I suppose it is a flexible concept that depends on the contest. I miss what a tomcat is. It sounds to me like a jerrymouse, lol. In Italian masculine form "gatto" is used as default when gender is not defined. I suppose that кошка is used in the same way. Can any native russian tell me if I am right?
I've never heard this used to refer to the gender of a cat; I've always understood this as an alternate word for cats in general. An (unspayed) female can be called a queen in breeding contexts, but otherwise I don't think I've ever heard a general term for female cats in common parlance.
Duo gives us new words to enrich our understanding as we strengthen our knowledge. It is just like in weight training: sometimes we must put more weights on the bar in order to get stronger! Hope this analogy helps -it is not always easy to stay positive, but it makes us stronger when we become aware of that goal.
okay, my mom taught me that koshka means female and kot means male. but duolingo never taught that and the hovered translation is just "cat." why cant they put a little more effort into teaching these things? this is one of the reasons why no one gets fluent after learning here. ridiculous, sorry.
This is a dumb one. I get that the former is a male cat and the latter is a female cat, but it really does translate to just, "This is a cat and not a cat." Please get rid of this question.
Edit (Sept. 5, 2019, 8 months later): Don’t necessarily “get rid of this question”; just make this an accepted translation of the sentence.
“He-cat”, “she-cat”, “tomcat”, “boy cat”, and “girl cat” should all also be valid translations.