Male vs Female Cats – Their Differences And Similarities
They say men are from Mars and women are from Venus. Cats are from Uranus! It’s not a dirty joke. In astrology, Uranus is associated with independence, thrill seeking, eccentricity, ingenuity and capriciousness with a tendency to chaos.
While there is some superficial difference between male and female cats, they are, at heart, all cat. Still, if you’re deciding what kind of cat to bring into your home even a superficial difference may be enough to affect your decision.
Common Differences Between Male And Female Cats
Cat genitals aren’t quite as obvious as on other animals. The shape, size and distance from the anus of the genitals will give you an idea if a kitten is a boy or a girl. With the exception of those with Klinefelter’s syndrome, nearly all calicos are female. Ginger cats are most likely to be male.
Other colors and patterns will show up equally in either gender. A female cat, of course, runs the risk of surprising you with a litter of kittens if you don’t take some precautions. There are a few other subtle differences between the genders.
In the end, temperament is based more on the individual than on gender. Breed, environment and personal experience affect temperament more than gender. While male cats often get classified as more aggressive, they may be more affectionate.
It isn’t that the queen doesn’t like cuddling, she just wants it on her terms. She likes to keep her independence in case she has kittens in need of prioritizing.
The male cat is more free spirited and doesn’t have to worry about someday splitting his loyalty, so he may show you affection more frequently. He’ll jump in your lap, rub his head against you and purr at the most random moments. She’ll quietly lie next to you, let you stroke her and soundlessly disappear when you least expect it.
Female cats tend to be homebodies who will be satisfied with a smaller territory. Male cats have a tendency to roam. A female cat will consider anything within 330 feet of her food bowl to be her territory. A male could decide his territory circle is nearly a mile wide. Even then, a female is more willing to share her territory with someone nonthreatening.
Both genders will mark their territory, but a female tends to save it for when she’s on heat where an intact tomcat will spray more constantly and aggressively. Tomcats in general are more aggressive, but a queen is capable of making heads roll. This is particularly true if she has a litter of kittens to protect.
This is one area where male and female cats are completely equal. While a male cat may be slightly more aggressive and thus more likely to put himself in dangerous situations, a cat’s natural lifespan has little to do with gender.
Let’s also remember that a female cat is more likely to end up with a urinary tract infection, plus she may have life threatening difficulties brought on by pregnancy. Breed, health, heredity and general nutrition all have more effect on the length of a cat’s life than gender.
Generally, a male cat will be bigger than a female cat. This is, of course, generalization and only assumes the cats are of the same breed. A female Maine coon cat will be bigger than a male Siamese. Even if the cats are in the same breed, a female can be unusually large and a male can be unusually small.
Even a tomcat might find his sister from the same litter getting bigger than him. For the most part, males will be bigger but breed, health and heredity are all contributing factors.
Differences between male and female cats if you spayed/neutered
It’s a very good idea to have your cat spayed or neutered. Female cats are generally calmer and show more affection to their owners after being spayed. She won’t go on heat and thus won’t display annoying behaviors such as yowling and trying to escape. Male cats don’t feel quite as territorial after being neutered. He won’t be as aggressive because he no longer feels a need to protect his surroundings.
Both genders are less likely to spray after being neutered. They will both also be less likely to roam, start fights and engage in other dangerous behaviors. Most importantly, you will be doing your part to keep the pet population manageable by not bringing unwanted kittens into the world.
Cats’ behavior depends on a lot more than the sex of the cat
If you want to select a cat based on personality and behavior, you’re better off judging the cat as an individual than as a gender. Some male cats are calm and quiet. Some female cats are regular spitfires. Male cats and female cats have different health concerns but with proper care, either could live a long, fulfilling life.
While male cats tend towards the large size, there are other contributing factors. A cat is likely to be calmer and less inclined to dangerous behaviors if he or she is spayed or neutered. Whether you choose a male cat or a female cat, you are sure to have a sweet and loyal friend for life.
- Basic Feline Genetics at The Cat Fanciers’ Association
- An Age entry for Felis catus The Human Ageing Genomic Resources
- Feline Behavior Problems: Aggression Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
- Gender differences in the social behavior of the neutered indoor-only domestic cat by Kimberly JBarrySharon LCrowell-Davis Department of Anatomy and Radiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA