When my partner and I moved in together we thought that we were going to be a single cat household. I was already bringing my cat Beau, and Beau was still having some difficulties getting along with my mom’s cat, Walker.
While there were some moments where the boys would watch over each other, sleep together and groom each other, you could still tell that Walker was much more of an Alpha.
Walker used to chase Beau around our house and “box him” whenever we weren’t looking. Beau would take most of the hits, but if Walker picked on him too much Beau would let out a very loud yelp.
Anytime Beau would hear kittens, he would get excited, meow back and look for them. He would always get sad whenever the sound of kittens stopped and would either keep looking for them or come and sleep with us. To me, that seemed like Beau would be open to having a sibling.
You see, Beau was never the one who instigated any of the fights. Beau was always excited when Walker wanted to play, but alas somehow Walker always took it a bit too far. So, while that matchup was no good, we had hopes of finding Beau the perfect sibling that would balance him out.
The first thing that really set us off to find a new sibling for Beau was when a ragdoll kitten snuck into our apartment. It was truly one of the sweetest experiences of our lives, watching Beau interact with a young kitten he had never met before. We knew nothing about her temperament prior, knew nothing about her owners and truthfully I was shocked to see how well we got along.
So, we began questioning… Did Beau and Misty’s friendship work because one was male and one was female? It would make sense if the idea of boys being more dominant or territorial is true. This was one of the main reasons we adopted our second kitten, Kalista.
While Beau and Kalista have become quite a bonded pair, I would have to say that not everything had to do with their sexes. Personality really had a lot to do with whether or not these cats would get along, but does that mean that the sex of my cats didn’t have anything do?
Well, let’s break it down for you and answer whether or not sex has anything to do with your cats getting along.
DOES GENDER PLAY A ROLE IN CATS GETTING ALONG?
Similar to humans, gender and sex, not all cases are black and white.
While cats of the same sex will commonly carry similar traits, personalities and some qualities; there are always cats who defy these patterns. That being said, the majority of personality comes from the cat’s breed, socialization, age, and other forms of their history.
That being said, these factors tend to weigh more heavily on your cat’s personality rather than the sex of your cat.
Now, this doesn’t mean that the sex of your cat isn’t going to weigh into the decision of which cat to adopt. As mentioned previously, there are certain breeds that come with their own set of personalities for male and female cats.
For example, our cat Beau is a male cat who is primarily a British Shorthair, this actually makes him very cuddly compared to an American Shorthair. Though again, there will be plenty of cats who don’t fit this mould, chances are just higher.
TYPICAL FEMALE FELINE PERSONALITIES
Female cats aren’t considered as aggressive as male cats. They tend to have more of the “pick me up and pet me” behaviour, although in Kalista’s case it’s… pet me from far away and please don’t pick me up!
Female cats who are pregnant are typically called Queens, which is extremely appropriate since all female cats need to be treated like princesses. That being said, when multiple females are put together in a household they tend to fight for attention.
Female cats are known to get upset if attention is split between them and may actually hurt to get the attention of the owner. That being said, even though we all know that there is enough love to around for all the kitties in the world, sometimes our kitties don’t actually know or understand that.
TYPICAL MALE FELINE PERSONALITIES
Male cats can be difficult to keep your eyes on, especially if they aren’t neutered. Male tend to be very hyperactive and very territorial.
If male cats are left unneutered they will mark their turf and will get into some roughhousing. Dependant on how territorial the cats are, the roughhousing may lead to cuts, scrapes or even injuries that will require a vet visit.
It is recommended if you are going to keep two male cats to always neuter them. That being said, I personally believe that all pets should be spayed or neutered as both have proven to be beneficial for the longterm health of indoor cats.
Though neutering a male cat will help balance out his hormone levels and may even alter his behaviour, having male cats will still be a bit of a handful.
It is recommended that male cats are given their own spaces to play in and are kept in larger homes. This is as a preventative for fights and will ensure that your cats have plenty of space to chill out if they are having a bad day.
MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH FEMALE CATS VS MALE CATS
I personally have mostly had male cats around me. My sister has two male cats, my mom has a male cat and I have a male cat. So, most of my experience with female cats comes from my friend’s cats and our latest addition, Kalista. Oh, and let’s not forget the beautiful Aramis who had babies while visiting Portugal.
That being said, I’ve personally felt the same way about female cats asking for attention versus male cats. That’s not to say that male cats don’t want your attention, don’t like sitting in your lap or don’t want to be cuddled because that’s absolutely not true. I’m just saying that none of the male cats in my life have begged for attention, while Kalista has shamelessly flaunted herself all over me and my partner time and time again.
That being said, while Beau loves his lap time with us he never begs for attention. Instead, he just plants himself wherever he wants to be and doesn’t care if anyone has any problems with it. Beau just enjoys lying in your lap, purring and enjoying his time with you.
Avery and Bjorn, my sister’s cats are similar to Beau in the way that they don’t beg for attention. If they ever want to spend time with you, they make the decision to come sit with you. There never seems to be any begging involved, other than whining if you’ve picked them up against their will or if you’re squirming around too much.
Aramis, by far, has been the most cuddly cat I’ve ever met. Within minutes of her meeting me, she was already asking to be pet, held and groomed making it very evident that she was a female cat. Aramis, similar to Kalista, would rub her face all over you before jumping in your lap and would often ignore food if we were around and were able to pet her. Sounds like Kalista, no?
So are female cats more cuddly? I would say no, it’s not a matter of more cuddly at least in my own experience. It’s more of a, how they get your attention and what they do before they get cuddly.
MALE CATS WITH FEMALE CATS
Although again this will completely depend on the personalities of the cats in question, male and female cat companies seem to be one of the easiest to deal with. That being said, all factors still will come into play being things like breed, age, etc.
ALL CATS FIGHT
At the end of the day, the truth is that all cats fight. It’s in their blood. While some cats will fight much less than others, cats need to sort things out with their fists every so often.
Even a cat’s play revolves around being aggressive. Think about it: they stalk, they chase, kick, pounce, scratch, swat, it’s what they do! It’s just a matter of making sure that they are taught that this type of behaviour isn’t tolerated (the actual fighting vs. the play fighting).
My best advice is to make sure that your cats never fight it out. Letting the kids “sort it out” is never something you should allow happen because nothing ever actually gets done. Instead, you will end up with to angry cats who just hate being around each other.
Instead, separate your cats if they are known to fight, clap your hands loudly if they engage and make sure that you split their resources into separate rooms. Funny enough, my sister’s cats actually have their own bedrooms where they have their own litter box, beds and even food bowls.
ADVICE FOR ADOPTING A SECOND CAT (OR TWO CATS)
It can be hard to find two cats who like being around each other and won’t fight on a regular basis. That being said, even after knowing some of the most common differences between male and female cats, either pairing can work well and you don’t have to adopt one or the other.
I’ve found that age has a lot to do with whether or not cats get along. When cats are younger they pose less of a threat, especially because a lot of times they still have a lot of development to do and/or haven’t become territorial or dominant about their space.
This is why I usually recommend against adopting older cats if you already have a cat of your own, as fights are more likely to break out. Not to say that older animals aren’t able to change or get along with other cats.
That being said, if you are hoping to adopt an older cat into your household, it would be best to speak to the shelter you are adopting from.
Shelters, especially those with foster programs, have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to kitty personalities. Kalista’s original foster parent could list off an insane amount of details about Kalista. Her likes, her dislikes, whether or not she liked playing with other cats, when she liked to cuddle, whether or not she was curious, etc. So, by the time it came to picking a cat, Kalista was a pretty clear cut decision for us.
Qualities included that she was playful, independent, liked to cuddle, sometimes play with her brothers when she wanted, but mostly played solo and was not the alpha.
These qualities fit pretty well with Beaus, especially the fact that she would play with herself and by her brothers. This meant that if Beau didn’t want to play she would find ways of playing with herself, and would leave him alone.
Our shelter also gave us the option to come to meet Kalista before our “week trial” and I’m sure plenty of other shelters do that. I was actually able to visit Walker at his foster parent’s house before we adopted him, which although less common may also be a possibility if you ask the shelter you hope to adopt from.
Take time and analyze how your future cat interacts with other cats if there are some around. Are they the cat who always starts playing? Do they steal other cat’s food? Do they start fights? The more information you can gather about your future cat, the better chances you will know how to introduce them and handle them being with the cat who already lives at home!
Now, not everyone is lucky enough to have a cat at home and some people may be interested in adopting two cats at once.
In cases like these, look up “bonded pairs.” These are pairs of siblings or cats who became best friends in a shelter/foster setting.
Bonded pairs are the easiest pairings to adopt, especially because they have fewer people looking into their details. The majority of first-time cat owners will look for a single cat, and those returning to the shelter/foster will probably already have a cat themselves.
Bonded pairs should not be separated, as that can cause emotional trauma to the pair. Although that being said, I wouldn’t be overly worried about the sex of the pairing, especially if they are bonded as the cats probably have an already working power dynamic.
Although female cats tend to be a bit less aggressive than male cats, they still come with just as much responsibility.
I’m personally very happy we have a cat of each sex, especially because their personalities are fairly similar. Neither Beau or Kalista gets jealous when the other is taking attention, although I will say that Kalista sometimes gets hungry if you ignore her while you’re chilling with Beau.
All-in-all you’re going to want to make sure you understand the personality of your cat before adopting a new one. Make sure you know what will get them upset or what kind of playmate they need, because not every cat needs a playmate to be happy.
Some cats are just lonesome rangers and like it that way, so always make sure that you’ve thought long and hard before bringing another cat home.
So I’m curious pet parents, do you have a male cat, a female cat or both? How do they get along and how long have you had them? Let me know in the comments below!