Tomcat Tomfoolery

I was going through some old photos and found some of Domino when he was a feral tomcat. He demonstrates the classic secondary sexual characteristics of an unneutered male cat. Unneutered male cats may or may not be feral and male ferals may or may not be unneutered depending on if they are part of TNR (Trap/neuter/release program). All unneutered cats are prone roaming and territorial aggression which neutering curbs. But unneutered males are called tomcats unless they are purebred cats meant for breeding and they’re called studs. Confused yet? The only thing we want to say is: neuter/spay!


The fat jowls and thick neck are nature’s way of protecting the most likely areas to be injured in territorial fights and during mating. Most cats these days are neutered before reaching puberty and never develop these features. Since Domino was neutered his cheeks remained just as fat but his thick neck has softened. His neck used to be an impenetrable as armor and now it’s pliable and responds well to massage. We think he is just as charming and sexy as ever and…

Tomcat-feral-secondary-sexual characteristics


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17 thoughts on “Tomcat Tomfoolery

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  3. Hi Layla,

    I always spay or neuter my foster cats if it hasn’t been done already.

    However, the one thing that has always bothered me is neutering a male before they reach sexual maturity.

    I neuter them early anyways, but then they don’t get the protection of the thicker neck and jowls, which leaves them vulnerable should they get in a fight some day. It nags at me a bit when I bring them in to get neutered.

    I also can’t help but wonder if they don’t grow as much or get as muscular as a result. That bothers me too but isn’t enough to stop me from the benefits of neutering them early.

    Good article.

    =^-^= Hairless Cat Girl =^-^=

  4. Domino is very manly with or without jowls and a thick neck! BTW, we didn’t know that before, how interesting how nature looks after us! Our Carl also has a “small”, sweet voice. The mom loves it except when he sings in the middle of the night.

  5. Well we learned something today! We didn’t know unneutered male cats had big cheeks and thick necks! That’s because we’re neutered males! Spay/neuter! That’s the way to go!!

    Wally & Ernie

  6. I just LOVE me some Tomcat jowls…but it’s not worth the kittens, that’s for sure! Our Maui when he came in was quite the stinky tom, and he’s still got that wide face.

  7. I was quite shocked when I rescued my big tom from outside. Big in lots of places I had never seen! 🙂 He has softened up quite a bit too now that is is neutered.

  8. Oh, that really explains a lot. I always sort of wondered if that was why Domino had heavy jowls. He is so cute.

    Now, as to why Cheddar looks and sounds like a girl…. Hmmm. Just one of those pretty boycats who squeak.

    1. @Kathryn, maybe Ched is a metrosexual 😉
      @Pam & Sammy, you bet!
      @Random Felines, I have to admit I love Domino’s super-sized cheeks!
      @Brian, thanksand we think more handsome since neutering.

    2. I have noticed through the years that boy cats have sweet little meows and the girl cats have rougher/deeper voices. My boys will meow pretty for me and the girls croak! I even call my sweet petite little Myssi “Crocky” because she sounds like crocodile babies calling mama! And I notice that all boy cats have sweeter meows–feral and inside, neutered or not. But both genders chirp and click the same.

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