What sex for a new kitten?
October 2, 2009 3:49 PM   Subscribe

What is the best sex for a new kitten? And should I get one?

Right now I have three cats that have learned how to get a long. Two girls and a boy. Now someone at work wants to know if I want a kitten. Her cat just had a litter and if I want a cat I can pick the sex. I am not sure if I want to get a boy or a girl. The girls(14 and 11 years old) get along with each other and tolerate the boy(3 year old). Also I know I am moving out of state in three years hopefully into a new home but I am not sure so is adding a new cat into the house the best idea. I love cats and have had four cats before I just want to make sure I am not saying yes just because the whole oohhh kitty thing.
posted by CollegeNelson to Pets & Animals (20 answers total)
I have had better experience with male cats, as an owner and a guest in others' homes.

Females have tended to be loners, whereas the males are more social and cuddly. Not sure if this is typical, but it is my experience.
posted by sunshinesky at 3:54 PM on October 2, 2009

There are no gender differences in personality and behaviour between neutered adult cats although there are a lot of unsubstatiated sterotypes. Male cats tend to be larger than their female siblings and there are a few health issues that are different (e.g males are cheaper to neuter but more likely to have urinary tract problems). If you do get a kitten just choose one you like and with a personality you think would fit with your current household.
posted by shelleycat at 4:00 PM on October 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

I've heard female cats can be a lot less needy and also more tolerant of changes than male cats.

You should be aware that a lot of people set their crazy-cat-lady number around 4.
posted by floam at 4:02 PM on October 2, 2009 [2 favorites]

I think it's more of a cat-to-cat variance than a cat-sex variance in personalities. My female cat is the neediest animal I have ever encountered. One of my boycats is a huge jerk. It's really hard to tell how they'll turn out!

(Also, I think four cats is a dandy number, but I'm probably biased.)
posted by oh really at 4:06 PM on October 2, 2009 [2 favorites]

I had the pick of the litter once. I ended up picking two out of the litter, fwiw. I was able to observe all the kittens interacting with each and with other animals (which happened to be dogs) in the house. Then I picked the two who seemed the least bothered by all the craziness. Three years later, they are still the laziest, least perturbed critters I've ever come across.

So if you can observe these kittens in their current home - especially if you can possibly do it several times over the course of the first few months - you might be better able to come to a decision on which one will fit with your household. This seems like a better plan to me than deciding by any other factor, including gender or color or their sweet lil itty-bitty kitty eyes...

Also, Jacqueline's response made me laugh right out loud. As per usual, the Kitty Brothers did not bat an eyelash.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 4:18 PM on October 2, 2009 [2 favorites]

interacting with each other
posted by SuperSquirrel at 4:19 PM on October 2, 2009

Wow. A cat thread and a sexism thread all rolled into one! (j/k) My cat Thumper was male, and the sweetest, calmest, most laid-back animal in the history of pets. A friend's cat is also a male. He is the most horrible pet ever. Seriously. He will try to eat you if you turn your back. My point being, gender matters little. Visit with the kittens, and see which one looks like it would fit in with your family the best. They grow, they change, they develop personalities...it's all part of the fun.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 4:26 PM on October 2, 2009 [2 favorites]

Of all the cats we've had - and we've had a few - I would go for a female. Neutered male or not they all decide to pee somewhere in the house at some point. I have never had that issue with female cats.
posted by Sassyfras at 4:59 PM on October 2, 2009

Okay, to give the other side's anecdote to counter Sassyfras, none of my male cats have EVER peed in the house. Ever. The culprit around here is my stupid (but sweet!) oldest female cat who refuses to go to the litterbox by herself. We have to take her. If we don't, she pees in the house, preferably on one of the rugs. I've had, throughout my life, four male cats. Never had a single one pee in the house. I've had a total of seven female cats and two of them peed in the house (the current one and my first cat ever, who would pee on my roommate's bed when she - the cat - was angry with us).
posted by cooker girl at 5:12 PM on October 2, 2009

Always get cats in twos...always...

the sex is probably insignificant..

get two...

always get two....
posted by HuronBob at 5:14 PM on October 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

We have two males, and they couldn't get along better. From what I've read and heard, females are generally more territorial than males, which seems odd, but our kitties love each other to death and are very affectionate.

Also, males are much cheaper to neuter than spaying a female.
posted by elder18 at 5:37 PM on October 2, 2009

I will never have another male cat. The last one, whom I loved, sprayed a line of urine through the entire house. Nothing we did made a difference.

Never again.

posted by SLC Mom at 6:10 PM on October 2, 2009

Cat-gender stereotypes aren't worth much. My parents had a male, who was the most incredibly lazy, easygoing creature on earth; offended nobody, couldn't be bothered to chase a single string ever. (He was a hell of a mouser, though; I think he just didn't see the appeal of a fake one.) By contrast, their middle-aged female causes all kinds of trouble and mess and mischief, and the young female can't handle any change at all ever and freaks out at all non-routine events.

Go by individual personality, not dangly bits.
posted by Tomorrowful at 7:35 PM on October 2, 2009

[comments removed - your kittensex jokes, i haz seen them]
posted by jessamyn at 7:48 PM on October 2, 2009 [4 favorites]

I agree with sunshinesky. The cats we've had with the best personalities were all male, and almost all the other cat's I've met and really liked were male.

We've never had a problem with male cats spraying urine. Of course they were all neutered.

We've had some females with good personalities, but many of them have been aloof and would tend to ignore us unless they wanted something, like food or a treat.

BTW, the last time we wanted to get another cat we went to the shelter and asked the staff which of the cats had the best personality. We didn't care it looked like and we brought home a great cat.
posted by 14580 at 8:01 PM on October 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

Shelter kitties are the best! Adopt them in pairs. You won't regret getting two. Our experience has been with slightly aloof males and chatty females but I don't pay much attention to their sex, just personality. Just look for kittens that you bond with.
posted by zinfandel at 9:00 PM on October 2, 2009

Even neutered male cats can end up spraying.

Ask me how I know.
posted by ErikaB at 10:58 PM on October 2, 2009

Male animals in general I have found tend to socialise with other animals better, in my personal and wholly subjective experience. With people, much of a muchness.
posted by smoke at 6:49 AM on October 3, 2009

Neutered male cats can end up spraying, but it's rare if you neuter them very early - basically the earliest safe age (ask a vet how soon you can have it done). I've lived with a couple of neutered males and there was never a problem, but both were done about 6 months or earlier. Early neutering also works for dogs to stop the males stopping beside every single tree or post when walking them. They just pee like female dogs.
posted by jb at 11:33 AM on October 3, 2009

My experience echos many others. Males are easy-going and tolerant. Females tend to be fussy and territorial. Funny enough, most of the cats I've kept have been female. I have found female cats will bond very close. I've not raised any males.
posted by Goofyy at 4:49 AM on October 4, 2009

« Older Examples of great science journalism   |   Shave pubes in college? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.