12 Surprising Facts About Male Cats
We often wonder when choosing a kitten whether a male or a female cat would be preferable as they are both truly gorgeous. We did some research and found some surprising facts about male cats that may help you in your decision-making.
1. Male cats live shorter lives.
Did you know that just like humans, male cats tend to live slightly shorter lives than female cats?
While we don’t know the exact reason for this, we are left with a difference of 1 or 2 years of a shorter lifespan than the average female cat. We can only speculate that males tend to fight and roam more than females and suffer health problems such as a blocked urethra.
2. Male cats are more likely to be left pawed.
While female cats use their right paw as the dominant ones, males prefer the left. Cats have a preference on which paw they prefer to use when knocking things off tables or taking a swipe at a flying insect and tend to use the dominant paw.
Studies have shown that 52% of male cats used their left paw, 31% used their right paw and 17% didn’t seem to have any preference.
3. Male cats have a wanderlust.
Unlike female cats who are happy close to home, male cats tend to have a more independent nature. They have a more active sex drive which means they would be more likely to roam quite far out in search of females in heat. They would be more likely to get into fights with other males due to this and compete for territory too. Male cats are naturally curious and like to explore and wander if given the opportunity.
4. Another offence attributed to male cats is urine spraying.
Unneutered males are more likely to spray a high urine concentration on vertical surfaces to leave their mark and let the opposite sex know they are available. They also leave urine marks as a way of marking their territory.
Neutering your cat will significantly cut down on these troubling habits because it takes away their urge to search for a mate.
5. While this is open for much debate from cat mums and dads everywhere, it is a widespread belief that male cats tend to be more affectionate than females.
(Cookie and Zorro, my 2 tuxedos are ignoring my calls to them to test this theory just now).
A survey of veterinarians who specialise in cats ranked males as friendlier and more affectionate than females however it is important to remember that individual cat personalities will vary. Other factors such as early socialisation, individual personality and reproductive health are the better determiners of how affectionate your cat will be.
6. Male cats don’t make good fathers.
The male cat has never been known for his fathering skills other than to sire as many kittens as possible. They don’t tend to get involved in the raising of their babies or show any interest in their newborns either. The exception to this is the Siamese male cats are said to be very affectionate, grooming their young and caring for them more than other male cats.
7. Male cats bite the necks of females during mating.
While this looks painful it is actually not, but rather an immobilising technique that female cats also use on their kittens when moving them. This form of mobilising is called “scruffing” and is only used by the mother cat for the first few weeks of her kitten’s life. The kittens will become limp when the mother picks them up this way allowing them to be easily transported by mum.
As adults, the only other time when cats are held by the scruff is when they are attacked by a predator or when 2 cats are mating.
8. Male cats are more prone to obstruction.
Male cats are more likely to develop urinary tract blockages in their urethra. It is a painful and life-threatening condition that is extremely common amongst neutered cats so it is important that you know the signs to look out for with this condition. If your cat gets into his litter tray and gets into position but nothing comes out then this would be a sign to take him to the vet. Your cat may even yowl or seem uncomfortable when trying to urinate. If this happens a vet visit is urgently required.
When unspayed female cats are in heat and ready to mate, they make a loud distinct yowling sound to attract a male cat. Interestingly male cats have their own unique courtship called, “caterwauling”. They will make this sound to advertise their availability to females or to respond to a calling female letting her know he has heard her calls. Males will also use this to alert other males in the vicinity to their presence. This generally happens from the evening onwards so keep your ears covered but be comforted that if your cat is neutered they will be uninterested in any hormonal antics going on outside.
10. Most orange tabbies are male.
Did you know that around 81% of all orange tabbies are male? This makes a female orange tabby a bit exclusive. This is because the gene that makes the orange colour comes from the x chromosome, meaning in order to get an orange female kitten, both parents would have to be orange. However, orange males only come from orange mothers regardless of their fathers’ colour which is why orange tabbies are usually male.
11. Neutered male cats live longer.
Studies have found that neutered cats live 62% longer than intact males. This is because neutering prevents reproductive diseases such as testicular cancer and neutered cats are also less likely to roam. A neutered
male is also less likely to fight for territory or females. Fighting can result in injury and infection of deadly diseases which often happen after being bitten or scratched during fights.
12. Male cats are more solitary.
In the wild male cats tend to be solitary to avoid having to compete for food or females. They tend to live alone and claim much more territory than females, almost 3 times as much according to studies. Neutered males however don’t seem to exhibit the same territorial tendencies as unneutered males and are much happier around their own home and already pre-marked territory.
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