Giving a clear answer to this question is difficult as even though the behavior of different animal species has been observed by scientists over the years, the results haven’t led to a specific conclusion. If you’ve ever had a cat or a dog, you might have wondered whether he or she is gay.
There are several things that could suggest that to you. If your dog or cat manifests homosexual behaviors towards other animals all the time, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to make this assumption. However, there are many other factors to consider, but in the end, you’d love your canine or feline companion just as much even if they were gay, right?
It doesn’t matter that much in the grand scheme of things, but learning more things about homosexuality in animals can allow you to better understand your beloved friend.
Animals display homosexual behavior
If you have never seen another dog humping another dog (even if they were females) or the same with cats, you might be surprised to know that a wide variety of animals show this type of behavior throughout their life.
Some of the mammals that are widely known for displaying gay behavior range from the baboon to the koala. Cats and dogs are right in the middle of the list, but you might not know that even cattle and horses can do the same, but so can goats, elephants, rats, and brown bears.
A broad variety of birds are known for showing homosexual behaviors, as well, from the chicken to the emu, ostrich, seagull, turkey, and swan.
Even fish can show an interest in the same gender, and some of the species best known for exhibiting this behavior are the salmon and the bluegill. Even reptiles (from the bearded dragon to the common garter snake), amphibians, and insects (from the bedbug to the fruit fly) do the same. So, as you can see, homosexuality is very common in many animals.
How do people look at homosexuality in their pets?
Animal homosexuality is a rather recent observed phenomenon as most of the studies on this topic began around the 1990s. Homosexuality has existed in both humans and animals since the beginning of time, but for some reason, social conservatives have found it very difficult to accept.
In a nutshell, animal homosexuality asserts homosexuality in humans and shows how natural it is. There’s a continuous debate as to whether animals manifest homosexuality strictly as a momentary or general preference, or they can be considered homosexual.
As much as we love them, our pets don’t have the same way of thinking as we do. In the past, people used to believe that animals didn’t even have a conscience, but there are lots of behaviors that contradict this assumption. If you are wondering whether your dog or your cat is asking themselves whether they are homosexual or not — they’re probably not doing that, and they are much, much happier than gay people for this reason.
Why does my cat or dog display homosexual behavior?
Engaging in sexual acts with someone from the same gender can be looked at as something a little weird. But the truth is that sometimes, it’s even easier to understand.
If you’ve ever heard of cases where a male cat was the preferred sexual partner of all other males in the neighborhood, there could be a quite logical explanation to this. Some animals are born hermaphrodites or simply have a hormonal imbalance. Because of this, the signals that other animals could receive from them at a chemical level could be ‘incorrect.’ This would mean that the said cat or dog could be mistaken for a female instead of a male.
If your cat or dog shows homosexual behaviors time and again, and regardless of their partner, this might be their actual preference. Other dogs might simply have gotten used to humping everything they set their eyes on (including people) every since they were puppies. And that is a behavior that many dogs aren’t going to stop as they grow up into adults.
Some studies have found that around 8% of males in a flock of sheep prefer other males even if there are fertile females around. In 1994, neuroscientists found that the brains of these males were a little different than the brains of the other males — they had a smaller hypothalamus.
Being gay isn’t the same for dogs and cats as it is for people
Humans look at the idea of being gay in a more complex manner compared to animals. We’ve already discussed how animals might simply be gay on an instinctual level, without asking themselves whether they can be part of a community, whether that describes them as a person, or if they could really find a romantic partner. These are questions that humans ask themselves.
Our sense of identity is far more developed than that of a dog or a cat. Simply put, we have bigger brains, and thanks to those, we also have bigger problems. While it’s still a matter of debate whether a cat or a dog can be self-aware, many pets don’t even recognize themselves in a mirror so they aren’t going to be bothered by the same thoughts as we are.
In most cases, homosexual behaviors are a result of very strong sexual desire, and once the act is performed, the animal simply goes about their business. Most often, animals engage in same-sex intercourse more than willingly, but they don’t have any particular inclination in that individual when it comes to breeding with the opposite sex.
That’s why a dog or a cat can show interest in both the opposite and the same gender. So they might actually be considered bisexual, in this case. There is one animal that has shown same-sex prevalence for life, and that’s the domestic sheep. Very few dogs don’t show any interest whatsoever in a female if she is in heat and if she’s the only sexual partner available.
Why are people bothered by animal homosexuality?
Animal sexuality isn’t only about animal sexuality — since we used to be and still are (to some extent) animals ourselves, many animal behaviors, especially those involving sexual acts, can indirectly tell us something about us.
This is even truer when such behaviors are shown by primates — and it’s widely known that homosexuality is common in Bonobo, the Japanese macaque, Gorillas, and Orangutans.
Homophobia shouldn’t make us incapable of loving animals simply because they start showing a sexual preference for the same gender.
There was a horrible case of a man in Tennessee (2013) who wanted to kill his own dog because upon taking him to a kennel, his pet wanted to mate with another male dog. The pooch was saved and adopted by someone else, fortunately, but it’s crazy to what extent people can be prejudiced against homosexuality that they would effectively murder an innocent animal for something that he naturally feels a desire for.
Could my dog or cat actually be gay?
If they’ve been displaying homosexual behaviors and engaging in homosexual acts regularly, yes. But male dogs have homosexual sex under a wide variety of circumstances. They can mount each other to show dominance, and doing so isn’t even going to involve anal penetration. Other times, males can get frustrated if there is a female in heat, and they have no chance of mounting her, so they might end up engaging in homosexual sex. Other dogs might show a lifelong indifference to females in heat and might have never had heterosexual sex.
So long as your pet is happy, healthy, and well taken care of, does it matter if he or she is gay? It shouldn’t, so if you’re feeling uncomfortable about it, stop. Yes, you might want to prevent your dog from humping other people as it can be a little embarrassing, and there are lots of ways to correct this behavior. But otherwise, animal homosexuality is almost irrelevant.
Do you want to spay or neuter your pet because he/she seems to be homosexual? That might not be the best reason to do it, but there are lots of other reasons to decide for rather than against getting the procedure done. It can prevent cancer and a variety of other diseases, and it can also might make some pets less aggressive and territorial. But if your dog is used to dry humping stuff or other dogs and has been doing this for years, it’s quite likely that this is not going to stop if you neuter him.
In the end, giving your pet a happy and loving home and the attention and care that he or she needs is far more important than a sexual preference.