I do not think that enough attention is given to what I consider to be an important aspect of our relationship with domestic cats, which is that cat caretakers (aka ‘cat owners’) partly like cats because of their male or female characteristics, depending upon their preferences.
I don’t think enough attention is given to this aspect of domestic cat ownership by veterinarians or experts including cat behaviourists. I don’t think that a desire that your male cat has male cat characteristics or that your female cat is feminine is anthropomorphising your cat. I just think it is part of the relationship that we have with our domestic cats, who are, after all, members of the family.
I want my male cat to have male cat characteristics. I want his personality be boyish and masculine. If I had a female cat I’d want her to be pretty and female in personality and, if you will, a bit coquettish. These desires are part and parcel of our relationship with our domestic cat and personal to me and many others.
The reason why I decided to write this short post is because it is a follow-up to a post about neutering a male cat early on in his life which arguably changes his appearance and makes him more androgynous.
Perhaps a lot of people are not overly concerned about whether their cat is androgynous but I’m convinced that a sizeable percentage of cat owners are concerned and that one of their selection criterion is whether their cat ‘to be’ demonstrates characteristics reflecting their gender.
In mainstream, online discussions, when we read about the behaviour of cats and colonies of cat, I don’t think there is enough focus on the gender of the cat involved. In the wild, wild cat species demonstrate different behaviour patterns depending upon whether they are male or female (scientific documents do differentiate between genders but I am discussing middle-of-the-road websites).
There is a certain attractiveness, and it must be a major part of their personality, in the maleness and femaleness of a domestic cat. I’m sure that, quite often, female humans are attracted to male cats and vice versa but, of course, this depends upon the preferences of the person involved.
For my part, I don’t really mind whether my cat is male or female but I do mind whether he or she demonstrates male or female characteristics. I had no choice with respect to my current cat. He was a foster cat who I adopted and he happened to be male. Now I want to make sure that he remains male and not become androgynous or tending to be that way, which is why I want a neuter him at the most advanced age possible under the terms of my contract with the rescue organisation through which I became a foster carer of him.