Sunday, 8 March 2020

7 fascinating facts about female cats

We love all cats at Cats Protection, but this International Women’s Day we’re championing the female felines among us.

If you have a gorgeous girl kitty at home, let us know on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and share the girl power!

Here are some fascinating facts you may not know about female cats…


Nearly all tortoiseshell cats are female 


tortoiseshell cat

A cat’s genes decide their fur colour and it is extremely rare for a male cat to have the genes that give them a tortoiseshell coat. If a male tortoiseshell cat is born, they will usually be sterile. Find out more about why cats are different colours here.

Mum cats are queens 


tabby cat with paw over tabby kitten

If a female cat has not been neutered then she is known as a queen. Unneutered males are called toms so only the girls are true royalty!

A neutered female cat is called a molly 


grey tabby cat

Once a female cat has been neutered, they become a molly, while a neutered male cat is known as a gib.


Female cats tend to be right-pawed 


tabby kitten holding up right paw

Researchers at Queen’s University Belfast observed cats as they were reaching for food or stepping over objects and found that the female cats were more likely to use their right paw while male cats preferred using their left. Find out more about the study here.

Female cats can get pregnant from just four months old 


tabby-and-white cat feeding a little of kittens

If they’re not neutered, girl cats are ready to breed as soon as they reach puberty at four months old. Therefore, it is a good idea to get them neutered at this age or younger to avoid any unwanted kittens being born. For advice on getting your kitten neutered, visit www.cats.org.uk/what-we-do/neutering/kitten-neutering

Cat pregnancy lasts for nine weeks 


heavily pregnant black-and-white cat

Pregnancy for a cat lasts a tenth of the time as a human pregnancy, around just 66 days. Plus, a female cat can get pregnant again just six weeks after giving birth – even more reason to get her neutered as soon as possible. For more information about cat pregnancy, visit www.cats.org.uk/pregnancy-and-kitten-care

Cats can give birth to a litter with multiple fathers 


tabby cat with litter of kittens a mix of different colours

Queens can have between one and nine kittens in a litter, although usually there are between four and six, and the kittens won’t necessarily all have the same father. Female cats may mate with more than one male to produce a litter, which explain why their kittens can be such a range of colours.

Aside from these feline facts, male and female cats are actually quite similar, particularly if they have been neutered. Their personality is shaped by their individual genetic background and their past experiences in life, not their gender, so every cat is unique. 

If you’re looking to welcome a new cat into your life, Cats Protection has thousands of cats, female and male, looking for loving homes. Visit www.cats.org.uk/find-a-cat to find your new best friend today.

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