Banner image for blog post: Feline Personalities: Are Female Cats or Male Cats More Aggressive?

Feline Personalities: Are Female Cats or Male Cats More Aggressive?

Jun 7 2024.

A common question for anyone thinking of bringing a feline into their lives is whether a female or male cat will make a better fit. Could female cats be more aggressive? Are male cats more difficult to look after? There are some physical and behavioral differences between male and female cats. However, personality can vary wildly from one cat to the next, regardless of gender. Want to learn more about individual traits (and if one is more aggressive than the other)? Cat in a Flat takes a closer look at the differences between male and female cats. 

male and female cats differences

What is the main difference between male and female cats? 

What is the main difference between a male and a female cat? Most of the major differences between the two are physical. The majority of male cats tend to be bigger and heavier than their female counterparts. This is the case regardless of breed or type. For example, European Shorthair males will grow to around 39 inches in length and weigh up to 15 pounds, while females will grow to around 31 inches and have an average weight of 11 pounds. And Russian Blue males will grow to around 18 inches and weigh up to 12 pounds, while females come in around 15 inches and 10 pounds. 

One of the reasons why Mr Whiskers might be larger than Miss Whiskers, is because a male kitty’s growth period is longer. Females will reach their full adult weight and size at around 13 months of age. Males grow for an additional three months, reaching full size at 16 months old. 

Another noticeable physical difference is head size. Male cats generally have larger heads than females. This is because testosterone causes a rounding of the face which leads to large, more prominent snouts and cheeks. So, while you may not know if a cat is male or female based off how aggressive they are, you can usually tell by looking at physical differences such as head and body size. 

Are male or female cats more aggressive?

Are female cats more aggressive than male cats? There is a common misconception that female kitties have more of a ‘catitude’ than males and can even be more aggressive. Unfortunately, this often leads to people thinking Miss Whiskers will make a less desirable pet than Mr Whiskers. In reality, there is no marked difference in aggressive behavior between male and female felines. Gender has nothing to do with whether a cat is aggressive or not—aggression is usually caused by other factors such as environment, genetics, breed, or personality. 

There are a few external factors that can contribute to aggressive behavior in a cat: 

  • A negative experience with humans or other animals. This is why it’s so important to take care when introducing your kitty to a new family member, whether it’s a baby or another pet. Felines have excellent memories, so they can often carry past negative experiences with them for a long time.
  • Your fur friend isn’t spayed or neutered. Both male and female cats will become more aggressive if they aren’t spayed or neutered. Females will go into heat and become moody and irritable, while males will become destructive and territorial. Likewise, a female cat that is pregnant or has recently given birth will be more protective, territorial, and aggressive. So, not only is spaying or neutering your cat healthier and safer for them, but it gives you greater peace of mind too! 
  • Punishing your cat. Using punishment or fear to train your fur friend is not only ineffective but can potentially lead to serious behavioral problems. Felines don’t have a concept of ‘wrong’, so punishing your kitty won’t stop bad behavior and will only make them afraid or angry. Instead, use positive reinforcement by ignoring bad behavior and rewarding your kitty with treats, playtime, and cuddles when they exhibit positive behavior. 
  • Your fur friend is bored. It’s important for cats to have stimulation around the home and outlets to express their natural hunting instincts. A lack of stimulation can lead felines to act out and even become aggressive. 

How to tell if a cat is relaxed or not

Now that you know aggressive behavior isn’t determined by gender, you’ll be able to more easily spot whether your male or female cat is feeling upset or relaxed. You can determine a lot through your kitty’s body language

Signs of a relaxed cat

Signs of an aggressive cat

  • Hair along the spine erect, a puffed tail
  • Ears flattened against skull, pupils dilated, whiskers stiff or flattened back
  • Hissing or swatting
  • Rapidly twitching tail 

What to do when your cat is aggressive

If your kitty is behaving aggressively, it’s important to intervene right away to prevent injury to themselves, you, or others. Here are some questions to ask when this happens:

Is your cat lonely? 

Your male or female cat may be acting in an aggressive manner because they are feeling bored or lonely. Invest in creating a stimulating, feline-friendly home for your furry friend. This should include vertical climbing spaces, plenty of scratching posts and trees, and toys for safe self-play. Be sure to set aside a daily block of time to play with your cat. If you spend a lot of hours outside the home, consider hiring a cat sitter to provide at-home care during the day. A trustworthy sitter can play and spend time with your cat so they don’t get bored or lonely when you’re not around. 

Is your cat ill? 

Sudden aggressive behavior in both male and female cats can be a sign that something is wrong with their health. It’s possible your kitty is trying to tell you they’re sick, injured, or not feeling well. So, if your fur friend starts acting aggressive and you can’t figure out why, take them to the vet. Your vet can rule out any health-related causes such as feline diabetes, food allergies, or illnesses related to age (such as dementia). If your cat has a clean bill of health, then your vet may be able to recommend a specialist to assist with your feline’s aggressive behavior. 

Has your cat’s routine changed?

Our furry friends love their routines, so any change can often be stressful for them. Have there been big changes to your cat’s environment lately? Maybe you’ve moved home, had a baby, or brought a new pet into the household. Regardless of what has changed, always ensure your kitty has a safe, comfortable place to retreat to when they feel stressed. And NEVER force your fur friend to interact. Take your time introducing your kitty to new environments, people, and pets so they’re less stressed and less likely to react with aggression.

Want to learn more about your feline’s fascinating behavior? Check out our blog posts on surprising smells your cat hates and how to know if your kitty loves you!

  • #cat behaviour
  • #catinaflat
  • aggression in cats
  • aggressive cats
  • cat behaviour
  • female cats aggressive
Payment Method Information

Pay Securely

American Express MasterCard Visa