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Sexual Behavior of Cats1)

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The sexual behavior of individual cats was described and examined using the "sexual exhaustion and recovery" technique. In Normative Tests, the behavior of five males tested with three females was quantified. The males gripped the females after 16 seconds and achieved their first intromission after 107.5 seconds on the average. Mating continued until approximately seven intromissions occurred. The frequency and spacing of intromissions were a function of the particular individuals in the mating pair. The duration of the intromissions was primarily a function of the female partner. Even though the probability of intromission per unit time declined during each test, the males recovered completely within 24 hours. Performance 24 hours after sexual exhaustion was the same as performance during tests spaced two weeks apart. At the point of sexual exhaustion the male could be rearoused to renewed mating if a sexually fresh female was presented. When a sexually fresh male was presented to a sexually exhausted female little mating resulted. The cessation of mating seemed to be primarily a function of the state of the female, although stimulus adaptation on the part of the male did seem to contribute. The data were discussed in terms of momentary and persistent components of sexual arousability. It was suggested that mating performances may be controlled by the rewarding properties of intromission and ejaculation.

Affiliations: 1: (Clinical Neuropharmacology Research Center, (CI, NIMH National Institutes of Health at St. Elizabeths Hospital, Washington, D.C.


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