Are There Different Personalities in Male and Female Cats?

Male cats may be the friendly ambassadors of the species.

Male cats may be the friendly ambassadors of the species.

Cats are as unique as people. Behind those wise eyes that seem to understand the discussion about their quirky behaviors, they may scoff at the idea of feline gender stereotypes. According to cat biology, though, even the most individual of kitties will take after his clan.

Take Away the Hormones

Conventional wisdom says that personality differences between males and females go away after that fateful visit to the vet's office, the spay or neuter. After that, personality differences certainly exist but not based on gender. Although you may see each one of your kitties as utterly unique creatures, Colorado State University research puts all feline fuzz babies into two broad camps: cats that are sociable, confident and easygoing and cats that are timid, shy and unfriendly.

Enter the Affectionate Male Cat

Even without reproductive hormones to rage within them, the feline experts at Animal Planet say there is at least one distinct difference between even fixed male and female cats: Male cats are more outgoing. Personality types stay in the family, and academic research cited by Colorado State University has shown that a cat's overall personality will be inherited from its mother. A cat's friendliness, however, is inherited from a cat's father.

When the Hormones Are in Play: The Roaming Male

When a male cat reaches the age where he's ready to have his own brood of kittens, and before he receives that medical snip, his behavior will be distinctive. He will roam in search of females, fight with other cats over potential mates and -- to the chagrin of many a homeowner with a new couch -- spray urine in the most unwelcome places.

Without the Spay: The Female in Heat

Female felines that reach puberty without being spayed will also look for a mate -- although in a slightly different way than her male counterparts. She may be vocal, and not the purring, appealing kind of vocalization you might not object to. Think yowling. She may also be less restful, pacing and moving about.

 

About the Author

Catherine Lovering has written about business, tax, careers and pets since 2006. Lovering holds a B.A. (political science), LL.B. (law) and LL.L. (civil law).

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