The Remarkable Truth About Cat Genders: Which is best for you?
So you are thinking of getting a cat, or you already have a cat and your curiosity is just killing you. (See what I did there? I wait for the groaning to stop). For many people, the process of getting a cat comes with stages. The first stage is deciding whether or not to get a cat, the next stage is determining WHERE you will adopt your new cat from, and next is deciding on breed and gender.
So let’s start with gender because, let’s face it, there are only two options for you to choose from. Male or female. Some people don’t have a preference when it comes to the gender of their pet, and some did not get to choose the gender as their new family member walked upon their doorstep. (See my story about my first cat to understand that reference if you’re a curious cat).
However, if you are lucky enough to get to choose whether you want to add a male or female into your family, then this is the spot for you. It is also important to point out while these are the typical traits that are common in males and females, each animal is unique in their own way and could go again all social norms. This is just what each gender is more generally known for.
And a final callout before we dive into, there are some instances where the breed may place the deciding factor in which breed you go with. It is a known fact (insert research here) that 3 out of every 4 ginger cat breeds are born males. *Insert Harry Potter Comment Here* Also, when it comes to tortoiseshell and calico breed cats, those are predominantly female cats. So if one of those three breeds is what you have your heart set on, you may not even need to figure out which gender is best for you. Their breed is helping decide for you.
Regardless of the breed you decide to go with, remember that cats are awesome! They still like to play, sometimes cuddle, and love you unconditional. The biggest thing here is to ensure you find the right gender for YOUR needs. That means spending more time with your cat and less time researching them , or cleaning up after them.
Which reminds me, regardless of what cat you get, they will need toys. If you want to “pimp” out your cat attire you should should out Meowingtons Co. They have great products for cats and humans! (This one is my favorite because I’m immature and laugh at everything). If you use code LLAPTRIBE, they have been kind enough to give my readers and additional 10% off because I love their products so much.
Another great option that I always recommend is getting a monthly box. Now I am going to go into more detail on cat boxes soon, but there is one that I am currently using that I wanted to let you guys know about. It is called the Pawtree PawBox. I get to PICK three toys every month and they send me this adorable box for my kittens. I spend less time trying to figure out toys for them and just let them try everything once! It’s easy and simple and actually a pretty great price! If you’re interested, you should check them out!
Okay, ladies first. But before we dive deep into them, I want to take a second and call out that a big differing factor of behaviors is whether or not your cat is spayed. I will touch on the topic of whether to not to spay or neuter your pet at a later date. For now, I will just start talking about the female characteristics of an un-spayed cat.
First, one obvious call out is if you do not spay your female cat…she will be able to have babies. Pretty simple to start out. If you want your cat to breed, then great! You did it right! However, a few things that come with their ability to have babies are something you may not have thought of. First off, they go into heat. What is heat you may ask? Well, it is the cat’s version of a period. Un-spayed female cats go into heat about every three weeks when they reach maturity. When they go into heat, much like when it’s that time of month they become irritable and cranky. They also will meow constantly stick their butt up in the air. I am not going to go into extensive detail about cats being in the heat because I have a HILARIOUS story of my first cat’s first time going into heat. Trust me, you want to hear that. I find it both funny and educational.
Another thing to call out with cats that are not spayed is when they are in heat, they want to find someone! Desperately! So if you have an indoor only cat, you run the risk of her getting out, escaping or getting hurt. (And not knowing who that kitty daddy is either, talk about Jerry Springer stuff).
A Spayed Cat
Now if you do decide to spay your cat, then you don’t run any of those fears listed above. Your kitty will not have babies or go into heat (lucky girl). And with all pets, you run the risk of them running away, it is just generally higher in cats that have not been spayed. So, let’s move onto spayed female cats.
Female cats tend to be more independent than male cats which can be either a positive or negative. If you are away a lot and need a cat that is okay when you go to work, female cats rule. And when I say more independent, I don’t mean less loving. For example, my female cat. Fiercely independent. She sleeps all day when I’m home and is content knowing that her mom is there. However, when I am gone at work all day, she is also the first one to run to the door to greet me when I get home.
Female cats are also known to be smaller and have more dominant personalities than male cats. Smaller because, well girls are just naturally smaller framed than guys. That’s life. And I am extremely biased having two female cats but I love their dominant personalities. My second cat will be the first one to swat at you if you missed your alarm and it gives them more ‘human’ qualities.
If you have read this section and are thinking, man! Female cats are great, why would anyone even consider male cats. This section is most certainly not to count out the awesomeness that is male cats. It is just to showcase the females. They both have their positives and negatives and both make life interesting in so many ways. So if you have been completely biased towards females up until this point, or have had your heart set on males and are getting disappointed, it’s time to take this journey on a new turn. BOYS!
Alright, let’s move onto the boys. Just like girls, their characteristics will differ largely depending on if they are neutered or not. If you are wanting to breed your cat, then that is fine to not have them neutered. But if you have no intention of breeding, I highly, HIGHLY, recommend neutering your pet. Trust me, you will thank me later. As many breeders know, when a male is not neutered, they are feisty little things. When they sense that a female is in heat (see above for what is ‘in heat’), they will try and do whatever it takes to get to that cat. Their ‘urge’ is never ending and they want to find female cats to fertilize. These males are also more likely to escape their homes searching for females in heat which can cause them to get lost or hurt if they are an indoor only cat. (As a side note, if your cat is an indoor-outdoor or outdoor cat, PLEASE neuter him! You do not want him getting all the stray kitties pregnant. He/you cannot support all those babies!).
Males, both neutered and not, more often not neutered, can have tendencies to be territorial. Especially if something new or foreign came into their household, whether it be a new baby or a new pet. When this happens, they can become territorial of their own home and possessions and want to show this new creature what’s his. Any guesses on how he does that? Ding, ding ding! You’re right. They spray. They feel as though they have to mark their territory. But there are times when females can do the same thing, this is just more common in males. Especially males who are not fixed.
All the Positives with the Boyz
Alright, enough with the negatives, let's move onto the positives about the BOYZ. So one benefit is, you don’t have to worry about them getting pregnant or going into heat every month if you don’t get them fixed. Males also tend to be larger in size than females, so if you are looking for a large cuddle buddy, males are the way to go. In addition to their size, they also make cuddlers because they tend to tolerate being handled more than females. If you have babies or toddlers in your family, a male cat will probably be more patient with their poking and prodding than a female cat.
Not only do they tend to tolerate more from their humans, but they also tend to be friendlier than the independent female cats. This I do not completely understand. I like to relate animal traits back to us humans but this stumps me on that part. Usually, men won’t even ask for directions, let alone be extremely vulnerable to others. So I have to believe that there is some trait in male cats where they appreciate their owners for taking care of them and loving them. If little kids are the price they have to pay for a warm house, they seem to be okay paying that due.
If you have always wanted to get a male but are conflicted based on this section, here are some questions to ask yourself. Do you want to breed? If yes, then keep on keeping on. If no, are you planning on neutering your cat? If yes, still good. You will most likely get a tolerant, friendly cat. If the answer is no, then if you have no other animals, are not worrisome about marking and are okay if he fathers many stray kittens, then a male is still fine! If you answered no to any of the last sentences, you may want to take a step back and see if a male is truly the best fit for your family. While each animal is different, it is important to go into adoption knowing what to expect with your pet, so you are not shocked and potentially disappointed later.
The last topic I wanted to touch on is determining the gender if you have another pet. Sometimes some tend to do better with others. For example, if you already have a female cat, another female would probably bond well and have a faster connection than a boy cat. Same with boys, they will usually get along better with their own genders.
And then to COMPLETELY contradict what I just said, if age is a factor, you can usually throw that whole thing out the window. If you have an adult female cat, you can’t go wrong with male or female younger cats. Female cats usually like to be alphas. Basically, as long as the female cat has been around long enough to let this new kitten know who’s boss, they are normally okay. That being said, the only thing to be wary of is bringing a new girl kitten into the household with an older male. As I said before, females normally like to be alpha and will try and take over the male’s alpha role. Sometimes he gives it away willingly, sometimes not so much.
When looking at what other animals you have in your household, it is always safest to go with the same gender, because they will usually connect easier, have fewer difficulties with Alpha and Beta roles, and form a faster both and opposite genders. There are always outliers though. As I was typing this I stumbled upon the cutest ‘brother and sister’ cats who just adore each other. So listen to your instinct above all else, they’ll usually lead you in a good direction.
In conclusion, there are always going to be positive and negatives with anything in life, even in choosing a gender for your cat. But at the end of the day, both genders are loving, caring creatures who need a home. I would NEVER tell someone to turn away an animal in need because it was a certain breed or gender, and I hope most of you would do the same.