How to sex kittens – 5 explanations

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 explain 5 ways from several sources and leave it to you to try all or one of them!

Introduction – this should be conclusive and is the FIRST EXPLANATION in video, image and words. FYI – Google thinks this page is “Shocking Content!” Can you believe it? I am baffled. That’s Google for you. They want us to prepare all pages as if they will be read by a 10-year-old.

Here is a TikTok video which I think it pretty good, and which comes from Kay Banks, the CEO of Cats. Below the video are some photos and four more explanations. some illustrated. Sometimes it is not as clear cut as the video makes out.

Female genitals are close to the butt and look like a line or a teardrop.

Female genitals are like a line or tear drop close to the genitals
Female genitals are like a line or tear drop close to the anus. Screenshot.
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Male genitals are a little further away from the butt than for the female. The distance between the anus and the ‘genital opening’ is more than one inch for males. For females the distance is less than half an inch. Get the ruler out ?✔️. The raised furry area is where the testicles will be until they are neutered. There will be a darker centre point. If there is a circle in the furry mound you’ve probably got a male.

If a female is spayed, you may see a surgical scare on the stomach, but this is not always clearly visible.

Male kitten genitals
Male kitten genitals. Screenshot.

Below are four more explanations on how to sex a kitten.

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.


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


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20 thoughts on “How to sex kittens – 5 explanations”

    1. Hi, there, I think this might be a photo-edited image as it does not show the genitalia. I am happy to provide an opinion but would appreciate another image please. Thanks for visiting and sharing and good luck.

    1. Hi Crysta. I think female because we see a slit for an opening rather than the circle for the male penis although the distance between anus and vulva seems a little bigger than half an inch. How does she behave? Females can behave like females. And their facial appearance can be feminine compared to a more masculine male face. Sometimes the difference in facial appearance is quite noticeable. Is she spayed? If so you may see the scar on her belly, the remains of the operation. Also with neutered males you can sometimes see different coloured hair where their testes were. Good luck. Tell me how things worked out.

    1. Well, sometimes they all look the same ? and it doesn’t make any difference if they are male or female. I have added a video to the page. You might want to look at it. It is very hard to judge sometimes.

        1. Male in my opinion ?. One of the key differences is the distance between genital opening and anus: 1 inch in males and less than 0.5 inch in females for adult. I think this distance for your kitten indicates males! Tricky though isn’t it?

    1. 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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