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Do Male Cats Have Nipples? Everything You Need To Know

Do Male Cats Have Nipples? Everything You Need To Know

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Do male cats have nipples? Almost every cat owner is curious about this, so let’s investigate!

In short, yes, male cats have nipples. This answer shouldn’t be surprising, as most of the male mammals have nipples, just like the females.

The only difference is in their function.

So, if you’re a cat lover who wants to learn more, read on because here’s everything you need to know about male cats’ nipples!

Why Do Male Cats Have Nipples?

Just like female felines, male cats also have nipples. We know that a mother cat is the one feeding her kittens, so why do male cats have nipples?

Well, it all starts in the womb. Most mammals grow nipples in their mother’s womb during embryonic development. This process has its own name and it is a vestigial structure.

First nipples are formed on the fetus inside the mother cat’s womb, and after that, sex hormones affect the sex of the kitten. Nipples have already formed before the sex is decided. So, that is the main cause of both male and female cats having nipples!

After that, if the Y chromosome, which denotes a male kitten, appears, the breasts and nipples won’t undergo other changes, and therefore they become useless.

However, if the X chromosome appears, which denotes a female, the mammary glands will continue to develop, connecting with the nipples.

This is so that female cats will be able to feed their kittens when it comes time for them to have their own offspring.

How Many Nipples Does A Male Cat Have?

Usually, all cats have 6-8 nipples, but there are no rules when it comes to nipples. The number of nipples depends on a few factors: cat’s gender, age, cat breed, and health condition.

No matter what sex the cat is, some felines may have more or fewer nipples than other. What’s interesting the most is that both male and female kittens from the same mother may have different number of nipples.

Most cats have an even number of nipples but don’t panic if you notice your cat having an odd number of nipples, it’s totally normal!

Nipples are located on the cat’s belly, usually in two parallel rows.

What Do Male Cat Nipples Look Like?

Male cats’ nipples look like small raised areas on the cat’s belly, similar to a small pimple. The color of the nipples is normally the same as the cat’s skin. Male cat’s nipples are almost identical to a non-pregnant female cat’s, and usually, you won’t notice them at all!

When a female cat is pregnant, her nipples become swollen as they’re full of milk. After the pregnancy and all the feeding process, her nipples will become smaller, but they’ll never be as small as they were before the pregnancy.

What Are The Differences Between Male And Female Cat Nipples?

Male and female cat nipples differ the most in their purpose and function, so female felines are able to produce milk to feed their young ones. While the male cat’s nipples are completely useless, the female cat’s nipples are very important when it comes to feeding kittens.

Unlike the female cat’s nipples, usually it’s really hard to find or even see male cats’ nipples. That’s why many people think that male cats don’t have nipples at all. Especially if you own a male long-haired cat;good luck with counting his nipples!

What Do Male Cat’s Nipples Feel Like?

Many cat lovers say that male cat’s nipples feel like a small cyst or a small bump. Don’t let that scare you, because that’s the normal structure of a male cat’s nipple.

However, if you notice swelling or any other suspicious changes, then it’s time to visit a veterinarian!

Male Cat’s Nipples Function

Now, let’s see what male cat’s nipples feel like and how they function!

Is It Possible That A Male Cat Has Mammary Glands?

First, what are mammary glands? Mammary glands are the organs responsible for making nutritious milk for the young ones.

And yes, male cats have mammary glands. The only difference is that they’re not as fully developed as they are in female cats.

A Male Cat Producing Milk – True Or False?!

Is it possible that male cats produce milk? You may be shocked with the answer, but yes – the male cat can produce milk. However, this is extremely rare!

This so-called false lactation may happen because of over-stimulation; that is because of frequent licking and grooming, which can cause liquid to leak from your cat’s nipples.

So, only a mother cat has real milk intended to feed her babies!

Do Male Cat’s Nipples Fall Off?!

Sometimes, the nipples can be very hard to find because of thick fur, especially in long-haired cat breeds. However, nipples can’t disappear or fall off, they’re just well hidden, so no need to worry!

It’s also very important to mention that if you think you found a nipple somewhere besides the belly, unfortunately, you’re wrong.

This may be a dangerous growth. It doesn’t necessarily have to be serious, but if you find a growth, you should contact your veterinarian right away!

Medical Conditions That Can Impact Male Cat’s Nipples

Considering that male cats also have nipples, every cat parent should be familiar with the possible medical conditions that may impact their nipples.

Most of these conditions are more likely to happen to female cats. However, that doesn’t mean that male cats are safe from these issues. So, let’s see which may cause problems for male cats!


Mastitis is a condition in which an infection attacks the mammary gland. It can happen to both male and female cats and it’s not that serious as long as it is treated with antibiotics.

The infection is most likely to occur because of excessive scratching and licking. This health issue may affect male cats, especially with a condition such as inverted nipples. Besides infection, mastitis may occur due to teat injury.

When a cat suffers from mastitis, the nipples can change in color from pink to red or purple, following itching and leaking fluid. Also, the nipples may seem swollen. So, be careful and pay attention to your kitty!

Mammary Cancer

The growth of the mammary glands can lead to a mammary tumor that may be cancerous or benign, so if you notice any suspicious changes, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.

Luckily, mammary cancer or breast cancer is a very rare disease in tomcats, but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen.


Alopecia is a condition where a cat loses its hair around the nipples due to excessive licking or scratching. It’s important to mention that alopecia may impact both male and female cats.

False Lactation

As mentioned, this is a condition where normal cats experience milk or liquid leakage due to overstimulation, or as a result of high levels of estrogen and progesterone.

That’s the reason why this condition is more likely to happen to female cats, because male cats don’t have these hormones, or they have them in low levels.

Inverted Nipples

This is a condition where a cat’s nipples grow inwards.

Final Thoughts

So finally, do male cats have nipples? Many male mammals have nipples. It’s not a surprise that male cats have them too. Usually, they have 6 to 8 nipples, but there’s no such thing as an exact number of nipples! Some cats have more and some have fewer nipples than others.

Both male and female cats have nipples because nipples are formed first, in the mother cat’s womb, and after that follows the development of the kitten’s sex.

The main difference between male and female cat’s nipples is that females have an important role when it comes to kittens. They produce the milk for their kittens. On the contrary, a male cat’s nipples are totally useless.

Furthermore, every cat owner has to pay attention to his cat’s health. So, in this case, it’s important that a cat owner is familiar with the health issues that may impact his feline friend’s nipples. If he’s familiar with this, he can react quickly if anything is wrong.

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