What is a female cat called: Most fascinating cat names

Welcome, fellow cat lovers! Ever found yourself wondering, “What is a female cat called?” Well, today’s your lucky day. Let’s dive in and explore this intriguing topic together.

The term commonly used for a female cat is a “queen,” particularly in the world of cat breeding. In more casual contexts, the term “molly” is also used, predominantly in the United Kingdom and Australia. However, these terms generally refer to an adult girl cat that has not been spayed. In contrast, a spayed girl cat is often referred to simply as a “female cat.” Therefore, when you ask, “What is a female cat called?”, the answer could be a “queen,” a “molly,” or just a “female cat,” depending on her age, location, and reproductive status.

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The Basics: Terms and Meanings: What is a female cat called

In the fascinating world of cats, different names are used to define the cats based on their age, sex, and reproductive status. The generic term used for a female cat is often just that – a ‘female cat.’ However, there are more specific names that come into play based on various factors, which we’ll explore in this post.

A female cat that is able to breed, particularly within the circle of cat breeders, is usually referred to as a queen. The term ‘queen’ carries an honored woman’s connotation and is a fitting name for such a creature of great stature. This term has its roots in Old English, deriving from the word ‘cwen,’ which literally translates to ‘woman of high class.’ In Latin, the word ‘quean’ evolved, meaning a female animal, specifically a cat.

The term queen is most frequently used when discussing purebred female cats within the cat breeding community. It’s also commonly employed when referring to pregnant cats or those in active heat. An older female cat, particularly if she’s been a successful mother, might also be referred to as a queen, signifying her senior status within a multi-cat household’s matriarchal structure.

Another lesser-known term is a molly. Molly is a term used mainly in the UK and Australia for an adult female cat, especially one that has not been spayed. The origin of this term is a bit of a mystery, but it’s believed to be derived from the term ‘molly guard,’ which is a protective cover placed over a machine’s switch to prevent accidental activation.

However, the term molly is not as commonly used as ‘queen.’ Cat experts believe this might be due to the term queen’s deep-rooted history and its connotation of respect and honor. Regardless, both terms are correct and can be used in general conversation to refer to a female cat.

Diving Deeper: Tips for Cat Owners

Understanding the terminology for your feline friend can help you better communicate with other cat owners, breeders, or your vet. Here are some key points to remember:

  • When in doubt, the generic term ‘female cat’ works universally.
  • The term ‘queen’ is commonly used for non-spayed females, pregnant cats, and pure-bred female cats in a more technical sense.
  • ‘Molly’ is a lesser-used term, mainly common in the UK and Australia, for adult, non-spayed females.
  • For the act of recording the lineage of purebred cats, the female parent is often referred to as the ‘dam,’ a term borrowed from the vocabulary used for female dogs and horses.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is there a difference between the term ‘queen’ and ‘molly’?

While both terms refer to female cats, the key differences are in their usage and connotations. The term ‘queen’ is often used in breeding contexts, while ‘molly’ is a more casual term, used mainly in certain regions.

2. At what age does a female cat become a queen?

Female cats can reach sexual maturity as young as four to six months of age. However, it is more common for them to start their heat cycles around nine months. This is typically when a young cat would begin to be referred to as a queen.

3. Is the term ‘queen’ used for big cats as well?

Yes, the term ‘queen’ is used for big cats as well. Female lions, for instance, have been referred to as queens, although the term is more commonly used for domesticated cats.

4. Can any female feline be called a queen?

While any girl cat could technically be referred to as a queen, it is usually reserved for cats in the breeding cycle. It’s also used more frequently among breeders and cat fanciers.

5. Can spayed female cats be called a queen?

While there is no hard and fast rule, the term queen is typically used to refer to intact, breeding female cats. A spayed cat is generally just referred to as a female cat.

Key Takeaways

  • A female cat is often referred to as a queen, particularly if she is intact and part of a breeding program.
  • Another term used to refer to a girl cat is a molly, though this is less common and primarily used in the UK and Australia.
  • A spayed female kitty is generally referred to simply as a female cat.
  • The term dam, while not commonly used in general conversation, refers to a female feline in the records of cat breeding.
  • Knowing these terms can facilitate better conversations with cat breeders, vets, and fellow cat enthusiasts.


Whether you’re new to the adventures of a pet owner or a seasoned feline lover, knowing the different names for a female kitten can be both helpful and interesting. While the generic name ‘female cat’ is always acceptable, terms like ‘queen’ and ‘molly’ add a bit more flair and specificity to the conversation. And who knows, maybe the next time you look at your feline friend, you’ll see more than just a pet – you’ll see a queen in her own right.

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