One of the most common questions we’re asked is “Is there really a difference between boy and girl cats? Which one is better?”
In the 20+ years we’ve been owned by cats, we can say – emphatically – that one gender is never ‘better’ than the other. That said, there are some differences.
Obviously, boys and girls have different ‘equipment’. Boy cats tend to be a bit bigger than girls – and some big differences can develop between boys and girls if they are not spayed or neutered. Sexually mature boys can have a tendency of spray marking their territory. If females are not spayed, they can become very restless (and loud) during their heat cycle.
But what about once a cat is spayed or neutered? Are there really big differences in their personalities?
Depends on who you ask – and the internet is full of some pretty general stereotypes.
In our research, we’ve found the following generalizations between boy and girl cats to be most common:
Neutered boy cats are relaxed, affectionate and social.
Spayed girl cats are dominant, territorial and aloof. (Both of our girls think this is very rude.)
We’ve even found information advising people to adopt a specific gender to fit specific lifestyles.
I get that people’s personal experience informs the stereotypes they make. I also have developed certain beliefs – one of them being that anyone that adopts a certain gender to fit a certain lifestyle is probably in for a big surprise.
More then gender, the main deciding factor of any cat’s personality is how they are raised, socialized, and the environment they live in. Past these pillars of development, every cat is a unique individual. Attaching stereotypes to cat genders is about as helpful as stereotyping people.
Getting to know the individual personality of any cat you adopt will always be more important than their gender.