How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. Ann M. Your Own Question

Dr. Ann M.
Dr. Ann M., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 2989
Experience:  ER and general medicine Veterinarian since 2005
15015521
Type Your Cat Question Here...
Dr. Ann M. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

can cats tell the difference between female humans and male

Resolved Question:

can cats tell the difference between female humans and male humans? if so how?
also do cats know they are a different species from humans?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Ann M. replied 2 years ago.

Certainly. Why do you think dogs sniff your crotch when they first meet you? They're trying to tell what sex you are. Both dogs and cats probably use a combination of scent, sight and the sound of the voice to determine a person's sex. I have three cats, one of whom loves men and one of whom loves women (the third one is scared of everyone, regardless of gender!). The one who loves men will generally approach a man she doesn't know, but not a woman, and the one who loves women the other way around. They certainly know who's who.

You being the alpha of your 'pack' isn't dependent on what sex you are. A wolf pack has an alpha male and an alpha female, both of whom are dominant over all other pack members. Your cats recognize dominance, regardless of sex.

Cats know different species based on sight and scent, and it is fairly easy for them to determine what species something is based on smell because their sense of smell is WAY more developed than ours is. In fact, if another animal (raccoon, for instance) were to come into their home while they are away, they would know instantly that a raccoon had been there simply based on smelling the scent of the raccoon on the floor, etc. Once they smell a different type of animal, they will always recognize that scent and associate it with that type of animal. Hope this helps! Best of luck.

Dr. Ann M., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 2989
Experience: ER and general medicine Veterinarian since 2005
Dr. Ann M. and other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
how do they recognize the difference between a male human and a female human by sight like what are cats basing it on? Also are you saying they notice which humans are the dominant ones?
Expert:  Dr. Ann M. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, they can tell by sight the same way that we can tell by sight- based on size, body shape, facial differences, sound of the voice, etc. All animals can tell dominance based on behaviors once they have spent time around other animals/people.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
can they tell the difference between there owners? also can they understand some of the words we say? do cats have there own language such as do they have a vocabulary or words?
Expert:  Dr. Ann M. replied 2 years ago.

Yes, they can tell the difference between their owners by sight and by smell. They get used to words and associate them with things due to conditioning, but they don't necessarily "understand" them. They do have their own "language", of sorts, meaning that different pitches of their cry/meow can mean different things, such as "beware, I am angry", or "hello, let's play". Hope this helps!

Take care.

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • The response from the Expert literally saved my cat's life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart -- I will recommend all of my friends to you!!! Lucia Rincon, Georgia
< Last | Next >
  • The response from the Expert literally saved my cat's life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart -- I will recommend all of my friends to you!!! Lucia Rincon, Georgia
  • I will use your service again. I was very pleased with the response and the fact that you have a low cost option so that those of us on fixed income can have questions answered. I will also recommend you to others. Karen Jackson Heights, NY
  • You helped us to come to what we believe is a better next step in Jack's treatment, and hopefully have saved us $800!! Thanks again! Jack's Mom Tuscon, AZ
  • The vet said that the information and my following it will be what made the difference. Thanks again for being so very helpful. Tracy Grayson, LA
  • My oldest male cat had a seizure this evening. This site was the first place I could think of to go after the seizure had passed. Dr. Lucy was fantastic and she was spot on! Debbie USA
  • I must tell you I found this site by accident and was amazed when I asked a question of the Veteranians online. I wish I could have found it sooner it could have made such a difference in the outcome of my pet's surgery. However, I am passing along the information to my sister-in-law (a cat-rescue person who is also a nurse), and perhaps it will help someone else who may experience the same problem. The doctor who answered my question was amazing, and while it didn't come it time to change the outcome of my situation, it is reassuring to know the caliber of Vets/Doctors that you have at JustAnswer. Thank you for being there. Alice H. Jacksonville, Fl.
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Terri

    Feline Healthcare Expert

    Satisfied Customers:

    18938
    Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/purrfectkitty/2008-07-10_084515_2006-06-10_me2.jpg Terri's Avatar

    Terri

    Feline Healthcare Expert

    Satisfied Customers:

    18938
    Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Cat Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    868
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CE/Cerecita/2011-3-16_2565_JAPIC500x500.64x64.jpg Cher's Avatar

    Cher

    Feline Specialist

    Satisfied Customers:

    9637
    Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/kydoll/2008-11-26_190500_me.jpg Lori's Avatar

    Lori

    Feline Healthcare

    Satisfied Customers:

    3325
    16 yrs health care mgmt & issues relating to cats, reproductive issues and multicat environments
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/mccprn/2009-11-20_185102_JA_profile.jpg Micki's Avatar

    Micki

    Expert in cat behavior and health

    Satisfied Customers:

    3153
    Expert in cat medical and behavior issues.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/ER/ERPetNurse/2011-11-7_1293_b.64x64.jpg Candy R.'s Avatar

    Candy R.

    Veterinary Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    2887
    Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/babybloo/2011-3-10_62613_DavidandI.64x64.jpg Theresa's Avatar

    Theresa

    A Voice for your Pet

    Satisfied Customers:

    2124
    19+ years in animal medicine as a veterinary technician