View Full Version : Lucy keeps humping our cat! What to do?

28th September 2007, 07:21 PM
Hi Everyone,
As I said in my title, our 9 month old female cav (Lucy), keeps humping our Persian cat. I know this is not sexual behavior but a dominance thing, but I am not sure how to get her to stop. The two of them like to play together, but Lucy tends to get overly rough with him after awhile and then he will usually growl at her and try to scratch her. She doesn't take the hint even if he gets her in the nose and usually she becomes even more dominant. The humping is a new behavior and she has been relentless lately! Our cat, Leo, bless his heart, never runs away from her. He just growls and hisses and takes it for the most part. I feel so sorry for him and I know I need to protect him from her but like I said she pursues him relentlessly. Any advice?


28th September 2007, 07:57 PM
No , it isn't necessarily a dominance thing -- most likely it is sexual behaviour at this age, as dogs tend to start humping when their hormones kick in. They will hump legs, toys, pillows -- they don't really care, they are just trying out the moves. She is exactly the age when this happens. Dogs hump for many reasons. Have you spayed her yet? Spaying her will likely halt this behaviour at this age, but many neutered dogs do this as well. If she hasn't been spayed, she may also be going into heat and doing this?

You need to keep her from doing this though -- one swat from an annoyed cat could remove her eye. :yikes

28th September 2007, 08:03 PM
This might help!

Humping: Is It All About Sex?

Why do dogs hump? Dogs humping humans may amuse other humans, but rarely the human who's being humped. Some dogs will hump a toy or sofa cushion incessantly. We accept dogs humping other dogs in the act of mating, but in other situations it can create problems. What does all this humping mean, and what can we do about it?

Early Days

Puppyhood socialization to another dog of the opposite sex can help a dog orient sexual behavior for adulthood. Whether you're going to breed the dog or not, it helps for the dog to develop the concept that sexuality is toward other dogs, not humans or pillows.

Much of the humping you'll see among puppies as well as among adult dogs is play. Some of it expresses dominance, but that's not always the case.

If a dog persists in humping another dog in a social situation, distracting the dog who's doing the humping into another activity is a good idea. For one thing, it's best that a dog not get obsessed with humping. Besides the potential annoyance to others, it can even result in physical irritation. When you consistently interrupt the humping, you prevent it from becoming a strong habit in the dog.

Secondly, being humped can become oppressive to the dog who is the target, so that's another reason to interrupt. This is a common complaint in situations where dogs get together to play, such as dog parks. Just distract the humping dog, without punishment of any kind.

Physical Issues

Irritation or itching in the genital area can cause both male and female dogs to hump in response to the physical sensation. Be alert to this possibility, and of course have your veterinarian prescribe treatment to correct any underlying condition.

When a female dog is in heat, she, other females, and of course the males around her may turn into humping fools. Of course, this would be sexual arousal. The excitement of the situation can lead to fighting, as well as the strong possibility of an accidental pregnancy. Female dogs in heat need to be kept under top security!

Effects of Neutering

Behaviors can start for physical reasons and then continue because they have become habits. Humping is a prime example. Perhaps initially the dog derived pleasure from it, or simply was allowed to do it for prolonged periods with another dog, a human or an object.

When a male dog is neutered, a female spayed, or a medical condition irritating the genital area corrected, an established humping behavior may continue because it was allowed to become a habit. For this reason, neutering a male dog is not a sure cure for humping people's legs any more than it's a foolproof method of stopping urine marking in the house after that has become a habit.

Neutering does reduce the physical pressure on the dog, and can make your task easier when changing habits through behavioral means. It's important to stress, though, that intact male dogs need not go around humping everything in sight, either. The same simple distraction into another activity that works for neutered males also works for those who are not neutered.


Correcting a dog in a harsh manner for humping is not necessary and can create problems worse than the humping. Work with the dog to develop several behaviors the dog will perform on cue, such as sit, down, come, fetch, go to a spot and settle calmly, go find a toy to chew, and any trick the dog enjoys doing for a reward.

The list of alternative behaviors can be endless. Vary which behavior you cue as a distraction from humping. This keeps your intervention interesting for the dog, and helps avoid encouraging new obsessions.


29th September 2007, 02:03 AM
Thanks for the reply. Yes, she is spayed and has been since she was about 6 months old so I don't think it's a hormone thing. I also never saw her do this until very recently so I do think it is more likely her trying to dominate him. Anyway, I agree I do need to stop it from happening. It's not fair to the cat and even though I keep his nails clipped very short I realize it could be dangerous for her as well. I will work on redirecting her behavior to something else. She is incredibly strong willed though! She is really obedient when she doesn't have any distractions but WOW when something (like a cat) gets her attention...it is next to impossible to get her on to something else. Is doggy time out appropriate?


29th September 2007, 06:16 AM
The cat will take care of it when the cat is ready to.

Our Elvis thinks the cats are dogs, and tries to play with them. Our youngest cat is probably 8 YO, and she actually tolerates him and plays back... until she's had enough. And then she lets him know that cat is boss.


30th September 2007, 06:21 PM
Our Hermie, who is close to finished with her first season now, started to hump her sister Maija! Maija's not too happy about it and tries to move away. Whenever I see it, I just take Hermie away to do something else. I must say we were suprised at first. When we had our Sammy (ruby) back in the 80s, he used to hump pillows and people's legs etc, but we didn't expect a girl to do it!:shock: