Why Are Male Cats Called Toms?

After working within the animal welfare subject for more than a decade, I had heard male cats known as toms thousands and thousands of times. However, when somebody asked me why male cats are known as toms, I spotted how silly that name sounded.

So why are male cats called toms? It goes again to a 1760 e-book known as The Life and Adventures of a Cat, which featured Tom’s feline. Tom the Cat was a promiscuous male cat, and finally, the name caught on, and tom or tomcat has been used ever since. 

However, that’s not the one concept. Let’s dive somewhat deeper and learn more about the mystery behind the tomcat.

why are male cats called toms

Why Are Male Cats Called Toms?

The period ‘tomcat’ is believed to have originated again within the 1300s. It turned more popular within the 1760s when the e-book ‘The Life and Adventures of a Cat” was anonymously printed.

Within the e-book, the primary character is known as Tom. And from then on, the period ‘tomcat’ has been attributed to male cats. Earlier than the publication of the e-book, male cats are known as ‘boars’ and ‘rams’.

Using the period ‘tom’ as a reference to male cats became more prevalent when the cartoon ‘Tom and Jerry’ were made. It includes a cat named Tom, which is then used to point a cat’s gender.

Do not forget that tomcats are very territorial and can typically figure in a fight as they search for a mate. Tomcats additionally are likely to have an unkempt look as they’re much less likely to groom themselves, not like female felines.

Other than that, tomcats are infamous wanderers. They’ll preserve roaming across the neighborhood and past as soon as it detects a female cat in warmth.

Tomcat Doesn’t Come From Tom and Jerry?

You may need to be guessed that the period tomcat got here from the famous cartoon duo Tom and Jerry. However, Tom the Cat first appeared in 1760, 180 years earlier than the first Tom and Jerry episode!

So whereas Tom and Jerry may need to help solidify and additional popularize the name, it existed lengthy earlier than this cartoon duo. It’s in all probability protected to say that Tom’s name got here from the popular slang!

What Was The Life Adventures of a Cat About?

There’s not a lot of information out there on this e-book, and I wasn’t in a position to monitor down a duplicate wherever.

However, studies on the web recommend that the book followed the main character, our pal Tom the Cat, and his moderately promiscuous adventures. Tom spent a lof the e-book courting females, which isn’t like a real-life male cat.

Moreover, giving male cats their frequent name, it’s advised that the e-book additionally launched the phrase “tomcatting” to explain promiscuous male habits.

It’s additionally potential that the phrase tomcat was round earlier than this e-book, with some sources suggesting that the period was first used within the 1300s.

However, I couldn’t discover something definitive in my analysis. Even when in use, The Life and Adventures of a Cat appear to be the e-book that introduced the period to prominence.

what is a male cat called

What Else Is Different About A Tomcat?

The most significant issue seen is the cheeks! Male cats that attain sexual maturity have prominent, fat jowls typically known as stud cheeks or shields.

This helps defend the cat’s neck throughout fights over territory or mates. As soon as developed, these jowls keep the remainder of the cat’s life and make for a great spot to pet!

Relying on the world you reside in, and most cats could already be neutered nicely earlier than they get sufficiently old to have jowls, so there’s an opportunity chance are you’ll not have seen them earlier than!

Try this adorable video of a tomcat that will get rescued! You possibly can see his prominent cheeks and his new cat mum or dad even says it’s one of many issues she loves about him! Tomcats even have some behaviors that aren’t so cute.

First, they’re very targeted at discovering a mate and can spend a whole lot of time roaming seeking females. This will put them in a lot higher danger as they’re continuously out on this planet taking risks to find a mate!

For instance, male cats are twice as likely to be concerned in a hit-by-car situation and prevent these mates, and intact males are more likely to contract FIV.

Tomcats are also more likely to spray to make their territory. And whereas cat pee already smells dangerous, tomcat pee is one thing else!

Fortunately, every one of these behaviors may be resolved by neutering your cat! By neutering, you’ll be able to lose the spraying, preventing, and roaming; however, preserve the massive cheeks. It’s one of the best in the world!

If you should neuter or spay your cat, I like to recommend you try the PetSmart Spay & Neuter Clinic locator, which might you discover low-cost or free clinics.

Is A Tomcat Any Male Cat?

Usually, the period tomcat refers to a male cat that’s nonetheless intact or unneutered and sexually mature.

So that you wouldn’t describe a 2-month-old kitten as a tomcat, tomcats have secondary sexual traits that make them look wholly different from their feminine counterparts.

What Were Male Cats Called Before Tomcat?

In addition to just referring to them as male cats, some different and presumably older names for male cats embody rams and boars.

Neutered male cats are typically known as gibs. However, that is losing popularity, and I can let you know I’ve by no means heard somebody use the period.

Final Thoughts

There’s a little bit of historical past to the simple name tomcat! Even after 200 years, the name continues to be going strong and is as fashionable as ever. However, most people would guess that Tom and Jerry began all of it.

However, now you get to be one of many educated few that know it began with a promiscuous little cat named Tom means again in 1760!