Why Are Female Cats Called Queens?

Turkish Angora Cat
Turkish Angora Cat, Heikki Siltala, catza.net

The word queen comes from the old English cwen, meaning honoured woman, wife, or female ruler. Referring to female cats as queens began in England, where cat breeders, likely as a joke, began to call their female cats queens. Given that cats are matriarchal, it does make sense.

In a multicat household or feral cat colony, the senior female cat is usually dominant. Males tend to give way to females, allowing them priority access to food sources. Because a queen in a cat group might already be or soon become the mother of any male cat’s offspring and will require more nourishment during pregnancy and nursing, this is a good strategy. Males increase the likelihood of getting their genes into the next generation by letting females have more resources so they can raise healthy young.

*The term queen technically only applies to unspayed females of breeding age.

For answers to more cat questions, see the main Cats page.

2 thoughts on “Why Are Female Cats Called Queens?”

  1. so when I got my female feral cat spayed that’s when she became my princess,which was in no way a demotion of title

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