What is a Female Cat Called?

Cats, those enigmatic and graceful creatures, have been companions to humans for centuries. Their curious behaviors, sleek appearances, and independent personalities have captivated pet lovers worldwide.

While many of us are familiar with the terms “tomcat” and “queen,” there might be some confusion when describing a female cat.

In this blog post, we will discuss the intriguing world of feline terminology and explore the intricacies of what a female cat is called.


Feline Terminology

Before we dive into the specifics of naming female cats, let’s take a moment to understand some essential feline terminology:



A “tomcat” is a term used to refer to an adult male cat. These cats are often associated with independence, territorial behavior, and sometimes wanderlust.



A “queen” is the term used to describe a female cat, particularly one that has reached maturity and is capable of reproduction.

Unlike the word “tomcat,” which has a certain ruggedness, “queen” conveys a sense of regal grace, in line with the dignified nature often attributed to cats.


Identifying Female Cats

Female cats, or queens, play a vital role in the feline world. They possess unique physical and behavioral characteristics that distinguish them from their male counterparts:


Physical Features

Female cats typically have a smaller and more refined appearance than males. While not a definitive rule, queens might be slightly smaller in size, with a more delicate bone structure.


Reproductive System 

The most significant distinction between male and female cats is their reproductive systems. Female cats have a uterus and ovaries, allowing them to become pregnant and give birth to kittens.


Behavioral Traits

Queens can exhibit different behaviors compared to male cats. They might be more nurturing and tend to groom themselves and others fastidiously.

Additionally, female cats tend to be more territorial, especially when it comes to protecting their kittens.


Life Stages of a Female Cat

Understanding the life stages of a female cat can provide further insight into their roles and behaviors:



Like male kittens, female kittens are full of energy, curiosity, and playfulness. They learn essential life skills through play, helping them become well-adjusted adults.



As they reach adolescence, female cats might start displaying behaviors related to their reproductive cycle. This is crucial for pet owners to consider spaying their cats to prevent unwanted pregnancies and health issues.



Once a female cat reaches maturity, usually around six months, she enters her reproductive phase. At this point, she can become pregnant and give birth to kittens if not spayed.



When a female cat becomes a mother, her behavior can shift dramatically. She becomes protective of her kittens and exhibits strong maternal instincts.


What Is A Dam? 

This term is often used in animal breeding and show circles to refer to the mother cat. Let’s break down the details:


Role of the Dam

The dam plays a crucial role in the early development of the kittens. She provides them with milk, warmth, protection, and guidance during their initial weeks of life.


Pregnancy and Birth

Before becoming a dam, the female cat goes through pregnancy, known as being “in heat” or “in estrus.” After a successful mating, she carries the kittens in her womb for about 63 to 65 days before giving birth.


Litter Birth

When it’s time for the kittens to be born, the dam will usually find a quiet and safe spot, often known as a “nest,” to give birth.

She cleans the kittens and stimulates their breathing by licking them. This process helps establish a strong maternal bond between the dam and her kittens.


Nursing and Care

Once the kittens are born, the dam’s primary responsibility is to nurse them. She produces milk that provides essential nutrients and antibodies for the kittens’ growth and development.

The kittens rely entirely on their mother’s milk during their early weeks.


Maternal Behavior

A dam will spend significant time with her kittens, providing them with warmth, cleaning them, and allowing them to nurse.

Through observation and interaction, she will also teach them important behaviors, such as grooming and using the litter box.



As the kittens grow, they start transitioning to solid food and nursing. This period is known as weaning. The dam might gradually reduce her nursing sessions as the kittens become more independent and capable of eating independently.


Health and Care

Proper dam care is essential during pregnancy, birth, and raising kittens. Adequate nutrition, a clean and comfortable environment, regular veterinary check-ups, and attention to the dam’s well-being contribute to healthy kittens and a healthy mother cat.


What’s A Female Cat Called In Other Countries?

A female cat is known by different names in various languages and cultures worldwide. Here are a few examples:



In Spanish, a female cat is called “gata.” This term refers to a cat of the female gender specifically.


In French, a female cat is called “chatter.” Like Spanish, this word distinguishes a female cat from a male cat (“chat”).


In German, a female cat is known as “Katze” or “Kätzin.” “Katze” is the general term for a cat, while “Kätzin” is used specifically for a female cat.


In Italian, a female cat is called a “Gatta.” This term is used to describe a female cat in contrast to a male cat, “Gatto.”


In Portuguese, a female cat is called “gata.” Like in many other languages, “gata” distinguishes the female cat from the male cat, “gato.”


In Japanese, a female cat is known as “めんこ” (manko). This term is used to specify a female cat.


In Russian, a female cat is called “кошка” (koshka). This term refers to a female cat, while the general term for a cat is “кот” (kot) for male cats.


In Mandarin Chinese, a female cat is called “母猫” (mǔ māo). “母” (mǔ) means female, and “猫” (māo) means cat.


In Korean, a female cat is known as “암냥이” (amnyang-i). This term distinguishes a female cat from a male cat, “수냥이” (sunyang-i).


A female cat is called “قطة” (qittah). This term refers to a female cat, while “قط” (qit) is used for a male cat.

These are just a few examples of how the term for a female cat varies across different languages. The distinctions often mirror the linguistic gender differentiations present in those languages.



In the diverse world of cats, understanding the terminology and characteristics associated with female cats, or queens, adds another layer of appreciation for these wonderful creatures.

The term “queen” acknowledges their reproductive capacity, elegance, and importance within the feline community.

From playful kittens to nurturing mothers, female cats contribute significantly to the beauty and complexity of the feline world.

So, the next time you encounter a female cat, you’ll know how to refer to her – as the regal and essential queen of the feline realm.


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