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Do Male Cats Have Nipples? Here’s All You Need to Know!

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If you have ever owned a male cat, then you probably have asked this question to yourself — do male cats have nipples?

While, it is one of the funny questions that vets get asked a lot, and you might not be comfortable asking that to your vet.

And you probably know that female cats do have nipples; they need them to raise the kittens. But what about male cats? Do they need nipples? Do male cats even have nipples?

Let’s find out!

do male cats have nipples

Do Male Cats Have Nipples?

The answer is yes, males cats do have nipples. Male cats can have several nipples, but the number can vary from one cat to another cat. Both male and female cats can have nipples, however, the male cats do not have developed mammary glands.

Although the nipples on male cats are non-working, they are still a part of their body anatomy.

Why Do Male Cats Have Nipples?

Cats are mammals, and pretty much like all the mammals, both the gender have nipples. Just like us humans, a kitty’s nipples grow during the first formative stage, which happens in the female cat’s uterus.

yes male cats have nipples

It is said that nipples are formed before the gender could be determined. Moreover, male cat nipples are vestigial, and they are present there with no real function — pretty much like the vestigial tail bones in humans.

And evolution has not proven them to be beneficial, but they continue to exist, as there have been no real negatives to having vestigial nipples in male cats. In addition, since both males and female cats possess the genes for nipples, they both have nipples.

How Many Nipples Do Males Cats Have?

As stated before, male cats can have several nipples, but the number of nipples can vary from one cat to another cat. However, male cats usually have eight nipples, which could not be the same as for all other cats.

And if you are wondering — do male cats have more nipples than female cats? The answer is no, as nipples are developed before sex, meaning the number of nipples is not influenced by the gender of the cat.

Can Male Cats Produce Milk?

No, male cats cannot produce milk. Even though male cats possess mammary glands, they can’t produce milk like female cats. This is the same for all male mammals.

why do male cats have nipples

It is up to the female cat to feed the young kittens while they are still small. Whereas, male cats can help contribute to other prey to help provide the baby cats with nutrition, but they can’t produce milk for babies.

Where Are Male Cat Nipples on Their Bodies?

Locating nipples on your tomcat can be tricky, as they are covered by his tummy fur. To find the nipples on your male cat, lay him down on his back, and start combing his fur to locate the nipples.

A male cat will usually have four pairs of nipples, parallel to each other in two rows. Also, the male nipples do not look any different from the female nipples.

However, one different thing, is that — male cats cannot produce milk.

What Do Male Cat’s Nipples Look Like?

All male cats indeed have nipples, and they do not look any different from the female cat’s nipples. The male cat nipples look like tiny bumps, and they have the same color as that of their skin. They usually bear a pinkish light color.

male cats nipples

Moreover, the male cat nipples are the same as any non-pregnant female kitten nipples. But after the female cat becomes pregnant, the nipples look bigger, and different compared to the male cat’s nipples.

Can You Know the Cat’s Gender Based on the Nipples?

Since both the males and females have the same number of nipples, you cannot tell the gender based on the nipples they have. Thus, one cannot determine a cat’s gender from the nipples.

However, there is a simple way you can find out a cat’s gender. If it is a female cat — the anus and the vulva openings will be close together and will resemble the shape of the letter ‘i’.

On the other hand, if it is a male cat, you will see small testicles and a penis below the anus.

Can Male Cats Develop Mammary Tumors?

Male cats rarely tend to develop mammary tumors. Although the males have small mammary glands and serve no purpose, they can still get mammary tumors. Age and breed also play a part in developing tumors in male cats. Mammary tumors are seen specifically in middle-aged to senior cats — around 10 years of age.

At the same time, obesity is also known to contribute to tumor development. However, the prevalence of developing tumors in male cats is less than 1%.

Can Male Cat Nipples Get Swollen?

While female cats tend to be more prone to this condition, nipples swelling can be seen in male cats as well. It is quite rare for male cats to have swollen nipples. If only one nipple is inflated, there are chances it could be due to some minor injury. But if all the nipples are swollen, it may indicate some other health problem or hormonal changes.

If you see swelling in all nipples, then you should consult your vet. He can do further examination and find out what is wrong.

Bottom Line

So, do male cats have nipples? The answer is yes; male cats do have nipples. In fact, both male cats and females cats have nipples. However, male cats do not possess developed mammary glands like female cats.

Though there isn’t an exact number of male cat nipples, you can find around 4-10 nipples in pairs on your cat’s chest.

So if you feel any tiny bumps on your tomcat’s underside, there’s nothing to worry about, it’s probably just the nipples.


  1. Dear Doctor: Nipples on Male Cats? – Catnip
  2. Nipple preference and contests in suckling kittens of the domestic cat are unrelated to presumed nipple quality – NCBI
  3. Mammary Gland Enlargement in Cats – Wag

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