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Franny Syufy

Poll: Male or Female Cats Better Pets?

By September 7, 2008

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This is a topic which usually stimulates lengthy discussions on the About Cats Forum. Personally, although we've had both genders of cats in our family over the years, we have gravitated toward male cats. This is likely to have been influenced by my husband and son, who have had a decided favoritism toward the males.

This gives rise to another question, which is not in the poll. Do you think men naturally lean toward male cats, while women prefer females? Or is the whole question moot, because we love them all, despite their gender? Let's talk about that in the comments section, after voting in the poll.
Photo of Shannon, whom I loved unconditionally Credit: ©


September 7, 2008 at 5:03 pm
(1) Susan says:

I have 3 male and 3 female cats. They all have been fixed. I can’t see any difference in the way they love, play, eat, etc. The only thing I can see between the 2 sexs is it is cheaper to have a male fixed.

September 7, 2008 at 5:26 pm
(2) AnnieR says:

I have a male and female both are fixed, they have very different personalities but are equally loving with us. When we rescued them as babies my husband picked out the boy cat right away, we originally intended to keep just one but I fell in love with the little girl so now we each have a kitty! However, I find that now each of us spends pretty much equal time and love on brother and sister both!

September 7, 2008 at 5:44 pm
(3) Sika & Tara says:

My wife and I both agree that neither of us has a preference for either our 2 Male cats or our 1 Female cat. We love them equally as we’re fairly sure y’all do too! Male cats seem to have more medical issues but that’s just from personal experience. If you have a male cat we highly recommend making sure they get enough water especially if you’re using a dry food only diet. Painful Crystals form in their urine and it was very expensive to treat (for us anyways). FLUTD is the name of the disease (feline lower urinary tract disease) ((I found this site for more info http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?cls=1&articleid=214))

September 7, 2008 at 8:38 pm
(4) Pat says:

I’ve only had female cats, but I think males would be equally lovable so I voted “no preference.” I do love my girls, though :-)

September 7, 2008 at 10:08 pm
(5) Pat aka HomeRunKitties says:

I hated making a choice, but I had to be honest. My males seemed to always have been gentler, more sociable and more loving than my females.
However, I had mostly male cats at a time we were indoor/outdoor cat keepers.
I am experiencing a whole new ball of wax with my 5 girls…indoor only, one was an only for two years, two integrations later, things still aren’t totally peaceful with the 5. The girls are all loving in their own ways and I love them wholeheartedly. But for the most part, they are different from the males we’ve had.

September 7, 2008 at 11:47 pm
(6) E says:

Well, O is a boy and U is a girl, and they are different, but some of that has to do with them being ferals, and the amount of socialization they got as kittens. They are both equally loving to me, just in different ways.

September 8, 2008 at 12:17 am
(7) LMLWEB says:

I have one of each, both fixed, of course. I don’t know if their personalities have to do with their gender, but Cartier, the boy, is very much more cuddly and affectionate; and Bailey, the girl, is more aloof but still affectionate, and scary intelligent. Cartier can be a bully towards Bailey, using his size to his advantage, but Bailey can be very sharp with him, with a short hiss and a well-placed smack. I would say this is more of their personality and would be the same if they weren’t what they are gender-wise.

September 8, 2008 at 6:53 am
(8) Charlie says:

We have 3 males & 1 female. The males are much more outgoing & friendly. The female is a loving cat but in her own way.

September 8, 2008 at 9:21 am
(9) Ethel says:

Females are better. As a staunch supporter of female rights, I have to vote with my tribe. I prefer females in my animals and in my daily life.

September 8, 2008 at 11:14 am
(10) Standtall says:

I bond with my male cat better. He is loving and always around me and my husband. My female cats are kind of chosy. They prefer me to
my husband. One of my female cats Molly avoids my husband at all cost

September 8, 2008 at 12:52 pm
(11) Sue says:

I’d have to give a slight edge to the females at this point (we have three girls and one boy). They seem to be better-behaved most of the time, they are more generous with each other and they are more careful not to play too rough with each other. They also are more affectionate with us most of the time. Of course, Abby (our calico) has so much tortitude – way more than our torbie, even – that she can give Sebastian a run for his money sometimes. And Sebastian is only a year old, so who knows what he’ll be like as an adult? The only other male pet I’ve had was a guinea pig (and his personality was a lot like Abby’s), so I don’t have a huge frame of reference.

September 8, 2008 at 3:36 pm
(12) Rita (BudGiz1) says:

I have to say, I’ve always found boys to be more lovable than girls (I have 3 boys and 3 girls). I thought it was because Angel and Cookie were ferals, but Groucho was the oldest feral girl to join the family and she is by far the most social and loving of the 3. Can’t explain that one!

September 8, 2008 at 3:50 pm
(13) Ida says:

Females tend to like me more than males. Being the type of person who loves to be loved, I prefer females. Then there’s my parents’ cat, Petey…He loves everybody and needs a T-shirt reading “Life is good! Want a hug? Have three!” He’s quite the exception to the norm!

September 8, 2008 at 7:54 pm
(14) tina says:

we had for 18 years a female and after she died we aopted a 3 year old male cat 7 month ago.

we think it does not matter what gender the cat is.

The funny part is, our old female loved my husband ” a bit more” then me and for the male now i am the favorite person.

we do not know if that may because of their gender?

September 8, 2008 at 8:18 pm
(15) HGIBB says:

I honestly think it depends on the individual cat’s personality and socialization, not sex. I’ve know loving and standoffish males and loving and standoffish females.

September 8, 2008 at 9:26 pm
(16) Nicole says:

I think they’re both equally lovable, but I’ve had 2 male cats and 1 female cat over the years. The males tend to prefer me over my husband, while the female just did her own thing and sat on my lap only when she wanted to be scratched. The oldest, Sammy, used to be a big bully to Lexi (2 years younger) but she smartened up hella quick and now if they get into a fight you can hear her *rape!* meow, n then you’ll see nothing but Sammy’s fur all over the floor lol

September 8, 2008 at 9:43 pm
(17) myhapp4ever says:

I have not seen a gender relationship in regards to personality, in our cats. Just differences, period. Each one’s personality is multi-faceted, and each has different moods, just as we do, only they’re more complicated to understand.

September 9, 2008 at 2:31 am
(18) Sis-92 says:

I don’t think either one is better than the other, just depends on what one prefers in a pet. In my experience, both genders like to be loved on and give love, but the females tend to be “not as needy” as the males. Of course all cats are cats, and will only do things on their terms, and males can be standoffish too, just seems not as often. Most of my cats have been males. (7 out of 9 in my lifetime) So I may be a bit biased.

September 9, 2008 at 10:08 am
(19) Jacer says:

Great question, Franny!

I have had so many pets in my lifetime, I can not even count them. From felines and pooches to horses and goats, all were unique and all were loved. I have 2 kitties, one male and one female and one female dog.

I think I would prefer females, just because of the spraying/lifting of leg/humping issues. But no matter what gender, I love them all and they have enriched my life two-fold!

September 9, 2008 at 1:04 pm
(20) Berta says:

We have both male and female cats. Its the individual personality that counts.

September 9, 2008 at 1:44 pm
(21) Kim says:

I think it’s entirely dependent on the cat’s personality. My “boys” have always been needier, more in-your-face cuddly, while the “girls” in my experience tend to be more independent, a bit moodier, but no less loving in their own ways. I adore and dote on them all!

September 10, 2008 at 8:18 am
(22) Alice says:

All men are pigs in my book so I voted for female.

September 10, 2008 at 2:13 pm
(23) Kristin says:

In my experience, there doesn’t seem to be much of a difference sex wise. I think it has more to do with the personality of the individual cat. My mother’s cats never really liked me as I was growing up, but that’s because I was a typical little kid and played too rough with them. With my first cat Chloe, she’d sleep with me on the foot of my bed, but she has never been a very affectionate cat. My parents keep her now and they have two other male cats (Rodney and Figaro) which she doesn’t get along with. Both of them are pretty affectionate cats and one of them is a feral. You wouldn’t be able to tell now though. My kitten Miranda is super affectionate and I hope she stays that way. She just got spayed and I’ve heard that the personalities of cats can change when they get altered.

September 10, 2008 at 9:13 pm
(24) Jeannie says:

I’ve known female cats who were very affectionate and some female cats who were rather crabby and stand-offish.

But every boy cat I’ve ever met has been a big lovable smooshy baby. So my vote was males. In my case, it seems that boys do make better pets. :)

September 11, 2008 at 1:37 pm
(25) Jen says:

I have only had male cats, so I don’t know much about female cats. But I am very happy with the male cats I have had. In her newsletter, Franny suggested that males prefer male cats and females prefer female cats, but that is not true in my case. In the future, I would probably get other male cats simply because I feel more familiar with them.

I’ve ended up with males pretty much by accident, though. My first cat, the pet store thought was a female, but he turned out to be male. My second cat was a stray who decided to adopt me (not the other way around). :-)

September 11, 2008 at 1:50 pm
(26) Judy says:

I don’t think the gender determines the personality but rather the socialization as a kitten. I always had females, all cuddly, only because of the fear of spraying problem in males. then I had two bothers who were just as cuddly as my girls ever were.

September 11, 2008 at 1:55 pm
(27) Jill says:

We have 9 cats – 5 girls and 4 boys. We see no difference in how the cats relate to us, but a big difference in how they relate to each other.

September 11, 2008 at 3:04 pm
(28) kim says:

I voted for boy kitties because my boys have been more affectionate and they actually cause less trouble then my girl kitties. I had 7 at one time, 4 girls and 3 boys. My girls fought a lot more. The boys however tend to be harder to handle, nail trims, vet visits. Girls are better mouse hunters and they seem to be more active and more playful.

September 11, 2008 at 4:15 pm
(29) Kathy says:

I voted “no difference”. My female curls up in my lap every time I sit down to watch T.V. or try and read the newspaper. My male is very affectionate (licking, head butting) but doesn’t usually cuddle. My female has never gone outside of the litter box. My male will jump in any container left on the floor (laundry basket, suitcase) and go but he is the sweetest kitty I have ever met (and I volunteer at a cat shelter). My female usually goes her own way at bedtime while my male is always in bed with me. I love them both equally and can’t imagine my life without them.

September 11, 2008 at 4:44 pm
(30) Kristin McKellar says:

I have no preference when it comes to cats as far as their gender is concerned. I’ve had both male and female and they have all been WONDERFUL! Maybe I’ve just been blessed with beautiful personalities in my cats. I didn’t think that any cat, male or female, could top my “baby” Sophie who passed away over three years ago at 15; however, after 3 years of living without a cat, my husband and I adopted 2 males and they are fabulous. We weren’t looking specifically for male or female, but since I had had a female last, I think I was leaning in that direction. Henry and Pablo, our two ocicats, have turned out to be amazing kitties who have occupied that special place in my heart that only my Sophie did. I never thought it could be filled again, but it has and by 2 male kitties to boot! I think that if you are blessed to find a cat gracing your life, you should feel blessed regardless of the gender… they are all little angels from heaven.

September 11, 2008 at 6:33 pm
(31) Helen says:

I had a neutered male cat that sprayed in my living room!!! Now it’s females only for me.

September 11, 2008 at 8:24 pm
(32) Kay says:

I can’t help it. I just love having a small petite little girl in my arms.

September 11, 2008 at 9:26 pm
(33) carl says:

They are both great, but I personally prefere females( seems to be mutual). I understand that many people prefere males, because they are a bit mor dog like.I am absolutely not a dog person.Females are more complex, which I like ( on a cat female only!!). But again, it is a very personal preference and individual personalities are more important than gender difference.

September 12, 2008 at 1:26 pm
(34) joannerf91443 says:

I have 3 cats: Punkin-male, 15, Amber-female, 13, and Baby-male, 11 years. Amber is a good cat, but seems to be very needy of my attention. She is more demanding than the males, and she has emotional needs that I can’t seem to fulfil. I think she may have been better in a 1-cat household. Her coping mechanism in dealing with sharing me with 2 males is over eating. She does not have any health issues, but I worry that she will because she is very much overweight. The males eat normally and are not overweight. They ask for my attention but if I am busy, they find something else to do. I love them all and since my children are grown, I feel Punkin, Amber and Baby are my children. I would take either gender, but I do think males are easier.

September 14, 2008 at 9:24 pm
(35) Natasha says:

I have 3 boys and 1 female. They all play with each other, play with me, great me when I come home, know their names and love me. If I had to say a difference, the girl is more active and hates the vet! Thank you and keep loving these fur babies.

September 17, 2008 at 6:23 pm
(36) Susan says:

We have a male and female, litter-mates. The male is definitely more playful and affectionate, although are female is sweet too.

Funny thing, the male prefers me, female prefers my husband. Tex (male) curls up next to me every night, and Tiger (female) sleeps at my husbands head!

September 25, 2008 at 4:30 pm
(37) Cheryl says:

We’ve had two females and a male. The females are more territorial but loving and very interesting. Our male loves everybody but is very needy and has had digestive problems. He’s so mild and not too bright–but I love him for those traits.

October 8, 2008 at 6:54 am
(38) Samcatt says:

i have found that male cats are more loving, and female cats less likly to want to cuddle you, but female cats are more elegant and show worthy. and unless your planning on breeding your cats, get them neuture asap. other wise you will have a very powerfull odour to put up with for the rest of the cats life.

January 7, 2009 at 2:28 pm
(39) Mette says:

I’ve got a male (fixed) cat, and he’s just lovely, I didn’t pick him because he was male but because he was offered to me and happend to be male. I don’t think you can say males are a better pet than females, it all depend on their personality.

February 6, 2009 at 3:57 pm
(40) Beth says:

I think boy cats (I am only talking about neutered cats) are nicer, but females form closer, albeit touchy, bonds. I have had a very special connection with all my females, but the boys “seem” to be more affectionate, less temperamental, and easier-going.

September 25, 2009 at 9:52 pm
(41) Niki says:

Male cats are generally much softer in temperament, much more cuddly and affectionate, definitely more liable to be lap cats.

Females are generally more independant, definitely more active, and more high-strung/moody in nature.

Naturally there are exceptions to the rule, and the cat’s individual personality and upbringing affects this too, but having working with many many cats as a fosterer, I can say that it is true 99% of the time.

So it really depends what you look for in a cat but I prefer the males, because nothing beats having a fluffy hot water bottle who follows you round all the time!

September 30, 2009 at 4:33 pm
(42) A Bay Horse says:

I’ve always preferred females. We’ve got an all girl household and like it that way. While every cat is an individual I have noticed differences between boys and girls we’ve had.

Boys – More likely to be “social butterflies”. Greet visitors at the door. Enjoy spending time with all human family members. More playful with toys.

Girls – Tend to be extremely devoted to one “special” human and prefer their company. Merely tolerates all others. Ours have tended to have indomitable personalities.

December 9, 2009 at 10:38 pm
(43) denyse says:

I have 3 girls and 2 boys, and even though my boys are very loving and enjoy giving “kisses”, being petted and exchanging head butts, they’re nowhere near as lovey as my girls. Neither boy ever sits on my lap. All 3 girls run to me when I call them, they follow me from room to room and they love to sit on my lap, sometimes all three at once! Everyone sleeps in bed with me, but while the boys sleep NEAR me, the girls all sleep ON me. As I sit here typing this right now, my girls are all within arm’s length, and my boys are nowhere to be seen. Maybe we have this dynamic because I’m female too, but in my house, it’s definitely the girls who are more affectionate.

September 19, 2010 at 1:57 am
(44) Kat says:

I love both!
I had mostly grown up with male cats until I got my cat Puddin’ Cup. She is one of the most sweetest, loyal, gentle cats I have had; however, my boyfriend and I have recently adopted a male kitten from one of our friends and I love that kitten. He is really different from Puddin’. Puddin’ is shy, content, very independent, and normally cuddles with me, sometimes my boyfriend. She has been this way since she was a kitten. When she lived with me at my parents house for the first 7 years, she bonded with my dad and me the most. She use to sleep on my dad’s belly. lol. He misses her now. Anyway, Boots is sweet, very outgoing, playful little character.lol. He plays with almost anything.lol But I found out he gets that from his mother, for they both watch toilets swirl. So not really JUST a male thing.lol.

April 13, 2011 at 1:21 am
(45) tushar_dalmiya says:

males are more understanding,affeionate than females. females are selfish.they will come 2 u when they need food or something else (selfish) but male always be with u .

November 29, 2011 at 11:52 am
(46) Cliff says:

After having 2 male cats and 2 female cats, I say it depends on personal preference. I think male cats tend to be more like dogs, in the fact that they like to play all the time and want lots of attention. Female cats seem to be more like what you would stereotypically expect of a cat: aloof, usually plays alone, hiding most of the time, but still coming out for affection once and a while.

I would generally say that female cats make better passive companions for someone who wants a friend around but doesn’t want to interact all of the time (like a roommate, perhaps). A male cat is a better active companion who wants to greet you at the door and play and cuddle most of the time (more like a best buddy).

August 18, 2012 at 1:31 am
(47) Brigid says:

I initially wanted a female kitten, however I ended up with a male who is an indoor and neutered cat. He is playful with my husband and adult sons but sleeps with me and I am the only one whose lap he will occasionally sit in. I think he is more affectionate to me because I feed him, clean his kitty box and groom him. He attracted a feral male through the window that we have since befriended and is our outside cat. My in-laws live on our property and have a spayed female outside cat. She gets along well with all of us and is the alpha outside cat as she was here before the other outside male who is not neutered. I would have to agree, it depends on the cat’s personality and I think to some extent the relationship with the animal’s primary caregiver.

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