What is a Male Cat Called? 3 Popular Names

What is a male cat called? Discover the intriguing name for a male cat and the significance behind it.

What is a Male Cat Called? The Different Names for Male Cats

What is a male cat called? Male cats go by various names depending on the region and language. In English, a male cat is commonly referred to as a ‘tomcat’. This name originated from the term ‘tom’, which is a shortened form of ‘Thomas’. It is believed that ‘Thomas’ was a popular name for male cats in the past, and thus ‘tomcat’ became synonymous with male cats.

what is a male cat called

In addition to ‘tomcat’, male cats are also known as ‘gib’ or ‘gib-cat’ in some parts of England. These names are derived from the Old Norse word ‘gib’, which means a male cat or a he-cat. Similarly, ‘gib’ is also used in Scotland to refer to male cats.

‘Gib’ is also used to signify a male cat that has been neutered.  Male cats that are kept for breeding purposes are called ‘sires’ to signify he will sire a litter.

In other languages, male cats have different names. For example, in French, a male cat is called a ‘chat’, while in Spanish, it is known as a ‘gato’. These names reflect the linguistic diversity and cultural differences across the world.

The Origin of the Term Tom or Tomcat

Why are male cats called toms

The term ‘tomcat’ has an interesting origin. It is believed to have originated in the 16th century when the name ‘Thomas’ was commonly given to male cats. ‘Thomas’ was a popular name for male humans during that time, and it eventually became associated with male cats as well.

The name ‘Thomas’ is derived from the Aramaic word ‘toma’, which means ‘twin’. It is speculated that the association between male cats and the name ‘Thomas’ might have originated from the belief that male cats had a twin-like nature or behavior.

Over time, the name ‘Thomas’ was shortened to ‘Tom’, and hence, male cats came to be known as ‘tomcats’. This term has remained in use ever since, although the popularity of using ‘Thomas’ as a name for male cats has declined.

The term ‘tomcat’ became more popular in the 1760s when the book The Life and Adventures of a Cat” was anonymously published. In the book, the main character is named Tom. And from then on, the term ‘tomcat’ has been attributed to male cats.

The use of the term ‘tom’ as a reference to male cats became even more popular when the cartoon ‘Tom and Jerry‘ was made. It features a cat named Tom, which is then used to indicate a cat’s gender.


Why are male cats called sire?

Why are male cats called sire

What is a male cat called when it can father a litter? When a tomcat fathers a litter, it would be called a ‘sire’. The word ‘sire’ means “to parent or father”. The term ‘sire’ is also used as a respectful address for male European monarchs.

On the other hand, female members of the monarchy are called a ‘dam’ or ‘dame’, which is used to call spayed or non-bearing female cats.

Keep reading here: What is a Female Cat Called

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a neutered male cat called?

A: A neutered male cat is called a gib, the opposite of a tomcat.

These cats will be less territorial and will prefer staying at home. Since their reproductive organs were removed, gibs won’t have the same hormonal fluctuations as tomcats. Many pet owners get their cat neutered to reduce aggressive behaviors.

Please read here: How to get an aggresive cat into carrier

Q: What is a male calico cat called?

A: Male calico cats are a rarity because of its genetic makeup. They are called Klinefelter males and are less than 1 in every 1,000 calico cats. However, male calico cats often suffer from a condition called Klinefelter’s Syndrome since they bear an XXY chromosome. This is an abnormality that will impact the cat’s lifespan.

Q: What is a male tabby cat called?

A: A male tabby is called a tom. The fun fact here is that orange tabby cats are 80% male most of the time. Nevertheless, it doesn’t make orange female tabbies a rarity as it can be bred almost anywhere. Also, orange female tabbies don’t bear any special or unique genes.

Q: What is a young male cat called?

A: A juvenile cat, regardless of its gender, is called a kitten. Usually, special names like tomcats or gibs are used to denote a male cat’s reproductive condition. Most cats, male or female, under one year of age are considered kittens.

Q: What is an immature male cat called?

What is an immature male cat called

A: Both mature and immature male cats are called toms. If neutered, it will be called a gib. Immature cats are those that are not yet fully developed for reproduction. These are kittens that are less than six months old.

Q: Are tomcats bigger than females?

A: Most tomcats tend to be slightly larger and stockier than male cats. Nevertheless, the breed is a factor that will affect a cat’s appearance, regardless of its gender. Most cats will weigh around 6 to 12 pounds, but bigger breeds will be heavier than that. Despite their size, tomcats tend to be friendlier, and sometimes more affectionate, to humans.

Final words

What is a male cat called? For the most part, male cats are called toms unless they are neutered. If desexed, male cats will be addressed as gibs. Like with female cats, these names are an indication of a male feline’s reproductive abilities.

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