Before bringing a new cat into your home, there are several things to consider, including whether you should adopt a male cat or a female cat. As veterinarians, we’ve cared for countless cats over the years, and we’ve come to notice some interesting differences between males and females. The biological differences are apparent, but you may wonder if any more subtle differences would make one sex a better fit for your family than the other. Of course, each cat is different, and what’s true for one might not be for another. Still, you should be aware of a few typical personality and behavioral differences when looking for the perfect furry friend to add to your family.
Both male and female cats make excellent companions. But as vets, we believe it’s vital to understand the differences and choose a cat who will be an ideal fit for your family. The last thing we want to have happen is for you to have to rehome a cat, which can be excruciating for both you and the cat. This post will look at some of the key personality differences between female and male cats.
A Note About Neutering and Spaying
Before we dive into the differences, it’s important to note that many personality traits and behaviors are most noticeable in unaltered pets. Intact males are more likely to spray urine in and around your home. They’re also more prone to aggression and escape attempts to go in search of female cats. Intact females tend to vocalize loudly to attract males.
Common behaviors in unaltered cats include:
- Urine spraying/marking
- Aggression toward people and other cats
- Excessive vocalization
- Attempting to escape
- Territorial aggression
If your cat has been neutered or spayed (which we strongly recommend!), they are not as prone to these problematic behaviors. With that being said, let’s look at some specific personality differences in spayed and neutered cats.
Male Cats Are More Social and Playful
Male cats tend to be more social and affectionate with both humans and other cats. They commonly form strong bonds with other cats in the home, even when they are not from the same litter. Females, on the other hand, are often more standoffish. If you are looking for a cuddle bug, adopting a male may be your best bet.
Expect lots of late-night zoomies if you bring home a male, too. Male cats are usually more playful than females, and they can get pretty rambunctious. This is great if you have plenty of time to dedicate to playing with your feline friend and don’t mind being woken up by their antics in the middle of the night. If you’re looking for more of a quiet companion, though, it might be better to adopt a female.
Female Cats Are More Independent
Female cats tend to be more independent than males. If you put in long hours at work and your new pet will spend a lot of time home alone, a female will generally handle this better than a male. Girl cats are often perfectly content snoozing and entertaining themselves throughout the day.
Even after spaying, the maternal instinct remains strong in females. While they aren’t as apt to display in-your-face affection, female cats are intensely loyal and devoted to their owners. You may even notice your female feline friend trying to "mother" you by staying by your side when you are sick or feeling down.
Males vs. Females: Which Is Better?
As noted above, spaying and neutering play a massive role in determining the personalities and behaviors of cats. No matter which sex you adopt, we strongly recommend altering them so problematic behavior won’t hide the best parts of their personality. And this is in addition to your contribution to preventing cat overpopulation.
When deciding between a male and a female, consider your lifestyle and what type of relationship you hope to have with your feline friend. If you want a furry friend who will play with your kids and spend hours snuggled up by your side, adopting a male kitten might be your best bet. If, however, you work long hours and your feline friend will be spending a lot of time alone, consider bringing home a female.
Remember that all cats have unique personalities. Many girl cats love cuddling with their owners and are just as rowdy as the boys. And some males are standoffish and perfect spending time alone. Like humans, cats are individuals with their own personalities, likes, and dislikes. When looking for a cat, we strongly suggest getting to know a few potential new furry family members and choosing the one that best suits your preferences and lifestyle.
Let's Cut to the Cat Chase
Bringing home a new cat is a big deal, and it’s a decision that should not be taken lightly. Hopefully, the information above will help you better understand whether a male or a female would be the best choice for your family.
If you’ve recently adopted a cat, we’d love to help you start them off on the right paw.