Male cats have a different type of anatomy than females, a study published in the journal Animal Behaviour and Therapy has found.
The study, which analysed data from more than 7,500 male cats, found that females had a larger, more complicated, and more complex mammary glands.
The researchers also found that males had larger tails than females.
While the study has not yet been peer-reviewed, it was done by the University of Sydney’s Cat Genetics Research Centre and is published in a special issue of Animal Behaviors.
Female cats have large mammary tumours in their tails.
Male cats have smaller mammary tumors in their hind limbs.
Both sexes are vulnerable to stress and can suffer from a variety of health problems, such as lung problems and skin infections, the study found.
It is possible that males can be more vulnerable to disease due to a greater need to mate and produce offspring, as well as the need to cope with a greater burden of physical activity.
The team from the University’s Cat Genomics Research Centre said the research shows that “male cats are an endangered species and that there is a need for more research into their biology and anatomy.”
“In addition, males are often the only type of cat available for research in Australia,” said lead researcher Professor Michael Eberhard.
“While male cats may have unique anatomical and physiological characteristics, there is also a need to study their genetics in order to understand how to reduce their risks and potentially help save other animals.”
The team said it was not possible to determine whether males are more susceptible to disease in the wild due to their greater vulnerability to stress, or whether they were more likely to be affected by stress.
The University of NSW’s Cat Genetic Research Centre has an active research programme on the genetic basis of cats.
The new study has been published in The Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine.