Contrary to popular belief, it has been observed that male cats are more affectionate and cuddlier than female cats. Male cats are seen as being more friendlier than the rather aloof and independent female cats. While their competitive behavior can make male cats more aggressive than their female counterparts, these are generalizations and there can be exceptions. It is generally believed that a cat's behavior depends on its personality. Following is a list of unique traits which are particularly found in male cats.
Behavioral Traits of Male Cats
Although being aggressive is a part of its personality, a tomcat's high level of testosterone is mainly responsible for its hostile behavior. Therefore, it is said that if one wants to exercise control over his male pet cat, and make it a household pet, it is advisable to have it neutered.
Tomcats which are not neutered are likely to display combative behavior. They are possessive about their territory, and in order to mark their space, they usually spray that particular area with urine. They do this not only outside the house, but also indoors.
Another trait that is commonly seen in tomcats is their habit of roaming. Usually, tomcats wander away from home in search of female companions to mate with. Sometimes, the cats go so far away that they actually forget their way back. Most of the time, they do reach back home, but this can take around 3-4 days. During their tour outside, it is likely that may be attacked by other cats or animals. Wandering aimlessly can also result in the cat being hit or run over, or enter in brutal fights with other cats.
A common behavioral trait in tomcats is their instinct to fight. When out for a long time, it is not surprising to see them come back all bruised and injured. They also have the natural tendency to attack other animals at home as well as outside. This is mainly done to protect their territory, or to claim a female feline. In the process they are likely to get hurt badly, which can be dangerous to the health of the feline. Indulging in fights also makes them susceptible to immunodeficiency and leukemia virus, which sadly do not have any cure.
An indoor pet cat may eat cat food, but most of the outdoor tomcats prefer eating small birds and animals like mice, frogs, doves, rabbits, etc. Tomcats have a wild side to their personality, and are more ferocious than their female counterparts.
Kittens are believed to be victims of a tomcat's aggression. With their hunter's instinct, male cats happen to kill kittens quite often. Small kittens mostly resemble small animals, which the tomcats prey on. Hence, it is better to keep a female cat who has mothered kittens away from the male cat.
A tomcat has a habit of urinating inside as well as outside the house to mark his territories. He also does this to exhibit his sexual prowess to the female cats. Spraying can be unhygienic, and gives a really bad odor. Male cats also rub their scent to announce their territories. Spraying in home can also be due to kidney ailments, or urinary tract infections. Hence, if your cat is spraying indoors, it is better to take him to a vet immediately.
In a house where multiple tomcats are present, it usually turns out that the ones who see each other as competitors do not get along with each other. In most cases, the stronger tomcat always dominates the other cats. It is also observed that tomcats get along well with other female cats.
Behavior Towards Owners
In most cases, tomcats are quite affectionate. They are clingy, and can take a swipe at your legs, bite or scratch you playfully, if you do not give them the attention they seek. They can knock off things from their places with their playful antics. Hence, they need to be trained well.
When tomcats reach sexual maturity, they gain weight, the size of their body increases, food consumption increases, and they also tend to lose interest in spending time playing with their owners. They start giving out a mating call, or howl to spread the news that they are ready for mating. Tomcats can smell the hormones of female cats even from a distance when they go into heat. They usually fight with other tomcats to bag the right of mating first. Many a time, super-fecundation takes place which means that multiple male cats father kittens of one female cat.
Neutering and Cat Behavior
- Neutering tomcats decreases their need to roam around, which reduces their chances of becoming victims of various accidents.
- It also reduces their instinct to fight, and controls their act of urine spraying.
- Neutered cats have a tendency to clean and groom themselves often.
- Neutering your cat surely has its advantages, not only for the owner but also for the cat. A neutered tomcat is less prone to contract feline cancer, or any such fatal diseases.
- It also decreases the possibility of the birth of unwanted kittens.
- Neutering reduces the risk protracting a range of testicular diseases and disorders. Besides, neutering can prevent the spread of inferior genetic traits disorders or deformities.
- It has also been observed that neutered cats live longer than intact or non-neutered cats.
- One must remember that it can be difficult to change certain behavioral traits, however, appropriate training can make the male feline a lovable, and less aggressive house pet.
- A cat which is neutered is prone to put on weight, due to reduced activity (fewer 3-4 day field trips) and constant appetite. Hence, a vet's assistance might be required to understand the food requirements of the cat.
- Some vets opine that neutering in cats may also cause Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD), which results in the formation of cysts in the urinary tract. This needs immediate medical attention.
After weighing both the pros and cons, it can be safely concluded that fixing a tomcat does have many positive effects on its behavior. However, it is best to consult a vet before deciding whether to neuter a cat or not, depending on its health. When it comes to pets, certain behavioral traits and actions have given male cats a bad rap. While certain behavior can prove problematic there are always exceptions to the rule and, many proud owners will vouch for the fact, that male cats can make really affectionate, care-free pets.