Which is a better cat companion – male or female?

People generally think that male cats are better companions than females because they are more affectionate. In a poll on a competitor’s website the results are as follows:

I don’t know the size of the poll, which is an important in respect of reliability. However, I think the results represent the beliefs of the people of most western countries. The people who participated in the poll are probably mainly Americans.

Which is the better cat companion - male of female?
Which is the better cat companion – male of female?. Collage by Michael from a photo by Sleeping cat beads.
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.


People commented on the poll…

“Males are far more affectionate than female cats that I have had…”

“There is no winner. It depends on the individual cat (and I presume the person who looks after them)..”

“It depends on what you mean by “better cat”..

One pollster possibly made the most important point. Although the sex of the cat is a factor, there are other bigger factors that determine how cats behave as companions to people. Probably the biggest, and this is my opinion, is how they were socialized by the person who looked after them during the first weeks of life.

The other factor is simply the inherited character of the cat. The individual personality of a cat cuts across the gender, which leads to…

Sexual Orientation

We should be open to the possibility that cats cannot be divided into strict groups of male and female cats. There must be cats that are more male than other male cats and cats that are more female than other female cats. It is a spectrum which prevents putting an individual cat into a pigeon hole concerning sexual orientation or gender.

People’s Objectives and Preferences

The other major factor is what people think a good companion cat is. Clearly if people prefer the male cat because they are more affectionate then they think that being an affectionate cat is the most important personality characteristic of a companion cat. Someone else might say that being slightly aloof and independent is more important for them. Although friendliness should be at the top of the list or thereabouts.

Do Cat Personalities Follow Human Personalities?

There seems to be a correlation between cats and humans in respect of personality characteristics. If people say male cats are more affectionate and “laid back” or less “fiesty” than females this seems to relate to humans, dare I say. Is this an objective assessment or are people anthropomorphizing cats? And are the general differences in personality in cats the same for humans and vice versa? That is a controversial point and one I won’t get into too anymore than stated.

Opposite Sexes

I have generally preferred female cats. I suspect that as cat caretakers are predominantly women there may be a bias towards male cats as it could be argued that women prefer cats of the opposite sex to themselves. An extension of the human relationship.

Personal Experience

I have not looked after enough cats to say for sure that male cats are more affectionate than female cats. But that word “affectionate” pops up as the most notable factor that favours the male cat.

Red Tabby

The red tabby male came up again as a nice cat companion on a couple of occasions in the comments…

“a lot like owning a dog..”

11 thoughts on “Which is a better cat companion – male or female?”

  1. Only had 2 boys and 4 girls over 30 years and females if nothing else are smarter and cleaner! (grooming-wise and at burying u know what…) Why? Females raise the young and must keep them safe and fed. Males are more fun in playtime but my first main- coon- mix female (with thumbs) would play hours on end with a simple wad of crisp paper. Crisp was key! Dad raised the family to not like cats and I soon discovered at age 29 he was WRONG!

  2. I have had a lot of cats. The most affectionate, friendly, playful, loyal, intelligent, and spectacular have been both males and females. If I could have and interact with 100 cats I would. They are all different as far as personality and preferences. Just like people and all other animals. I think they sense how much they are loved (or not) and respond accordingly.

  3. The only male cats I have known have been more cuddly and afectionate but that in no way makes them better companions. I have alot of female cats, they like to play and be around – whereas male cats like to cuddle and then dissapear on adventures – in my experience. The females are home more and dont go away for an entire day at a time. Of course indoor cats can’t, but I would say both have good points and I therefore could not possibly say one is better than the other, especially after you factor in individual and particular characters etc etc.

    • You make a good point as usual, which I touched on. Even if males are affectionate that does make them better. It is one characteristic. The girls have other plus points too.

  4. Hello Michael, very good debatable article that could vary from personal experiences and the types of owners. Having, a male and female cat in my house-hold i have come to the conclusion that male cats are more caring and affectionate towards their human inhabitants in the house.My male cat matata is a child in behaviour, the clown of the house and also the most affectionate.His dam Matahari was affectionate as a kitten but i noticed changes in her behaviour after breeding and later being the mother of kittens, tomcat matata being the eldest sibling.My firm conclusion is that for some reason, male cats are more affectionate towards their human owners.

    • You make a really good observation. I know about 3 years ago you mentioned the characters of your cats. You have first hand experience and that counts for a lot. Thanks for the input. It adds to the post.

  5. Hi Michael,

    That’s a very interesting study and it should fire up a pretty good debate. I’m sure that a lot of people feel pretty strongly one way or the other.

    Personally, I don’t think either gender is more affectionate or makes for a better companion.

    I’ve fostered and raised quite a few cats over the years. It’s been my experience that both genders are very affectionate.

    The only exceptions are when I’ve fostered or adopted cats that are say around 3 years old or older. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said it depends upon how the cat was socialized in it’s earliest years.

    With some cats I’ve taken in, I’ve suspected that they were raised alone and somewhat neglected or they were abused. That would make any mammal aloof or pissy. It certainly has nothing to do with gender.

    Males and females are equally affectionate and both are excellent companions if a person knows how to raise them well. There’s no doubt at all.

    Great discussion topic,

    =^-^= Hairless Cat Girl =^-^=

    • Thanks Hairless Cat Girl. You know, I tend to get the impression that there is a very slight tendency for male cats to be more affectionate despite the fact that there are bigger issues such as socialisation and individual cat traits etc. It would be nice if some more work was done on this. If there is a slight tendency for male cats to be more affectionate the difference between male and female affectionate levels may be all due to socialization and not in any way connected to inheritance. We don’t know. I don’t see how or why male cats should be genetically predisposed to being more affectionate.

  6. You are so funny Michael. That cat in the picture could be big Marvin! I’m completely on the fence about this subject. Girl cats are sweet, petite and gentle. Male cats are gregarious and clown like. I like them both! And of course, those are generalizations. No two cats are alike.

    I can move from cat to cat and be happy with exactly who they are. Bigfoot (male) and Marvin (male) are completely different. As is Shadow. The three could be from different species the way they act. Sweet little Yellow cat is pure female. Petite and feminine. I wish I could hold her. She may be the smartest of the whole lot.

    • You answered the question. Each gender has its pluses and minuses. I am pleased you find the picture amusing. I try my best. The ginger cat in the picture looks very large and after 30 mins he will feel heavy. We all know that. Still, he is gorgeous and she won’t disturb him. I guarantee that.


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