"Tom is my favorite cat."
Translation:Том — мой любимый кот.
For the brief period of time I learnt Russian, I was always taught that the word кошка is generic and кот is usually used specifically to refer to male cats. While I understand here, that this was a sentence about a male cat (indicated by the name), if my theory is correct, the word кошка would also be fine in the sentence. Or am I wrong?
Since Tom is a male name, it would be very unusual to have «ко́шка» here. If you know the cat's name, you probably know if it's male or female too, so you're not expected to be using a generic term.
Also in British use of English it is quite common to refer to a male cat as a tom cat !
The same in American English. An adult female is a "queen". There's some reference to a young female as a "molly", but I've never heard that.
Also, a male turkey is a "tom". Female is a "hen"