cat’s belly, you’ll be able to see them as they poke out of their hair. At times, though, it may be hard to spot their nipples, mainly if their coat is dense. You will be able to spot them much more quickly if your cat is pregnant, as their nipples will swell and increase in size. Understand, you need to make sure to do it gently as they’re sensitive when rubbing their teats.
They have the same sensitivity when it comes to nipples as human nipples, so bear that in mind the next time you give your cat a belly rub. It will hurt them if you rub their cat nipple too much while playing.
Where are the nipples of cats located?
When you’re checking for your cats nipples, you have to glance at the cat’s belly. Cats have nipples below the chest region in comparison to humans. They can be located in rows an inch or two apart from the pelvis. It can be impossible to identify any of them because of the hair, but two could be found on a fine fur covering of the lower belly.
Some cats have hair loss across their nipples, leaving them noticeable. It may be a symptom of illness or skin inflammation if you find the bald patches becoming more prominent. If any bleeding or discharge is found and your cat is not pregnant, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Cats Pregnancy and Nipple Size
During their pregnancy, cat nipples may get broad or enlarged. The nipple appears to get more extended and bloated on the 35th day of the cat’s pregnancy. During this time, finding their nipples can be effortless. This is because the cat is planning to feed her kittens soon.
Do Male Cats Have Nipples?
Do all cats have nipples, and if so, how many nipples do male cats have? The answer to these questions is simple and straightforward: male cats have nipples with the same number of nipples as female cats. This means that, as it differs from cat to cat, a male cat may have any number from four to ten nipples.
There is nothing special or something to think about whether your cat has an abnormal number of nipples. There is little to do with their poor or excellent health with the number of nipples a cat has. Each cat has a quirk of its own, and this is one of them.
You might be shocked when you see male cat nipples, but so do human males. Many male mammals, in general, have nipples. Male cats, though, do not use their nipples to feed their young, including humans and other animals.
Then why do boy cats have nipples, if they don't need them?
It’s an excellent question. The answer has a lot to think about the way the womb produces fetuses:
- Both males and females grow the same way in the womb as fetuses. Both fetuses essentially start as females before the male Genome is introduced.
- If the embryo is determined to be a male, some male hormones such as testosterone stop producing specific characteristics such as mammary glands and, in exchange, create other features such as male reproductive organs after the male hormones are added.
- However, the male Genome does not deny them because male nipples do not take up energy or resources. Since nipples do not affect males, they have not developed from developing male mammals.
This is why, although they have no purpose, male cats have nipples. Like the tailbone in humans or the hip bone in whales, they’re biological leftovers. There is nothing to worry about the number of nipples on a male cat because these are no more than the remains of growth.
However, even if a male cat cannot use his nipples, it does not mean he’s not prone to infection in the breast area. In reality, because cats also have breast tissue, they may encounter breast diseases like human beings.
Breast cancer in human males is rare, of course. However, it still occurs. Such problems can influence male cats as well. Nipple swelling will be the first thing you’ll notice if there’s anything wrong with your cat around their breast region.
Usually, your cat’s nipples would not cause a vet appointment at any stage in her existence, although certain medical conditions may compromise the nipples, mammary glands, or breasts. Since all cats have these body pieces, there may be complications with both male and female cats, although female cats are statistically more likely.
Here’s a list of disorders in cats that involve the nipples:
Usually, as a result of bacteria entering through the nipples, a cat’s mammary glands become swollen, which is known as mastitis.
Psychogenic alopecia of a feline
It is a condition when a cat has a compulsion to lick her stomach, specifically her nipples, until it results in hair loss or sores.
Despite having no litter of kittens to feed, even spayed cats can experience this abnormal condition when a non-pregnant female cat begins lactating.
Inverted nipples often gather gross build-ups when a cat’s nipple appears to grow in reverse into the body rather than protruding on the skin.
Mammary tumors can be cancerous (malignant) or non-cancerous if the breast tissue cells begin to multiply, causing a noticeable lump or nodule (benign).
Breast Cancer in Cats
Cats can also get breast cancer. Below are a few of the symptoms which indicate a cat’s breast cancer or mammary glands infection. Contact your vet immediately if you observe any of the below signs in your cat.
- Discharge from nipples
- Enlarged or swollen nipples
- Inflamed or red nipples
- Gun pellets like bumps on the nipple
- Sensitive or painful nipples
If you find your cat grooming itself continually or rubbing her nipples, that means it’s feeling nipple pain. Like human cats also have malignant or benign tumors. 85 % of cat tumors are malignant, and benign tumors are very few in cats, according to Ohio State University.
According to Vet Street, breast cancer is common in senior female cats who are not spayed. Breast cancer is also prevalent in the Siamese cat breed.
Can male cats get Breast Cancer?
Unfortunately, breast cancer can happen to male cats. Although it seldom exists, it is always probable. If you find some swelling or changes around your breast, even if your cat is a male, this is why it is necessary to take your cat to the vet. This is also why, since it is male, the veterinarian tests your cat’s nipples.
Spaying your Female Cat
Quite a few health advantages are provided by spaying your female pet. Most importantly, an estrogen-generating female cat without ovaries would not go into heat, ovulate, or get pregnant. The shutdown of estrogen development often comes with a reduced chance that your female cat will develop breast cancer later in life.
The earlier you spay your pet, ideally from 4-10 months old, before she goes into heat, the lower her chance of breast cancer will be than 0.5 percent. Considering breast cancer is the third most prevalent form of cancer among felines that typically occurs after thirty, there is an incredibly elevated chance of cancer well down the track without spaying your pet.
Time is essential, though, and this diminished chance of breast cancer is not on the table when your cat is eight weeks old unless she is 15 years of age or older.
Because your cat holds her nipples well covered, without even recognizing they are there, you can go all her life! It is important to learn what your cat’s nipples look like to figure out what’s normal for your feline. For example, you can sometimes realize that one of your cat’s nipples appears larger, discolored, is bleeding, or is discharging a weird fluid.
If you find something odd around the nipples of your animal, like swelling in the outer region, make your vet a call for a check-up as soon as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do male kittens have multiple nipples?
The answer to these questions is simple: male kittens have nipples with the same number of nipples as female kittens. This means that, as it differs from cat to cat, a male kitten may have any number from four to ten nipples.
Why do boys have cat tits if they are not needed?
Both female and male cats grow the same way during birth. So both genders can have the same number of nipples, even though they are not necessary for males.
If my cat has swollen cat teats, should I be worried?
Not immediately. Swollen cat nipples however can be a sign of mastitis or breast cancer. It’s best you take your cat to the veterinarian immediately to get him or her checked out.