Why is a male cat a tom?

Before 1760 male cats were called a "ram cat" in England. In 1760 a book called The Life and Adventures of a Cat was published. The author was Henry Fielding. It had 190 pages. Henry Fielding was involved in creating the first police force in England called: the Bow Street Runners.

In the book he referred to "Tom the Cat". As the book was very popular, people began calling a male cat a "tom". Gradually, over time, this became established and the term is still used today. It is, though, considered rather old fashioned.

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