Battle of the sexes
Is your cat's behaviour ruled by their gender? Our vets tackle some myths about our feline friends.
The differences between male and female cats
Many people think that male and female cats act differently and swear that boys or girls make the better pets. But is that true?
A lot of cat lovers swear that their boy and girl cats behave in different ways. So, is there really a difference between the ways boys and girls behave, or is it more complicated than that?
Our vets have delved into some common myths to find out more!
Bossy girls vs laid-back boys
Myth: Female cats are more bossy and demanding. They crave attention and will let you know when they want something with plenty of loud meows. On the other hand, male cats are more laid-back and relaxed about life, happily taking your attention when it comes their way.
Reality: This is probably true for some, but it really depends on your cat’s personality and life experiences. Certain breeds are naturally noisier than others so will meow for a whole host of reasons, not just when they want attention.
Differences could also come down to their hormones. Male cats who haven’t been neutered can sometimes be aggressive to pets and people. Female cats who haven’t been neutered might seek out your attention when they come into heat, but may act more independent at other times.
Home girl vs gentleman adventurer
Myth: Male cats wander far and wide but female cats will always stay close to home.
Reality: This really comes down to whether or not your cat’s been neutered. Both male and female cats will roam away from home looking for a mate. Sometimes they forget their way home and get lost for a few days. If you get your boy neutered, he won’t get this urge to roam and will be as much of a homebody as any of the girls.
Mummy's boy vs ice queens
Myth: Male cats are more affectionate towards humans and bond really well with their owners. Female cats are aloof and, because of their mothering instincts, prefer other cats to humans.
Reality: This usually comes down to your cat’s individual personality. Some are very independent while others are happiest with their humans.
Most cats, male and female, prefer to live alone with just their owners for company. Just like wild cats, our feline friends tend to be loners.
Their upbringing plays a massive part in how affectionate they are towards you. If they’ve been socialised since they were a young kitten, they’re more likely to happy and confident with you. Cats that haven’t been handled from a young age can be a bit more cautious around their human housemates.
Wild Toms vs mild moggies
Myth: Boys are fighters and will often get into a tussle with other tomcats. Girls will avoid confrontation where they can.
Reality: Unneutered male cats are much more territorial and will defend their patch if another cat wanders in. This can end up with them getting hurt in fights and they could catch a life-changing infection like FIV (an illness in cats that’s similar to HIV in humans).
However, there are a lot of other things that can also make your cat aggressive and which aren’t to do with their gender.
Any cat can get aggressive if they meet a stranger in their territory, or are scared or confused. Female cats will stand up for themselves just as much as males and neutered male cats can still get into the occasional scrap. It really depends on how many cats are in your local area, as well as on your cat’s personality and mood.
It could also come down to the health of your cat – they’re more likely to lash out if they’re frightened or in pain.
Now the facts are in, what’s the verdict?
There’s probably a bit of truth in each of these myths but it’s a bit more complicated than just a gender difference. Your cat’s personality and breed also plays a big part in their behaviour.
However, the biggest difference is really between neutered and unneutered cats, not boys and girls. As well as having loads of health benefits, neutering can help to make your cat calmer and happier. It can help to tackle some bad behaviours that might be linked to your cat’s hormones, like spraying, fighting and roaming far from home. Find out more about why we recommend getting your cat neutered.
In the end, all cats are different but we think they’re equally purrrrfect!
Fact or fiction? Our vets' bust some common myths about neutering to help you make the right choice for your pet.