Cat or Kitten – Does it Really Matter?

Biologically, of course, there is clearly a difference in cats – but does the physical difference affect behavior? Read here whether there are differences in the behavior of males and females and what the personality of cats depends on.

If you want to get a cat, you should think carefully beforehand about the gender of the animal. There are, of course, big differences between a cat and a tomcat. The extent to which the behavior of the two sexes differs can be seen most clearly in uncastrated animals:

  • Males have a great tendency to stray and seek out females in heat. They eagerly mark with intensely smelling urine, especially in the presence of a she-cat in heat. They are often aggressive towards other cats and will fight. Not all males fight, however, as there is also a strategy of patiently trying to find a female with other males.
  • At the core of cat social organization are multiple females raising their kittens together. They cooperate in defense and bring food to all kittens, not just their own. But there is also the territorial female who doesn’t tolerate other cats next to her and prefers to take the risk of being a single mother.

Determining the Gender of the Cat Influences the Relationship With Humans

Gender-typical behaviors are often ascribed to males and females.

For example, hangovers are considered

  • much more robust,
  • distanced for
  • and less forgiving.

On the other hand, cats are

  • less aggressive
  • bitchy for that
  • and willful.

But there are no scientific studies for all this, it’s just my own experience with cats. However, there is a certain tendency that makes certain behavior in male or female males more likely:

Hangovers are also more resilient in social play with people and are more tolerant of accidental rudeness such as that from children.
Hangovers are often easier to motivate with food, but they also become overweight more quickly as a result.
By nature, queens have the task of providing their kittens with food and see hunting as their life’s work.

Neutering Changes Cat Behavior

Neutering prevents reproduction and eliminates certain hormones from the body. Even if this does not fundamentally change the character and behavior of cats and tomcats, castration still has an influence on certain behaviors.

Male cats, for example, mark less and don’t roam around as often. Fights with other tomcats are also often reduced by castration. Overall, whether male or female, the neutered cat tends to be more social and peaceful.

Multi-Cat Household: Same or Different Sexes?

The question of whether you should get male or female cats is particularly important in multi-cat households. Here, experience shows that same-sex groups often go better together. Already in the first weeks of life the game of young tomcats changes:

Hangovers like social brawls. From puberty onwards, the play of young tomcats very often acquires a sexual undertone, which often persists even after castration.
Catgirls prefer object games to practice their hunting skills.
When choosing cats to live together, gender plays a certain role. But even cats of different sexes can live together harmoniously.

Feline Personality Factors

In addition to gender, many other factors play an important role in a cat’s personality:

Genetics as a Factor in Cat Personality

Genetics provides the basis for whether a cat is timid or assertive, openly friendly and tolerant, or aloof and not very tolerant of contact. In particular, the personality of the tomcat seems to have a very significant influence on the kittens. Queens act as role models for kittens in the first few weeks of life and can teach their kittens to be fearful or assertive.

The gender distribution in a litter also has a proven influence, because the testosterone produced by the baby tomcats during pregnancy can definitely influence a neighboring sister.

The Socialization of Cats to Humans

The second major component used to promote genetic foundations is early human socialization. A cat only learns that people can be good friends and life partners with these comprehensively good experiences – at the latest from the second week of life. By regularly lifting, stroking, and cuddling the kittens, they not only get to know human peculiarities but also tolerate them.

In the interaction of all these components, one can easily encounter a very self-confident, almost masculine she-cat who likes to be kneaded robustly and will do anything for food. Or a shy, anxious tomcat who is always tender and reserved.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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