Do male cats have a penis?

Male cats do have penises. All male vertebrates have penis and that includes the male cat. Its penis is located between its hind legs and is hidden by the male cat’s tail. It is only visible if he is aroused.

The reproductive system of male cats’ is unique among other domesticated animals. And one of those unique factors is the male cat’s penis. The male cats penis is enclosed in a sheath of skin called prepuce. The apex of the penis is called a glans. An intact tom cat has barbs or spikes on his penis. This is barb is present due to hormonal influence. The barb is composed of erectile tissue. Approximately the male cat’s penis has about 120 to 150 barbs which is about 1 millimeter long. This barb points backwards away from the cat’s glans. These penile barbs begin to appear when the cat is at 12 weeks of age. If you get your male cat neutered the testosterone levels will drop. Therefore the barbs on his penis will disappear. The penis is a highly vascular organ. It is important in copulation. It contains vessels and is rich in connective tissue specialized to produce erection. The male cat’s testes and epididymis are small. It is visible when the cat’s tail is in lifted up. The cat’s testes contain seminiferous tubule that manufactures the sperm and testosterone. Sperm production starts when the tom cat is 5 to 9 months of age. Sperm production is influenced by the cat’s physical condition, season and body size. Testosterone is necessary in producing secondary sex characteristics. The scrotum is located just beneath the anus and above prepuce. Did you know that the scrotum acts as a thermo regulator to the testes and epididymis? This is needed to maintain the sperm production. The temperature in the scrotum is several degrees lower than the cats’ normal body temperature. The scrotum also lacks fat and is covered with dense hair unlike other animals.

Certain signs around the cat’s penis indicate serious problems that need veterinary care. Excessive licking of male cats along their genitalia often means there is an abnormal discharge on the prepuce. Preputial discharge may consist of blood, pus or urine. However, if your cat is in good health he should not have any discharge along the genitalia, except for the small amount of whitish yellow smegma. Causes of preputial discharge includes: trauma, neoplasm (cancer), inflammation of the penis, urinary incontinence, urinary bladder infection. Prostate enlargement due to a cyst, abscess or swelling also causes excessive preputial discharge in cats. You should also look for signs of discoloration along your cat’s glans. Also search for crystalline grains that are like the grains of sand. These 2 signs could indicate urinary tract infection. Also try to palpate your cat’s abdomen and feel if there is a mass. If there is a urinary tract blockage you can feel a mass like the size of a tennis ball. If you found out that your cat has these signs and symptoms a vet visit is imperative. Paraphimosis is the inability of the cat’s penis to retract back to its prepuce. Paraphimosis is caused by a small opening in a cat’s prepuce and is sometimes a birth defect. Phimosis on the other hand refers to the cat’s inability to protrude its penis to the outer opening. Both of these conditions can occur to a cat at any age. Signs of phimosis are not observed until the male cats’ starts to mate with a female cat. Difficulty in urinating is also a sign of this disorder. If your cat experiences paraphimosis you may notice him licking his genital. Swelling, injury and neurological disorder cause phimosis. It is best to see your vet immediately if the male cat has these disorders.