The gender of a cat can sometimes influence its behavior and level of aggression. While both male and female cats can be amazing furry companions, many cat parents might have a specific gender preference which is, in part, due to the behavioral differences between male and female cats.
Neutered male cats are known for being more affectionate and friendly than female cats. So, are female cats meaner? Not necessarily, but these speculations might be due to the female’s independent streak. We will explain more in this post, so read on.
Behavioral differences between male and female cats
If you are a first-time cat owner, you might wonder which gender of cat is best suited for your family.
The truth is, every cat has its own unique quirks. Some cats will be more affectionate towards their humans, while others might be a little cold and distant, especially around strangers. Their upbringing can also impact their personality and how they react to different people and pets.
Intact cats also tend to have more of a tendency toward problematic behavior. Unneutered male cats can be highly territorial and aggressive and, as such, are more likely to urinate in every corner of your home and roam around the neighborhood in search of potential mates. Unspayed female cats can also be territorial. You might find their excessive vocalization annoying, especially at night, to attract nearby tomcats when they are in heat.
To save yourself these headaches, it is recommended to have your furry companions spayed or neutered. By doing so, you can help curb these undesirable behaviors and also prevent unwanted pregnancies.
So, assuming that your cats have been sterilized, will there be any behavioral differences between males and females?
Altered cats will be more affectionate and friendly compared with unspayed/unneutered cats. However, a part of the cat’s personality might still be influenced by its gender. While both male and female cats can make excellent companions to the family, there may be a few behaviors that are typical to a particular gender. These differences are explained in more detail below.
1. Male cats are playful and sociable
Neutered male cats are known to be more sociable and affectionate towards their human companions. Several cat owners also report that males tend to get along very well with other cats, regardless of the gender and whether or not they belong to the same litter.
Another distinctive male trait is their playful nature. They tend to be more rambunctious than their female counterparts. Late-night zoomies can happen occasionally, too, especially during their younger years. So, if you decide to bring home a male kitten, make sure that you are prepared for their rough-and-tumble play, especially in the wee hours!
2. Female cats are highly independent
Female cats are reported to be more independent than males. This means they can be left alone at home without any worries and are perfectly content spending the entire day relaxing solo. They tend to be less playful, too, and a bit standoffish towards other pets and strangers. For this reason, female cats don’t always form strong bonds with other cats in the household.
Spayed females might also retain their territorial nature and aggression, and this is partly due to their inherent maternal instinct. In the wild, mother cats have to be fierce and ready to fight to the death to protect their litter from what they perceive as a threat.
While females tend to be less cuddly and sociable than males, they can be the most loyal feline friends one could ever have. If you are feeling down or unwell, a female cat can stay by your side to make you feel better, just like a mother cat would treat her young.
Are female cats meaner than males?
Female cats are often misunderstood as being more aggressive than males due to their independent nature. However, this might not always be true. In fact, some females can be just as cuddly or playful as male cats. Like humans, every cat has its own unique demeanor, likes and dislikes. Early socialization also shapes the behavior of your cat. For example, if you want your cat to be cuddly and friendly to everyone, then training them at a young age will help to achieve this.
Maternal instinct might make a female cat temporarily mean, but know that this is a normal part of motherhood as cats are naturally protective over their kittens. This is why a mother cat with kittens must be given enough privacy and a secure place away from other people and pets.
What makes cats aggressive?
Both male and female cats can become aggressive for a variety of reasons. As a cat owner, it is important to recognize the cause of your cat’s sudden hissing or lashing out, so that you know how to manage the behavior appropriately. Some of the potential causes of feline aggression include:
- Play aggression: Some cats might play too rough due to their lack of socialization. Play aggression tends to be more common in cats that were not raised with littermates.
- Fear aggression: Again, this form of aggression is caused by a lack of proper socialization. A fearful cat might react to new stimuli, such as a new pet or stranger, by hissing, yowling, crouching, or scratching.
- Petting-induced aggression: Sometimes, cats can become over-stimulated by petting. Hence, it is important for owners to know their cats’ petting tolerance so that they understand when to back off.
- Redirected aggression: Sometimes, external stimuli such as the sight of a bird or rodent through a window can make a cat frustrated if they cannot respond to it directly. Unfortunately, this frustration can be redirected toward their owners or other pets in the household.
- Pain-related aggression: Cats that suddenly lash out every time you attempt to touch or pet them might be in pain. For example, if a cat has an injury or an underlying medical issue, they might avoid being touched to prevent the pain from worsening.
- Territorial aggression: Cats are naturally territorial creatures, so it is normal for them to react aggressively toward another animal that might invade their domain. However, this negative behavior tends to be most noticeable in cats that are not spayed or neutered.
- Maternal aggression: Mother cats that are nursing kittens will likely display aggression toward people or pets that approach them. This behavior is normal and will usually subside once the kittens have grown up and become independent.
Should you get a male or a female cat?
When deciding to adopt a cat, make sure to assess your lifestyle and the kind of relationship you want to have with your whiskered companion. If you spend most of your time at home, then a playful male cat might be your best friend. However, if you have a busy lifestyle and your cat will be left alone most of the time, it may be best to adopt a female.
Adopting a new cat is a life-changing decision. And, for some cat parents, choosing the right gender is instrumental in ensuring that the cat is well-suited to their home environment.
Female cats tend to be independent and a little aloof ,but know that these traits do not make them mean. Proper socialization and spaying are still the major factors that influence their behavior. Hopefully, the information above will help you decide whether adopting a female or a male cat is the best option for your family.
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