Categories: Cat Anatomy

How To Sex Kittens

How to sex kittens? It can be tricky. Sexing Kittens or indeed cats is a problem for breeders (sometimes) and certainly for people not intimately involved in the cat world. This article sets out to demystify it. That, anyway, is the intention. The information mainly comes from cat breeders, the best source for this kind of information. I list out ways from several sources and leave it to you to try all or one of them!

Sexing Kittens

Photo by Tom Poes (new window)

Method 1

Looking closely, very closely! (magnifying glass?) at the relevant area under the tail, you can see a circular opening for a boy cat and a vertical opening for a girl cat. The basic difference is dot (m) versus line (f).

Method 2

First tip the kitten upside down really gently. The rear end of the kitten should be facing you. The tail will drop out of the way. In the relevant area, for a female you will see an exclamation mark: ! . For a male you will see a full stop (period in American English) and two puffy cheek type things (testicles – not always obvious in kittens ) towards the bottom, plus another full stop.

Method 3

Hold the kitten upright. Lift the tail. At the top is the anus. Below the anus:

  • for females: you will see an upside down exclamation mark or an i.
  • for males: you will see a rounder opening so the area might look like a colon :. There is space between the two; where the testicles are on either side.

Method 4

The kitten is upright. Lift the tail. The anus is just under the tail below which is the genital opening:

  • for males it is round
  • for females it is a vertical slit
  • the distance between the anus and the genital opening is greater in males provided the cats are the same size.

Extra Stuff on how to sex kittens

The color of the kitten can assist. Calico cats (tortoiseshell and white) or tortoiseshell cats(new window) are nearly always female. Orange cats are more likely to be male but the association is less strong than as for calico and tortie.

Pictures

Sexing kittens and cats. Left is female. Right is male.

Sexing kittens and cats



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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

View Comments

    • Deborah, the books say: In the female, the vulva is a vertical slit just below the anus. The image you provide seems to me to illustrate those words. I'd say therefore that the sex is female. Now tell me I am wrong ;)

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