What Do You Call a Female Cat

In this article, we will explore the different names used to refer to female cats and delve into the interesting world of feline vocabulary.

What Do You Call a Female Cat
Have you ever wondered what the proper term is for a female cat? Cats are fascinating creatures, and their unique terminology can sometimes be confusing. In this article, we will explore the different names used to refer to female cats and delve into the interesting world of feline vocabulary.

If you're a cat lover or have recently adopted a female cat, you might find yourself wondering, "What do you call a female cat?" It's not uncommon for pet owners to have questions like this, as they want to understand and appreciate their feline companions fully. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the fascinating world of cat names, exploring the various terms used to refer to female cats. By the end, you'll be equipped with the knowledge to confidently refer to your female feline friend by the appropriate name. So, let's get started!

Understanding Cat Terminology

Before we dive into the specific terminology for female cats, let's briefly touch upon the broader cat vocabulary. In general, a male cat is referred to as a "tomcat" or simply a "tom," while a female cat is known as a "queen." These terms provide a starting point for understanding the distinctive names given to cats based on their gender.

It's time to address the titular question. A female cat is commonly referred to as a "queen." This regal term aptly captures the grace, elegance, and often the strong-willed nature of female cats. While "queen" is the most recognized term, it's worth exploring a few other alternatives that can add depth and variety to your feline vocabulary.

Male Cat Terminology

Male cats have their own set of terminologies. A mature, unneutered male cat is commonly called a "tomcat" or simply a "tom." This term reflects the cat's adult status and intact reproductive capabilities.

Female Cat Terminology

Female cats, on the other hand, have different names that emphasize their gender and reproductive capacity. The most common term used for a female cat is a "queen." This term pays homage to the grace and elegance associated with female felines.

Common Terms for Female Cats

While "queen" is the most widely used term, there are a few other names that can be used to refer to female cats, each with its own subtle nuances.

1. Queen

As mentioned earlier, "queen" is the primary term used for a female cat. It not only emphasizes the cat's gender but also signifies her regal nature. The term "queen" is often used in the context of breeding and pedigrees.

2. Molly

Another term used to refer to a female cat is "molly." This name is more informal and is commonly used in casual conversations or pet-related discussions. "Molly" carries a sense of endearment and affection when referring to a female cat.

3. Dam

In the context of cat breeding, the term "dam" is often used to refer to a female cat who has given birth or is expected to have offspring. It highlights the motherly role of the female cat within the breeding process.

4. She-Cat

In some circles, a female cat is simply referred to as a "she-cat." This term is straightforward and descriptive, emphasizing the gender of the cat without any frills. If you prefer a more direct approach, "she-cat" is a suitable option.

5. Female Tomcat

The term "female tomcat" may seem contradictory since "tomcat" is typically used to describe male cats. However, some individuals use this term to differentiate female cats with tomcat-like traits, such as being adventurous, independent, and strong-willed.

Regional and Cultural Variations

It's worth noting that the terminology used for female cats can vary across regions and cultures. Some regions might have unique names or local dialects that are specific to their area. For example, in certain parts of the United Kingdom, a female cat may be referred to as a "malkin" or "mollycat." These variations add richness to the feline vocabulary and reflect the diverse nature of cat enthusiasts worldwide.

Cat Breeding Terminology

When it comes to cat breeding, specific terms are used to describe the parents of a litter.

1. Sire

The term "sire" refers to the male cat who fathered a litter. It is used to identify the father of the kittens and is commonly employed in breeding records and pedigrees.

2. Dam

On the other hand, the term "dam" is used to identify the female cat who gave birth to a litter. It recognizes the crucial role of the mother cat in the breeding process and acknowledges her contribution to the lineage of the kittens.

Exploring the Fascinating World of Cat Names

Now that we've covered the common names used to refer to female cats, let's delve deeper into the fascinating world of cat names. Naming your feline companion is an exciting and personal process, often influenced by factors such as appearance, personality, or personal preferences. Here are some popular categories of cat names to inspire your creativity:

Nature-Inspired Names

Nature has always been a source of inspiration for pet owners, and cat names are no exception. Consider names like Luna, Willow, Ivy, or Daisy to celebrate the beauty of the natural world and reflect your cat's unique qualities.

Literary Names

Literary names offer a touch of sophistication and charm. Drawing inspiration from renowned authors, characters, or settings can add depth to your cat's identity. Names like Luna Lovegood, Hermione, or Alice pay homage to beloved literary works and characters.

Historical Names

If you're a history enthusiast, why not bestow a historical name upon your feline friend? From Cleopatra to Joan of Arc, historical figures have left an indelible mark on the world, and their names can add a touch of grandeur to your cat's identity.

Personality-Based Names

Observing your cat's behavior and unique personality traits can lead to creative and fitting name choices. Whether your cat is mischievous, playful, or calm, selecting a name that reflects these characteristics can make the bond between you even stronger.


In conclusion, a female cat is commonly called a "queen," emphasizing her grace and femininity. However, other terms like "molly" and "dam" are also used to refer to female cats in various contexts. The rich and diverse vocabulary associated with cats adds an extra layer of fascination to these beloved feline companions.

Q: Can I call a female cat a "malkin"?

A: Yes, in certain regions, a female cat may be referred to as a "malkin" or "mollycat."

Q: Is the term "queen" only used for breeding cats?

A: No, "queen" can be used to refer to any female cat, not just those involved in breeding.

Q: What does the term "dam" signify in cat breeding?

A: "Dam" refers to the female cat who has given birth to a litter or is expected to have offspring.

Q: Are there other regional variations for female cat names?

A: Yes, different regions and cultures may have their own unique names for female cats.

Q: Is there a specific term for a male cat in the context of breeding?

A: Yes, the male cat who fathers a litter is referred to as the "sire."

1. Do female cats have specific health concerns?

Yes, female cats have their unique health concerns. The most significant concern for female cats is their reproductive health. Spaying, or neutering, is highly recommended to prevent unwanted pregnancies and minimize the risk of certain health issues, including uterine infections and certain types of cancer.

2. How do you know if a cat is female?

Determining a cat's gender can sometimes be challenging, especially for inexperienced pet owners. One of the most reliable methods is to look for the presence of external genitalia. Female cats have a small slit-shaped opening called the vulva, located just below the anus. If you're still unsure, it's best to consult with a veterinarian.

3. What is the average lifespan of a female cat?

The lifespan of a female cat can vary depending on various factors, including genetics, lifestyle, and overall health. On average, a well-cared-for indoor female cat can live anywhere between 15 and 20 years. However, some cats may exceed this range and live well into their twenties.

4. Can a female cat still reproduce after being spayed?

No, spaying involves the surgical removal of a female cat's reproductive organs, including the ovaries and uterus. As a result, a spayed female cat cannot reproduce.

5. How often do female cats go into heat?

Female cats typically go into heat, or estrus, every two to three weeks during the breeding season, which can last from spring to fall. However, it's important to note that spaying your cat eliminates heat cycles.

6. Are there any behavioral differences between male and female cats?

Male and female cats may exhibit slight behavioral differences. Female cats are generally known to be more independent and less territorial than their male counterparts. However, it's essential to remember that each cat has a unique personality, and generalizations may not apply to every individual.

In conclusion, the question "What do you call a female cat?" has several answers, with "queen" being the most commonly used term. However, there are alternative names such as "she-cat" and "Molly" that can be used to refer to female cats as well. When it comes to naming your own female cat, the possibilities are endless, ranging from nature-inspired names to literary or historical references. Remember to consider your cat's unique qualities and personality when selecting a name that resonates with both of you. By understanding the terminology and exploring the world of cat names, you'll develop a deeper appreciation for your feline companion and strengthen the bond you share.
Wanda Rater
Wanda Rater

Avid tv junkie. Freelance bacon aficionado. Certified beer lover. Typical food specialist. Infuriatingly humble bacon expert. Hipster-friendly travel lover.

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