Do Male Cats Have Nipples?
Have you ever wondered, do male cats have nipples and if so why? This is an interesting question that deserves an educated answer.
Read on for all the facts on the feline nipple.
Discover the Mammary
The mammary glands are found on most mammals. In the feline species, these glands are most likely covered by skin and fur and can be felt and seen in the form of a nipple or teat. However, while utterly useless in the male, these specialized glands in the female are there to produce milk for the young. When a female becomes pregnant the glands will begin to swell and become more visible through her belly fur.
Where Are the Cat's Nipples?
Your cat should have four pairs of nibbles, lined up and spaced equally apart, in two rows, running along the underbelly. Unless you have a female cat that is pregnant, the nipples can be hard to find on both the female and male feline. However, if you place your cat on its back, or run your fingers through the belly hair, close to the skin, you should be able to feel these little "nubs."
The Female Feline Teat
The teat on a female cat is an interesting "mechanism." Once the female cat becomes pregnant the hormone changes that take place in her body triggers the glands in the nipple to begin to produce milk. She'll produce milk, not only while she's nursing, but up to 50 days after the kittens are weaned.
The nipples on a mother cat have an extensive blood supply running to them and they each have their own unique smell. This is so each of her kittens can return to the same teat for their feedings.
Nipples On Male Kittens & Cats
So, do male cats have nipples? Yes.
And why do male cats have nipples?
There are a couple of theories on this topic. One states that the nipples on any male mammal is vestigial - like the vestigial tail bones in human beings - and even though it isn't being used, they're simply there.
The next thought on the topic of nipples on male cats is that in the womb all mammals start out the same. That is until the male DNA chromosomes kick in. Once this happens the hormone, testosterone stops the full development of the nipple and goes to work on the male reproductive organs.
Interestingly enough, both male rats and male horses do not have nipples.
Even if you can't locate or even feel the nipples on your male cat, they are still there. Despite male nipples being useless, males having nipples is just one of those mysteries that may be pondered for many years-to-come.
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