An unneutered male cat is called a Tom or Tomcat while a neutered male cat is called Gib. It is believed that this term ‘Tom’ could come from a book that was published in 1766 called “The life and adventure of a cat” which tells the story of a feline called Tom. The book became popular that people started calling male cats Tom.
Generally, unneutered male cats are larger than female cats and they take about two years to reach their full weight. Fixed male cats have a different appearance to unneutered cats, tomcats are heavier, have more muscle, thicker necks and bigger heads than their neutered counterparts.
Just like humans, male cats live for around one to two years less than the female cats. Let’s look at some characteristics of male cats and how to identify one
HOW DO I IDENTIFY A MALE CAT?
The general and most reliable method you can use in identifying a male cat is checking the appearance of the genital area and the distance between the anus and the genitals. In male cats, there’s a larger separation between the anus and the penis, with the testicles in the middle. Both these openings look more like dots or a colon.
BEHAVIOURAL CHARACTERISTICS OF A MALE CAT
Most of the distinct male cat behaviours are sexually driven. Therefore, these behaviors are seen mostly among unneutered male cats. these behaviors include:
MALE CATS SPRAY URINE
To some cat owners, this is the worst behaviour attributed to male cats. Male cat sprays their territory as a warning of the boundaries to other cats. Toms also spray urine as an advertisement of their sexual maturity when seeking female to mate with.
However, urine spraying is not always behavioural by nature. A case of kidney stones can make a cat start spraying urine in other to pass the blockage and gain a little relief. If you notice this abnormality, get him checked out by a vet.
CATERWAULING IS A COMMON BEHAVIOUR IN MALE CATS
Male cats make loud and harsh cries mostly at night to advertise that they are available to mate as well as to ward off other male cats from their territory.
MALE CATS HAVE WANDERLUST
Toms are known for their habit of wandering. This can be as a result of the desire to increase a male’s territory, seeking out a male in heat or hunting. This wanderlust can sometimes lead them miles from home and you may not see your pet again.
HOW DO MALE CATS MATE?
Experienced males may run straight to the female and mount her in as little as 16 seconds. Less experienced males are more cautious and may make a softer mating cry to her and sniff around her. If she accepts his advances, the male will mount her and grip her neck with his teeth to hold her in place.
Mating takes on average one to nine minutes. Once mating is complete, the male wanders off and has nothing else to do with the female.
Science has proven that aggressiveness is more likely to be seen in unneutered cats than neutered one. This is due to an increase in testosterone levels as they approach sexual maturity. However, if you want a friendly companion, then you should neuter your male cat before it reaches sexual maturity.