Yesterday, while at work, I received a rather concerned phone call from the wife informing me that my cute cat, Miffy, may have had some trouble with one of the local cats that we see around from time to time.
Yesterday’s attack was performed by one we call "Hop-Along", an older tom cat who walks with a limp, but one who apparently run extremely fast for a cat who only has three working legs.
The wife’s concern was that Miffy may have been sexually assaulted. Now, Miffy has been spayed, and I assumed a spayed cat couldn’t be the victim of such an assault. So, with the help of the internet, I decided to find out.
Miffy : victim of a sex crime?
First up, I found this interesting article about mating cycles of cats, which contained a lot of information I didn’t know, including that a cat can have kittens from several different fathers in the same litter, due to repeated matings taking place over the 21-day heat cycle. Ever wondered why cats have different coloured kittens? Apparently that's one of the reasons.
However, this says nothing about whether a spayed female can attract a mate. I found some interesting forum answers here –
which on the whole suggest that if a spaying is done correctly then a female cat is unable to attract a mate. There are also a couple of interesting forum answers here
which suggest that “humping” done by an unneutered male towards a spayed female may be a form of territorial fighting or marking. Eventually, I found this
which is the best answer I have seen so far. Despite being unverified, the answer backed up what I was beginning to think, which is no, a spayed/neutered cat cannot be “raped” by another cat which has not been neutered. As it says in the post linked above, cats have no concept of “rape”, and mate purely to reproduce. If a female is not on heat then there is no reason for a male to be attracted to her, since her status of being in heat is advertised by the smell she gives off. Provided a female has been neutered correctly, she cannot go into heat.
This is not to say, of course, that an unneutered male cat won’t attack a female. A spayed female is simply another cat, one that might have strayed on to its territory.
It appears that Miffy might have been attacked, but that’s all. I’m pretty sure she’ll be fine. Now I just have to convince the wife...
Miffy : In training for the next battle
April 18th 2012