How Many Nipples Do cats Have? | Petkiri
How Many Nipples Do cats Have?

How Many Nipples Do cats Have?

How Many Nipples Do cats Have?

As weird and silly this may sound, we cat owners cannot deny that this question has crossed our minds once. Or twice. Or more!

You may have thought about it if you guys are like me and spend most of your time with beloved cats giving them their favourite belly rub.

Even though we have that curiosity to know the answer, there is that slight bit of hesitation preventing us from asking this question to the vets. So if you are searching for the answer to this question by yourself instead of asking your vets then rest assured cause you are not the only one! 

We all cat owners can relate.

Nipples In Cats? How Many Are There Actually?

nipples in cats

Cats are mammals and thus it is not out of the ordinary for them to possess nipples. On average, cats have between 6-8 nipples. 

However, some might have extra nipples and some might have fewer than that. Therefore the number of cat nipples, either even or odd, is not really a matter of concern as the number does not affect their health in any way.

Now that your subject of stress is out of the way, why not dive deeper into this intriguing topic ? 

Let’s continue on!

Found Nipples In The Fur Lining Of The Belly Area Of Your Male Furry Feline?

If yes, nothing to be shocked or afraid of. Like most mammals, both male and female cats have nipples on them even before they become a part of this world. 

As nipples are formed before gender is determined during the early formative stage / fetal development of cats inside their mother’s uterus, all cats are born with nipples.

Do Male Cats Have Nipples Too? Can They Milk Feed The Kittens?

nipple in male cat

As the female cats can give birth to cute little kittens, only nipples on them are functional and can produce milk to feed cute young ones. Therefore, male cats are not able to milk feed the kittens. 

This might make you think that only female cats are prone to breast cancer as the male cats have a vestigial nipple. But unfortunately, that’s not the case. Breast cancer in male cats is extremely rare but cannot be perceived to be impossible as well.

Where Are The Nipples Of Our Cute Little Furry Feline?

 cat feeding milk to kittens


When searched, cat’s nipples can be found on their belly. It might be a little difficult to find the nipples of the cats with more fur but don’t worry it is there. 

The positioning of a cat’s nipples is unlike humans’ and is found near the pelvis area. As cats have more nipples, they are found in rows of nipples either in even or odd numbers.

Your Cat Has Swollen Nipples? Should You Be Worried?

female black cat with swollen nipples

It is considered somewhat normal when mother cats have swollen nipples as the nipples do tend to get swollen during pregnancy. Breast swelling is common during pregnancy. 

The size of the female cat’s nipple increases at day 35 of her pregnancy. But swollen nipples are not normal when it comes to your male cat. 

If only one nipple of your male cat is swollen then a local injury like scratches or bruises might be the reason for it. But if there is swelling in all nipples of your male cat and if your queen isn’t pregnant then you might want to take them to the vet for a proper check-up as they can have some health complications like mastitis, mammary cancer, galactostasis, feline mammary hypertrophy and mammary hyperplasia.

Does Leakage Of Milk In Your Cat Mean She Is Pregnant?

Yes, the leakage of milk from your queen’s nipple does indicate that she is pregnant and is ready to give birth. But it is not true for all female cats. 

Yes, the non-pregnant female cat and even spayed females can produce milk. The hormones are responsible for milk leakage and are called false pregnancy or pseudopregnancy.

End of the line

It can be concluded that no matter how many nipples a cat has, the number does not affect its health nor its function. Therefore, you might not want to stress yourself about this matter. I guess the more nipples our queen has, the easier it will be to raise the cute little male and female kittens and satisfy their hunger right?

Also in case of any uncommon changes or abnormalities, visiting a vet is the right option in order to prevent any big mishap.

Frequently Asked Common Questions

Can you tell if a cat is male or female by looking at the nipples?

This is a frequently asked common question and the answer is no! The sex of a cat cannot be determined by only looking at their nipples because the nipples of both male and female cats are similar in appearance. The only case where you can distinguish them by looking at their nipples is when a cat is pregnant.

Can cats have an odd number of nipples?

Yes, they sure can have an extra nipple. As the nipples of cats are arranged in rows, we are familiar with cats having an even number of nipples. 

But the cases of cats with an odd number of nipples cannot be denied and it is not a health issue. Thus, this is totally normal so you need not need to worry about it.

Do male cats have fewer nipples than females?

No, they don’t. The number of nipples is not a gender-specific thing. Even though the nipples of male cats don’t serve any purpose, they have a similar number of nipples as females have.

Can cats grow an extra number of nipples over their lifetime?

Absolutely not. Nipples are formed when they are still inside their mother’s uterus and thus it is impossible for them to grow or develop extra nipples after they are born. 

Can the color of the cat’s nipple change when she is pregnant?

Yes, the color and size of a cat’s nipple changes when she is pregnant. The nipples tend to get plumper and bright pink in color.