Female Cat 101 | Behavior, Personality & Traits of Female Cats

Female Cat 101 | Behavior, Personality & Traits of Female Cats - OutdoorBengal

Sharing your life with a cat can be a gratifying experience. Cats can calm your nervous system by providing an immediate outlet for fun and play. 

Do you consider getting a female cat or maybe you´d like to understand which of your cat´s traits and behaviors are inherent to your cat´s gender...

Learn everything you wanted to know about female cats, in this article.

How to Tell if a cat is a Female?

Telling if a cat is a female or male can go from fairly easy during their adulthood to extremely hard when they are kittens.

On intact males and females, the easiest way to know if your cat is female is by looking at its genitalia. If your cat has a vulva, then it is most likely female if you can see the testicles, the cat is a male. 

In kittens, though, it´s harder to tell if a cat is a male or a female. Here are a few tips:

Check Cats´ Gender by Observing their Genitalia

As mentioned above, in adult cats, testicles are the easiest observing data point that can tell the difference between a male cat and a female cat. In kittens, testicles are not visible yet and we´ll have to get closer to understanding their gender. Testicles will show up on male kittens as they reach 6 to 10 weeks of age.

In male cats, it can be observed a bigger gap between the anus and the genital opening, where the testes will form. You can also gently press that area and you´ll notice the testicles underneath the skin, moving as you move your fingers.

Cats´ Nipples to Know their Gender

There´s an urban legend that says that male cats only display two nipples. That´s not true. Both male and female Cats usually have, generally, 8 nipples. Individual changes can be observed regardless of gender.

Despite genders having nipples, male ones are harder to find because they lack developed mammary glands.

If you find your cat´s nipples easy to spot, you are probably dealing with a female cat.

Color Patterns that are (Almost) Exclusively for Female Cats

2 color patterns are almost always female: Calico and Tortoiseshell.

Typically male cats have XY chromosomes and female cats have XX. Kittens receive an X chromosome from their mom and either an X or Y chromosome from their dad. A typical male cat with one of each sex chromosome (XY) cannot have a calico fur pattern, which means that almost all calico cats are female.

Tortoishell Cats are Female

Tortoiseshell, Calicos, or tri-colored cats are almost always female. To have this coloration, you need X and Y chromosomes, which are characteristic of Female cats. There are some rare cases of male cats displaying XXY chromosomes, usually, these cats have genetic difficulties.

Calico Cats are Female

Cats´ Gender defined by Their Personality

Cats are often seen as mysterious creatures, and their behavior can sometimes be challenging to interpret. However, there are some specific personality traits that many female cats share.

Below, we'll look at some of the female cats' most common personality traits: Territoriality, affective and aggressive behaviors can help understand the gender of a cat.

Are Female Cats More Affectionate?

Affection levels can vary greatly from cat to cat, regardless of gender. One common question about female cats is whether they are more affectionate than male cats.

Contrary to what most would think female cats are not more affectionate than male cats. It is believed that female cats are more independent than male cats.

Are Female Cats Territorial?

Despite territoriality being more common in male cats, female cats can be territorial as well. Female cats can be very protective of their homes and may become agitated if they feel their territory is threatened.

Territoriality in female cats is often seen in female cats who are pregnant or have young kittens, as they will want to protect their offspring from harm.

Do Female Cats Mark Territory or Spay?

Female cats can also mark their territory by urinating in certain areas. This behavior is often seen in unspayed female cats in heat, as they are trying to attract mates. However, even spayed female cats may sometimes mark their territory.

Despite neutering doesn't always stop spraying on male cats, it often does in female cats. If your female cat is marking her territory inside your home having her spayed won't only help her be healthy for longer, but it will also help reduce this behavior.

Fertility and Reproduction on Female Cats

Female cats typically reach sexual maturity around 6 months of age. Once they reach this point, they will go into heat every 2-3 weeks until they are either mated or spayed.

If a female cat is not spayed, she will likely have multiple litters of kittens throughout her lifetime. However, if she is spayed, she will not be able to have any more litters of kittens.

Do Female Cats Have Period?

It's a common misconception that female cats have a period, but this is not the case.

Female cats do not menstruate, as they do not have a uterus. Instead, they have a pseudo-pregnancy every two to three weeks, during which their bodies go through many of the same changes that occur during pregnancy in mammals.

What do Female Cats do When in Heat?

While in heat, a female cat will often become more vocal and restless. She may also start urinating more frequently to mark her territory. In addition, she will likely be more receptive to male cats and may allow them to mate with her.

How Long do Female Cats Stay in Heat?

Female cats typically stay in heat for about 7 days. However, this can vary depending on the individual cat. Some female cats may only be in heat for a few days, while others may stay in heat for up to two weeks.

Should You Spay Your Female Cat?

Unneutered female cats are called Queens and Unspayed male cats are called Toms. After removing the reproductive organs of a cat, I don't believe there's a name to describe them anymore.

Spaying is the medical procedure used to remove female reproductive organs while neutering is the name the procedure receives for male cats.

While spaying/neutering is recommended by every veterinarian (at least those who I've asked) I felt very guilty when I had to neuter my cat, Mia. I did some digging and these are some of the reasons that veterinarians use to justify spaying a female cat:

  • Prevent mammary tumors
  • Prevent Overpopulation
  • Noise
  • Spaying

There's only one reason that could make someone not want to neuter a female cat:

  • If you want to produce offspring

So, unless you want your female cat to produce offspring, you should neuter your female cat. Speak with your vet if you still have doubts!

Can female cat neutering fail?

Yes, there is a slight chance that female cat neutering may fail. This typically occurs if the veterinarian performing the procedure does not remove all of the ovaries. In some cases, one of the ovaries may be hidden and not removed during the surgery. If this happens, your cat may still go into heat and produce a litter of kittens.

Can a female cat be neutered when in heat?

Yes, a female cat can be spayed while she is in heat. However, this may increase the risk of complications during the surgery. For this reason, it's typically best to wait until your cat is out of heat before having her spayed.

Female Cat Personality Traits

Apart from the above-discussed traits of female cats, there are some other traits exhibited by female traits are;

  • Female cats are usually more independent than male cats
  • Female cats are typically less affectionate than male cats
  • Female cats are more territorial than male cats with kittens around
  • Female cats tend to be more vocal than male cats
  • Female cats typically live longer than male cats

If you are considering adopting a cat, you should choose the one that best fits your lifestyle and personality.

There are some prominent differences between male and female cats. However, it's important to consider that every cat is an individual and will exhibit some unique behaviors and traits.

Female Cats vs. Male Cats

There was a study done by the University of California (Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital) that tried to identify behavioral differences between female cats and male cats. That study concluded that while the sex of the cat is not a true predictor of cat behavior, cat breeds and colors can be.

So, which is better? It depends on your personal preferences. A female might be the best choice if you are looking for an affectionate and cuddly cat. However, a female might be right for you if you don't mind a little independence and are looking for a giant cat.

Ultimately, the best way to choose a cat is to meet several individuals of both genders and see which one you connect with the most.

Stay Wild, Stay Safe, See You Outdoors!

Albert & Mia


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