Male vs. Female Cats – Behavioral Differences

female vs male cat

There are actually quite a few differences between male and female cats in terms of their behavior.

If you’re thinking about getting a cat, it is important to have this information.

1. Affection

While many cats are very affectionate regardless of sex, males are more likely to openly display affection. If this is important to you, it will definitely be something to keep in mind. Some people want a cat that is very expressive in this way, while others simply don’t care.

Male cats are more likely to get on your lap, purr, and rub up against you. This isn’t always the case, but it is what the studies and statistics seem to indicate.

2. After Being Neutered or Spayed

There is no question that a cat’s temperament tends to change after they are neutered or spayed. Female cats tend to become more affectionate in general once they have spayed. Because she won’t go into heat, you won’t have to worry about all of the noise and the escape attempts.

Male cats tend to be less territorial once they have been neutered. This usually means a decrease in overall aggression, which can definitely be a good thing. You might even be able to get him into the bath without getting clawed up!

3. Aggression

aggressive cat

Female cats are usually more aggressive than their male counterparts. They also tend to be more aggressive with other cats than males. As mentioned above, this is something that tends to change after they are spayed.

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4. Playfulness

If you want a cat that is going to be very playful, you probably want to choose a male. Male cats tend to be more explorative and a bit quirkier than the opposite sex.

This can have its downsides though, as cats that are more playful are more likely to wake you up in the morning by sitting on your head. It is just the price that you pay with a delightfully playful cat, but most people find that it’s worth it.

playful cat

5. Behavior Around Unfamiliar People

It is usually the case that female cats are more hesitant about interacting with people they don’t know than males. Many females hide away as soon as they see an unfamiliar face enter their domain. Some of them are so bad about this that they refuse to come out until the offending party has left the house entirely.

6. Interacting with Other Cats

Female cats don’t tend to be very playful with male cats, but they can still form fairly strong bonds. It is not uncommon for females to cuddle up with male cats. This is particularly true if the cats are siblings.

A female cat is quick to take charge and establish their dominance over other cats in the household, so you should be prepared for that. They want to be the head honcho, and this will be clear by their behavior. 

If the other cats have a problem with this, it can result in serious conflict. Putting two female cats in the same house together can result in drama, but this is not always the case.

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7. Loyalty

Male cats are often more loyal than female cats, but there are always exceptions. Female cats rarely have a “favorite” person in the house. It is much more common for male cats to gravitate towards a specific person, giving them their full loyalty.

This is precisely why male cats often seem more loving or affectionate than females. If you want a cat that is going to fully reciprocate your affections, a male might be the better choice.

8. While in Heat

The temperament of a cat can change drastically while they are in heat. Male cats can become incredibly aggressive during this time. It is fairly common for male cats to fight, bite, and mark their territory on a regular basis. This is just their way of asserting dominance, and it’s perfectly natural.

Female cats that are in heat become very loud, which can get fairly annoying after a while. There is lots of yowling and howling, so you might lose a little bit of sleep from time to time. This typically only happens when they feel as though they just can’t take it anymore.

9. Interacting with Children

Both male and female cats are usually fine around even small children. You need to keep in mind, however, that males do tend to be more aggressive. This is especially true when they are in heat.

If you have kids in the house, you should avoid getting an obviously aggressive cat. This can result in serious injury, especially if your children are very young.

10. Roaming

Male cats have more a propensity to roam, which often includes a desire to be outside for extended periods. This is why a lot of “outdoor cats” tend to be males. It is not uncommon at all for these cats to try escaping on a semi regular basis.

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Female cats, on the other hand, are usually much more content to stay inside and lie around. This is definitely something to consider if you want a totally indoor cat.


  • Male cats are usually more affectionate in general than female cats.
  • Females tend to display more aggression, especially when it comes to other females.
  • If you are looking for a cat that will be loyal to you, a male is probably the better choice.
  • Males are typically more playful than female cats.
  • It is pretty common for male cats to want to be outside, while females are more than content to stay inside all of the time.
  • Female cats are quick to establish their dominance with other cats in the house.
  • Males can get very aggressive when they are in heat, so watch out.
  • Females tend to make a lot of noise when they are in heat, which can be irritating to say the least.
  • Female cats are usually a lot more skittish around people they don’t know, whereas male cats are more affable.
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