How can I stop my neutered cat from mounting blankets and stuffed toys?

It’s necessary to understand what’s going mentally for your cat. Among the triggers for this behavior include:

• Stress: If there’s a new addition to the household, be it animal or human, it’s may impact the current cat who is going to try to prove over and over again that he’s the “top cat.” Blankets and stuffed animals remind him of other cats, so he can use them to prove his dominance.
• Orphaned or abandoned. He just might have been taken away from his mother too soon; you might also see him suckling the blanket—it reminds him of cat fur.
• Instinct: Even after neuter surgery, hormones take time to leave the body and mounting can continue for a few weeks.
• Masturbation: Although the hormones are gone, neutered cats continue to masturbate and that’s well within the range of normal behaviors.

So, what can you do to reduce or stop this unwanted behavior? First, be sure you treat the cat as the “top cat.” Give him a lot of attention and extra play time. That means totally ignoring the blanket and/or stuffed toy even when he mounts. Other advice:

• Keep the cat well exercised. This will tire him out and calm him.

• Don’t punish the “bad” behavior. Instead, reward the good behavior.

• Divert his attention. If you see him humping the blankets or another person, distract him with a treat or toy.

• Establish yourself as the “top cat.” Cats can be obedience trained so give him a few sessions. Consider incorporating clicker training and encourage all family members to employ this positive reward-based training technique.

NOTE: Sometimes cats are neutered later in life, especially if you have a stray or feral, so they’ve already “done the deed.” In that case, you might want to separate him if there are other female cats in the house who are in season. Unless you are a professional cat breeder, please make sure that all the cats in your home have been spayed or neutered.

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