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Why Does My Dog Hump My Cat? 7 Reasons + 5 Tips

Why Does My Dog Hump My Cat

You noticed that your dog humps your cat.

It’s quite an unusual scene.

You begin to ask yourself:

“Is my dog being playful?”

“Is it mating season yet?”

Keep reading to find out: 

  • 7 reasons why your dog humps your cat.
  • 5 tips on how to stop your dog from mounting.
  • How to know if it’s a serious condition based on behavioral signs.
  • And more…

Why does my dog hump my cat?

Your dog humps your cat because they’re excited, stressed, bored, or in heat. Humping can happen as a displacement behavior when your dog is nervous. If you have a puppy, humping is their way of playing. At times, humping can mean dogs have a medical condition when it comes to other symptoms.

7 reasons why your dog humps your cat

#1: Too excited

What makes you excited?

We can get excited about new things or achievements. The giddy feeling you have when you hear some great news.

Personally, I get excited over trying a new food or planning a vacation.

You may think it’s the same kind of excitement our dogs feel.

Well… not exactly.

When dogs are too excited, it means that they’re over-stimulated. 

1 primary reason is too much exercise. We may think it’s a good thing that our furry friends look delighted after exercising.

The bad news is, too much activity for the day means our dog is unbalanced.

There has to be a balance of activity and rest for them to grow up healthy and well-behaved.

Humping is 1 of the ways on how dogs deal with their over-excitement.

A highly energetic canine won’t just hump but will show these behavior signs:

  • Panting.
  • Jumping.
  • Shaking.
  • Spinning.
  • Chattering.
  • Open mouth.
  • Unable to settle.
  • Tongue hanging out.

#2: Stressed

Your Dog Humps Your Cat Because He's Stressed

Stress is a sign that something is amiss. There’s always a reason behind our dogs’ stress.

What are the common causes of our stressed canines? Our doggos can get stressed due to loud noises.

Most canines dislike the sound of thunderstorms, fireworks, and pieces of machinery.

Did you recently move? Moving can also take a toll on our dog’s mental and physical health.

The new surroundings can be overwhelming. Our dogs also get stressed when exposed to unfamiliar faces.

Is there a new baby at home? Is your dog home alone most of the time?

A change in the routine can easily cause stress since our dogs thrive on having a schedule.

Study says that dogs react differently to stressors. Our canines can have different coping abilities.

Some dogs react to stress by humping or masturbating. Aside from that, dogs may exhibit other behavioral signs of stress such as:

  • Hiding.
  • Licking.
  • Pacing.
  • Barking.
  • Panting.
  • Whining.
  • Shaking.
  • Yawning.
  • Drooling.
  • Shedding.
  • Escaping.
  • Tucked tail.
  • Blinking often.
  • Frequently urinating.
  • Pooping inside the home.

#3: Canine displacement behavior

What do you do when you feel uneasy? I have a nervous habit of shaking my legs.

I know some people who bite their nails or play with their hair when they’re nervous.

Did you know that humping can be a way for your dog to express their uneasiness?

It’s called canine displacement behavior. They mount on something, even on your cat, as a nervous habit. 

Since they can’t express their nervousness verbally, they need to do something to relieve it. 

Displacement behavior may include:

  • Lip licking when there’s no food.
  • Sniffing when there’s nothing to sniff.
  • Shaking their hair even when not wet.
  • Scratching when there’s nothing to scratch.
  • Licking a part of their body where there’s no irritation.

It’s like a nervous tick that they can’t help but do. It can happen when your doggo is exposed to situations that they’re not used to.

Unfamiliar faces and new spaces may make them uncomfortable. The next thing you know, they’re humping already.

As fur parents, we have to understand and identify the cause. It can be embarrassing, but your canine needs some help in managing their nervousness.

#4: Bored

Bored Dog

Our canine friends are naturally active. Even dog breeds that are dubbed as lazy, like Shih Tzus and Chow Chows, need stimulation.

If they can’t get enough exercise, play, or walk throughout the day, they’ll have a lot of stored energy.

Lack of ways to release their energy will motivate them to find their own outlet.

Humping your cat, other animals, furniture, stuffed toys, or your legs can be a sign of boredom.

What are other behavior signs of a bored dog?

Here’s a list of what they usually do when boredom strikes:

  • Pacing.
  • Panting.
  • Digging.
  • Chewing.
  • Escaping.
  • Scratching.
  • Too much licking.
  • Excessive barking.

#5: In heat

Estrus is another word for heat. It means your female dog is ready to accept a mating partner.

A small female dog can show signs of sexual maturity as early as 4 to 6 months. If you have a larger breed, it may take up to 2 years.

Aside from humping, how to know if your female doggie is ready for the mating season? 

Check for these signs:

  • Nervousness.
  • Swollen vulva.
  • Nesting behavior.
  • Bloody discharge.
  • Frequent urination.
  • Seeking male dogs.
  • Licking around genitals.

Now, let’s talk about male dogs. They’re sexually matured from 6 months and so on.

Male dogs can mate up to 5 times per day. If they smell a female dog in heat and they can’t go near, they’ll resort to humping.

If they can’t find a partner during mating season, your cat can be the subject of affection.

Humping is a normal activity for our canine friends, especially during mating time.

Both male and female dogs do humping. We should understand the fact that they have organs used for sexual interaction.

Dogs that are at their proper age for breeding will engage in humping and mounting behavior.

When your male dog smells a female in heat, they will do the following:

  • Pacing.
  • Whining.
  • Agitated.
  • Aroused.
  • Affectionate.
  • Urinating often.
  • Running away from home.
  • Attention focused on the opposite sex.

They’re trying to look for an object or the opposite sex to release the heat. It’s a natural part of life for our canines. 

Sexual humping is also associated with courtship behavior. It can be an exciting time for your furry friend.

Dogs courtship body languages are:

  • Licking.
  • Pawing.
  • Flicking tail.
  • Nosing each other’s ear.

#6: Playful

Dogs, especially puppies, often hump when playing. 

Your canine wants you to understand, “Hooman! It’s not all about sex.” 

They’re just playing along. Puppies are learning how to adjust and respond to other dogs.

Humping other dogs can be their way of seeking other dogs’ attention and making new friends.

It’s also how they show their approval to them. Dogs don’t usually exhibit erections when they’re playing.

They just don’t know how to interact well yet. 

And let’s not forget that…

Playing is beneficial for your dog.

That’s why while they’re at a young age, you need to start playing with your pups.

What are the benefits of playing for our beloved canines?

  • Burn off energy.
  • Mental stimulation.
  • Learning new skills. 
  • Bonding for you and your dog.
  • Increase your dog’s quality of life.

#7: Medical issues

Sometimes, humping can be a sign of a medical problem.

Several underlying conditions can lead your dog to hump.

What are the most common medical issues?

  • Skin allergies. 
  • Hip dysplasia.
  • Urinary incontinence.
  • Urinary tract infection.
  • Priapism (painful erection).

They often lick their genital area if they’re suffering from 1 or 2 of these diseases.

When you notice that they suddenly hump excessively, it can be because of a medical condition.

This constant act of humping may be their way of alleviating the pain.

They may show the disease symptoms such as:

  • Limping.
  • Lethargic.
  • Hip stiffness.
  • Difficulty standing.
  • Will not climb the stairs.
  • Declining when asked to play.
  • Refusing to do physical activities.

When you observe this kind of behavior from your dogs, consult your vet immediately.

It’s best to diagnose the condition early.

5 tips to stop your dog from humping your cat

#1: Identify the cause

Identifying the cause of your dog’s behavior will quickly help you to decide what to do.

Address the act when it happens. Observe your dog when they’re more likely to hump.

Notice any changes in their behavior. Pay enough attention to your dog and give them everything they might need.

You can start by asking yourself some assessment questions.

Did the humping start recently? Read the reasons we provided above, along with the behavior signs.

In this way, you’ll know what to watch out for. Signs and symptoms differ when your dog is bored, stressed, in heat, or has a medical condition.

Does your canine hump only when they’re exposed to a new environment or unfamiliar faces?

Is the cat new? It may be because your dog is unfamiliar with the additional family member, so they feel uneasy.

It can be canine displacement behavior. 

Once you have identified the cause, it’s easier to start the interventions.

#2: Keep them comfy and distracted

How do you distract a dog that’s in heat? It can be pretty challenging. 

Luckily, there are several things you can do to stop the humping.

First, let’s talk about how to take care of your dog while they’re in heat. If you create a comfortable space, there are fewer chances for them to act out.

Prepare a space for your furry friend that is soft and comfortable. Blankets can be cozy and comforting for them.

You can also use doggie diapers to avoid bleeding accidents. Make sure your furball is well hydrated. 

Extra walks can distract your female dog but make sure to keep them on a leash. Your female canine will be the center of attention for the male dogs out there.

When your dog starts to hump, end it immediately and distract them with a game or some toys.

It would be best if you had active play or interactions to release your dog’s energy.

Don’t show approval for their behavior because it may only reinforce their activity. It’s hard to break it if it becomes a habit.

#3: Extra time for play and exercise

Playing is not just for puppies. Adult dogs can also benefit a lot if you give more time to playing and exercising.

Remember that humping means they have a lot of stored energy, so it’s best to release it.

Walking 30-45 minutes per day is a good exercise routine. You can also play fetch or tug of war.

Chasing and running around with your dog can significantly benefit them. It lessens their over-excitement.

Make sure that you don’t overdo it as well. If you notice your furry buddy panting and refusing to play, it’s time to stop.

Research states that playing deepens the bonding between you and your dog. Who wouldn’t want that as a benefit? 

If it’s not possible to bring your dog outdoors, there are a lot of indoor games you can do together.

Our dog loves the 3 cup game wherein we hide the treats under the cups, and they have to guess.

An interactive puzzle game is also mentally stimulating for your pooch. They need to find the treat inside the puzzle.

Simple games like hide and seek and playing ball can be done indoors. Even dogs going up and down the stairs is already a fun exercise.

#4: Give rewards when your dog obeys

An obedient dog deserves a reward. 

Offer your dog a reward when they cease humping after you tell them to stop.

You can either cuddle them, kiss them, give them treats, or do anything that your dog loves.

Remove any humping stimulators if possible such as stuffed animals or furniture.

You may find it challenging to get your dog’s attention verbally. Consistency is the key.

Use the same command such as “Stop.” Only give the reward when they follow through.

Be consistent in reprimanding your dog every time they hump.

If you give treats even when they don’t obey, it will not be effective the next time around.

Giving a variety of rewards can increase your dog’s obedience.

What food does your dog really like? Buy treats in that flavor.

Toys can also be a form of reward. You can put peanut butter on their toys or balls.

For your doggo, it will be a positive experience.

Verbal rewards such as saying, “Good boy or good girl,” are great rewards as well.

Do you want to learn more about how to reward your dog properly?

Check out this video:

#5: Ask professional help

Suppose you find it too difficult to break your dog’s humping habit. Don’t hesitate to ask for professional help. 

When your dog exhibits signs that are related to a medical condition, get them checked.

Your vet can request lab tests to determine what treatment your dog needs. 

Regular checkups are also a must to maintain your dog’s optimum health.

If you decide to spay your dog, it’s best to discuss health concerns with your vet.

Spaying means removing the reproductive organ of your female dog. Talk to your veterinarian about the pros and cons

Make sure that your furry friend is well prepared. You should also be ready for the responsibility of taking care of your female dog.