What is a Female Cat Called?

If a male feline is known as a Tom, what is a female cat called? A question that’s perplexed many a cat owner.

In short, female cats are known as Mollies, Queens or Dams. They’re also sometimes known as She-Cats (amazing as this may seem).

There’s actually a specific naming convention behind each of these terms…apart from the last one. Let’s take a closer look.


‘Molly’ is a generic terms that describes any female cat – it’s basically the equivalent of ‘Tom-Cat’.

Technically-speaking, the term is used to describe a spayed feline.

But if you own a lady cat (another cat name!), you could quite reasonably refer to her as a ‘Molly’, without any feline aficionado raising an eyebrow.

By the by, the word ‘Molly’ is a diminutive of the Hebrew feminine name Mary.


‘Queen’ refers to an unneutered female cat that’s at breeding age, is pregnant or is caring for her kittens. There’s some confusion about the origins of the word’s usage in relation to felines.

Some suggest the word Queen was originally used in England by owners to describe the matriarchal cat in a multi-cat household.

A more likely explanation is that the word ‘Queen’ relates directly to the breeding term, ‘Queening’ which describes when a female cat gives birth.


The word ‘Dam’ describes a pure-bred cat that’s specifically used for breeding.

Although seldom heard in everyday conversion, this kind of terminology is often used in breeder parlance.

The origins of ‘Dam’ aren’t clear but perhaps originate from the honorific and matronly word, ‘Dame’.


There’s really much to say here. ‘She-Cat’ refers to a cat that’s, well, a she. A female. Femina Felis Catus…

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