Kittens are born soft, little balls of fluff that produce adorable tiny mewling sounds. It is tempting to cuddle them all day long, but doing so too much can actually lead to their mother refusing to nurse them.
Once this delicate stage has passed, however, your small kitten is ready for hugs – if it is willing to accept them, of course – and will also have grown enough to tell if it is male or female more easily.
If you are wondering how to determine the gender of a kitten, look no further. Here are 3 simple ways to do it – you can check its genitals, notice its coat color, or observe its behavior. Here is each method explained in further detail, with pictures.
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3 Ways for Identifying Kitten Gender
1. Notice Their Coat Color
If the kitten is still too young or is perhaps not in the mood to be handled, there is an available visual way to tell kittens genders.
Did you know that a cat’s fur is more than just a beautiful layer of thick hair? It keeps your cat warm, protects its skin, is used in communication, and provides sensory input – and the coat color can give you a clue about the kitten gender too!
Tri-colored or Calico kittens (who typically sport black, white, and orange fur) are almost always female, as are tortoiseshell cats.
If your kitten is orange or ginger-colored however, there is a higher likelihood that it is male, but it is not guaranteed.
The same is true if your kitten is black!
This method of using coat color to tell the sex of a kitten is not a hundred percent accurate. Still, it can be the basis of a fun guessing game before you check under their tails to confirm!
2. Check Their Genitals
We know you are itching to know, but take this step slowly and carefully! After all, you are touching a sensitive part used for, among other things, the identification male vs female.
We recommend spending a little time with your pet first, stroking it and cuddling it for a while. When the cat is fully relaxed, that is the only time you should gently lift its tail to inspect the shape of its genitals to find the gender of a kitten.
To help you tell the difference, some people have compared the shapes of kittens’ organs to punctuation marks and letters:
- If your kitten is a girl, her parts typically look like an upside exclamation mark or a small letter i. You can easily see that her anus and vulva are close together.
- If your kitten is a boy, their parts are further apart, clearly separated by his testicles. The shape you will notice is closer to a semi-colon ( ; ).
3. Watching Their Behavior
Just like with people and other creatures, each kitten comes with its own unique personality that gets more noticeable as it grows older.
While these behavioral signs may provide you clues when you are gendering kittens, they are by no means definitive and set in stone.
These gender-specific behaviors also tend to lessen once your spay or neuter your kittens.
That being said, female kittens usually announce their blooming age with noisy cries. Sometimes, these practices can begin as young as four months.
On the other hand, male kittens typically become territorial as they mature, often spraying their chosen spots to label them as theirs and warn off intruders. They are also more adventurous and enjoy exploring.
According to many cat owners, their male kittens are generally friendlier than female ones.
For more insights, Reddit users have shared their thoughts on this question. Dive into the conversation here:
Sexing kittens is essential for practical reasons, such as knowing if you should have them spayed or neutered. Thankfully, you now know how to determine the gender of a kitten – it is an extremely easy process with three possible ways.
At the end of the day, your cat gender is less important than the relationship you will build with your pet over the years, and the joy you will bring each other.
Whether your new kitten is a boy or girl, we hope you have purr-fectly great times coming up together!
I am Amy Sawy, a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) graduate from the University of Kansas. y husband, Dr. Plummer, and I own a veterinary clinic in Phillipsburg, Kansas. In addition to my professional background, I am a devoted pet owner myself, with a household that includes dogs, rodents, and most notably, cats – a total of five felines in my home.
In 2020, I joined an organization as a professional writer, leveraging my experience and collaborating with my team to deliver the most valuable information for your cat’s care.