How many nipples do cats have?
Whether you are:
- Wondering if your cat is going to have enough spots for all the kittens, or
- You feel like your cat has one or two nipples too many
These are the answers to all the cat nipple questions you’ve ever had – and a few you hadn’t!
A cat’s nipples usually run in two parallel rows along the underside of the cat’s belly. They can usually be discovered fairly easily, especially on a female, but it could be more of a search on some breeds.
Here’s how many they have and how they can change.
How Many Nipples Does A Cat Have?
So let’s get on with it and give you the answer you’re looking for: how many teats does a cat have?
Unlike humans, who usually have 2 nipples, cats can differ on the number of nipples they have.
Female cats, also known as Mollys or Queens, most often have 8 nipples.
However, they can have as few as 6 or as many as 10.
Given that a cat will give birth to from 1 to 10 kittens in a litter (though usually around 5) this number of cat nipples is just right.
Kittens are not going to be missing out, and in small cat litters the kittens can shift around a bit!
You shouldn’t need to ask something like, ‘why does my cat only have two nipples?’
It’s more than like you’re just not finding them. They will be there, and if or when your cat gets pregnant they will present themselves.
Pregnant Cat Nipples Vs Non-Pregnant
Do a cat’s nipples change when pregnant?
Yes, they do!
The gestation period for a cat is from 63 to 69 days.
On or around day 36, you may notice your cat’s nipples begin to become larger and pinker.
The further your cat goes in her pregnancy, the more her nipples will change and ready themselves for feeding.
She will be putting on weight as the kittens grow, but this will also be the result of milk production in the later stages of her gestation.
A mother cat’s nipples can become sore while she is nursing, as with any other nursing animal or person.
There are creams and treatments that can be applied to help.
Where Are My Cat’s Teats?
A cat’s nipples run down either side of her stomach and are especially obvious when pregnant.
The nipples will usually be in equal numbers opposite each other down the length of the tummy, but with cat nipples, anything can happen really.
You don’t need to be concerned if your cat appears to have an uneven number of nipples, or if they don’t match up exactly!
Here are some images of cat teats, for those who are ultra interested!
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This cat’s nipples are very obvious and not at all difficult to spot.
It’s possible this cat is pregnant, though the caption doesn’t state that.
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These cat nipples are on full display.
It’s very likely that this cat has had kittens recently.
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These cats have very short hair so their nipples are also easy to identify.
They’re looking very even and uniform!
Male Cat Nipples
How many nipples do male cats have?
As with all mammals, male cats also have nipples, even Garfield.
They also have about the same number of nipples as females, but as with human males, they cannot lactate and produce milk.
Male cat nipples are also a lot harder to find as they are a lot smaller and much less distinct – and why would anyone want to find them, really?
For more questions and answers on male cat nipples, see our friend Jenny’s male cat nipple guide over at Floppy Cats – this post goes deep into the topic.
So, why do [male cats] have them then?
It’s all related to fetal development. It’s in the DNA of all mammals that nipples be developed before the sex of the fetus is determined.
After the sex of the fetus is determined, different types of sex hormones in males and females are produced.
The testosterone in the male cat halts the development of the mammary gland.
Male cats cannot produce milk.
Cat Nipple FAQs
Do cats have boobs?
All cats have teats or nipples, but they are not usually referred to as boobs.
What does it mean when a cat has nipples?
It means your cat is truly a cat!
All cats, both male and female, will have nipples. It’s nothing strange, weird, or otherwise something to worry about.
However, if you mean ‘why does my cat have large nipples?,’ or if the nipples are enlarged on your female cat, this likely means she is pregnant.
This can happen 2 or 3 weeks into her pregnancy.
Is it normal to see a cat’s nipples?
It’s not that normal to see a male cat’s nipples, but perfectly normal to see a pregnant female’s.
Normally, they will appear small and pink, but they will become larger and darker when she’s pregnant or feeding.
Also, the teats on short-haired cats like Burmese will be much more obvious (as you can see in the image above).
If you give your cat a bath (which should only be done in a few rare circumstances), they may be more obvious.
Do cat’s nipples go away?
They should not disappear altogether – that would be weird.
However, once a cat has finished feeding her kittens, the nipples will shrink back down to their previous size. Sometimes they’ll remain slightly larger/droopier than before.
Kittens usually stop feeding once they move onto solid food (raw wild cat food is good).
Normal Cat Nipples
For the most part, there isn’t such a thing as “normal cat nipples.”
All cat teats will be slightly different and they will vary from breed to breed.
However, if you are concerned about anything then make sure you get it checked out. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Most changes happen during pregnancy and motherhood. Pregnant cat nipples vs normal nipples are a bit different with the former being fuller and more obvious.
Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below, and if you have a pregnant cat, find out how much she should be drinking here.