A male cat might get physical — with you, if he feels he can get away with it, but more probably with other pets if he feels dominant over them. Both males and females will usually get aggressive if a strange cat invades their territory. If a cat feels that its territory is threatened, it will mark the territory as its own with a spray of urine. This is distressing for humans if the territory includes — for example — a new sofa.
So note that female cats are accustomed to a smaller home range and are more inclined to share it. As noted above, most female cats are happy with a smaller home range and usually remain within about 100 metres of their food bowl. Tomcats are more adventurous, and may range up to a kilometre from home, with all the problems this can bring in areas with predatory wildlife or heavy vehicle traffic. If a cat is indoor only, a female cat might decide that a roomy flat is enough, especially if there are things to climb up on and sneak under. A male cat might be more restless, but many settle down happily to live within four walls, especially if they have never known anything else. A girl cat if you want a cuddler who will try to read the newspaper with you.
I’ve had cats all of my life and I’ve known males to be more affectionate and less sneaky than females. I like girl cats because I think they are lovely and ladylike and are playful. The males want cuddles all the time and to be around us all the time. The female likes cuddles but only on her terms. Either males or females are just fine. It really just depends on the personality of the cat. An un-neutered tom can be quite a handful.
As might be expected of a testosterone-powered male, a tom is far more likely to get into fights — with you, with the postman, or anything with two or four legs. When not outside beating up the neighbours’ pets, un-neutered toms are prone to strop their claws on delicate fabrics and expensive woods, and then urinate on the rest. As an added bonus, un-neutered toms produce particularly pungent urine that easily overcomes the capabilities of the average deodorant. Then, once he gets outdoors, a tom might vanish for days on end, and return in need of expensive repairs by the vet. Unspayed female cats do not make quite as exciting pets as toms, but life with them also has its moments. If you live with an unspayed female cat, you’ll quickly learn she has an active sex life. Female cats come in season twice a year.
A female cat is in heat for about 4 to 7 days if she finds a mate, for and longer otherwise. A female cat looking for love does not keep quiet about it. In fact she will become very vocal. Female cats indicate their readiness to mate by calling for male company with a special type of yowl. If the cat is kept indoors at this point, she will compensate by yowling even louder. At all hours of the day or night.
She will also make determined efforts to escape from the house. If she succeeds, expect complaints from the neighbours about her highly vocal caterwauling as she seeks a mate, and even more vocal caterwauling once she has found one. After mating, an unspayed female is likely to become pregnant and produce litters of kittens, time after time. And there is a limit to the number of times that having a cat give birth in the laundry basket might be considered an adventure. Overall then, a cat makes a far more satisfactory pet after spaying or neutering. This solves many behavioral problems and causes no harm — in fact it is demonstrably healthier for females. Your vet will be able to advise you further.
While we still have not resolved the issue of whether male or female pet cats are preferable, this is because in the end it depends on the person and the cat. Cats may not be human, but they often have very strong personalities. Even someone who prefers female to male cats would choose a perfect gentleman kitty over the she-cat from hell. Therefore the trick to finding the ideal pet is to downplay gender in favour of finding a feline personality that’s as compatible as possible with you and your lifestyle. After the operation the vet supplied the usual plastic head cones which stop the animals from licking or biting their incisions. But the cones make the animals miserable since they can’t see or hear properly, move around, eat, drink or use their litter box without a lot of frustration. So I had to invent some non-cone solution: THE CAT JACKET. No doubt it will work on dogs, too. Two kittens adopted us several weeks ago. NOTE: This is for a medium-sized cat. You will need a bigger piece of cloth and more safety pins for larger animals. I did try another type of cloth that was more «crisp», but it failed miserably in less than a day — it frayed and ripped, and of course the poor cat was desperately trying to lick the frayed threads.