Male and female cats are both just as loving, as long as they have been spayed or neutered. It depends on their personality, how they were raised, and how much of a bond you have with them.
While some people think male cats are more affectionate, this is a myth with no evidence for the claim.
The only time you will see a difference between male and female cats behaviorally is if they aren’t spayed or neutered.
I’ll discuss those differences in this article, as well as other factors that play into how loving a cat is and how you can bond with your cat to make them more loving.
Male and Female Cats are Both Loving
Male and female cats can both be just as loving. There is really no difference based on gender when it comes to spayed and neutered cats.
Surveys have shown that people can perceive male cats as friendly and playful, and female cats as having an attitude.
However, this seems to just be human bias. It may even be due to a difference in the ways we treat male and female cats—we can’t really know for sure why they’re perceived in these ways.
What we do know is that there is no scientific evidence to support these claims, so they aren’t a good reason to choose either a male or female cat.
Unneutered Males may be More Independent
Unneutered male cats will have more territorial tendencies and will try to go outside and wander far from home in search of a mate.
Unfortunately, they may also be more prone to problematic behaviors including:
- Fighting with other cats
- Clawing window screens (to get outside)
- Wandering far from home
Unneutered males also live shorter lives than neutered cats on average, and are more prone to health problems.
They also tend to be larger and bulkier in frame than neutered male cats.
Unspayed Females Are Noisy and Affectionate
Unspayed females, on the other hand, do tend to be quite affectionate when they go into heat. You’ll see her rubbing against everything from people to other animals to the furniture.
She’ll also be desperately seeking a male cat to mate with, and may be more likely to want outdoors. Going outside unsupervised isn’t safe for cats, and shouldn’t be allowed—especially with unspayed females, who are very likely to come home pregnant.
Along with the affection, your female cat will get very loud and spend a lot of her time howling and crying while in heat.
Like unneutered males, unspayed female cats live shorter lives than spayed females on average and are at risk for many health problems.
They will also have many litters of kittens if allowed to, and this can be unhealthy as well. Litters are also expensive to care for, and it can be difficult to rehome them.
Some Cats have more Loving Personalities
Personality has a huge effect on how loving your cat acts toward you. I have cats with a lot of attitude and sass, quiet cats who like to be alone much of the day, and cuddly sweet cats who on some days barely leave my side.
For all of the categories above, I have both male and female cats who behave in that way.
Most of my cats have also had very similar upbringings. Five of them were raised in my home from birth after I took in a pregnant stray.
There’s nothing to explain why they behave so differently from one another except that they have different preferences and personalities.
Their History also Plays a Role
That said, history plays a role in how loving a cat is as well. The most extreme example of this is feral cats versus housecats.
The housecat, of course, will be much more loving! Feral cats have a distrust of humans, and so you won’t find them snuggling in your lap anytime soon.
Other factors to take into consideration are whether the cat was abused, how or if they were socialized as kittens, and any other experiences they had with humans before they entered your home.
If You Want a Loving Cat, Adopt an Adult
The best way to adopt anytime you want a cat with a specific personality is to adopt a grown cat from a foster.
The reason this is most successful is that adult cats have grown into who they are already, while kittens are still constantly growing and changing. A cuddly kitten may not stay that way their entire lives.
Adopting from a foster situation also means that the cat has been living in a home. Sometimes cats act much differently in shelters than they do once you bring them home.
For instance, fear and stress may make them more clingy or stand-offish than they would be ordinarily.
Spaying and Neutering Increases Affection
Spaying and neutering your cat can also make them more affectionate toward you. It also comes with other behavioral and health benefits.
For instance, spayed and neutered cats tend to live longer and have less health problems. Neutered males show less territorial behavior, and spayed females don’t go into heat.
If you want to get your cat spayed or neutered but are having trouble affording the procedure, look for low-cost spay and neuter programs in your area.
Cats are more Loving if you Bond with them
No relationship develops overnight. While some cats may be incredibly social and act loving toward you right away, it’s more common that they need time to get to know you.
My most loving cat has chosen me as “his person.” He loves to cuddle in my lap and even comes to fetch me when it’s time for bed, herding me into my room.
He’s even in my lap as I type this, my arms stretched over him to reach the keyboard.
But our relationship didn’t start out this way. When he and his brother started hanging around in my back yard, we were strangers. Even after I adopted him at five months old, he needed time to adjust to his new life indoors.
He’s now 12 years old, and we’ve had those years to get to know one another. You can’t have that kind of bond with a cat you’ve just adopted last week.
The following will set you and your cat on a great path for the years to come.
Playtime is a Must
Too many people overlook playtime for cats. I admit I used to be one of them!
I’ve since learned that it’s crucial for cats to have between 30-45 minutes of playtime every day. This mimics hunting for them and keeps their minds engaged. It also gives them some much-needed exercise.
Alongside these benefits, playtime is a chance for you and your cat to bond. You’ll feel closer to them as you watch them pounce in the air and climb onto the furniture chasing a wand toy, or racing around on the ground batting a chaser toy.
They’ll also feel bonded with you by having you nearby and engaging with them.
Groom your Cat Regularly
Grooming is a way that cats bond with one another, and it’s also a way we can bond with our cats. While we don’t need to bathe them, their coats benefit greatly from regular brushing or combing.
Short haired cats should be brushed at least once a week. If your cat is anything like mine, they’ll beg to be brushed way more often than this!
My shorthairs tend to chase me around while I’m brushing the long-haired cats, who need to be combed daily to prevent matting in their fur.
With long haired cats, you should be careful not to pull their fur and hurt them. This will create negative associations with the brush and probably won’t help your case when trying to bond with them, either!
If your cat’s fur is matted, it may be worth seeing a professional groomer or veterinarian to shave or cut out the matts before getting into a regular grooming routine.
Let them Come to You
Lastly, one of the best things you can do when bonding with a cat is to sit back and let them come to you.
I know this may seem counterproductive, especially if you aren’t used to being around cats. However, trying to pet or cuddle a cat who doesn’t want to will harm your relationship with them.
The more you allow your cat to come and go from you as they please, the more they’ll trust you and want to spend time with you.
I am a freelance writer who specializes in the pet industry. My full bio