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How Do You Tell The Sex Of A Cat

Which Combination Of Genders Get Along Better

HOW TO TELL THE SEX OF A KITTEN at 3 weeks old | British Shorthair & Scottish Fold Kittens Quiz!

If you are thinking of having more than one cat, you may have people telling you that certain combinations are better than others. Specifically, there is anecdotal evidence that male-female combinations are better than male-male or female-female. However, a study by Barry and Crowell-Davis found few differences in positive or negative social behaviors in houses that had only male cats, only female cats, or a combination of male and female cats. Male cats were more likely to spend time in the same room as each other, and female cats were never reported to groom other cats, but no other differences were reported. Most importantly, the results of this study showed that individual cats vary widely in their social behavior and that individual personality is more important to consider than whether the cats are male or female.

How To Tell The Sex Of A Male Kitten

For a male kitten, youll find a small hole near the base of the tail, but there will be a second rounded shape a bit further down than with female kittens. Because the anus and scrotum have a bit of space between them, there will be some fur between them. As a male kitten gets a bit older, their testes will grow larger and be easier to distinguish.

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How Do I Know If My Cats Male

A male cats genital area comprises the anus, the scrotum and the penis.;

The scrotum or scrotal sac contains the testicles, and is covered in fur. In newborn kittens the testicles are very small, about the size of a cherry stone. By the time the cat reaches adulthood, theyll be around the size of a cherry itself. So if there are testicles, you should be able to see and feel them.;

The penis is located right above the testicles in a little tuft of fur. You can see it between the cats back legs.;

In adult cats youll find the anus some three centimetres from the penis. In a newborn kitten, this distance is reduced.;

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Determining A Kitten’s Sex

Visual cues will help you determine if a kitten is male or female. While this distinction may be difficult to tell with newborns, it’ll become easier the older they get. Knowing the sex doesn’t make any difference in how you raise them, and only determines whether the kitten will eventually need to be spayed or to be neutered.;

Handle Your Cats Gentle

How to Tell the Sex of a Cat

If possible, give the kitten 3-4 weeks after birth before holding them for proper gender determination. Ensure the mother kitten has no objections to your holding her kittens before you do so and return them to the mother kitten as soon as you notice any sign of agitation.

You will need the help of someone else when it comes to handling ornery or wiggly adult cats. To encourage the cat to lift the tail higher, you will have to scratch and pet the spot between the tail and the back region.

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What Are The Physical Differences Between A Female And Male Cat

The most obvious physical difference between male and female cats is their genitalia. Neutered males have their testicles removed and spayed females have their uterus removed. It is typically recommended that cats be spayed or neutered before they are 5 months of age to prevent problem behaviors. However, spaying or neutering after this age is also effective at reducing these behaviors . If you adopt a cat from an animal shelter, typically the cat will be spayed or neutered before you bring the cat home.

A couple of other physical differences have been reported between male and female cats. Male cats are typically larger than females, especially if they were not neutered until after sexual maturity. Also, unneutered male cats typically develop big cheeks due to testosterone causing a larger, rounder face than females. These cheeks serve as a sign of their physical fitness to females and other males. After cats are neutered, the cat may retain this feature to a certain extent. So if you adopt an older male cat you may notice these larger, lovable cheeks.

Tips For Determining Your Cats Age

Reviewed and updated for accuracy on November 18, 2019, by Dr. Hanie Elfenbein, DVM, PhD

When you adopt a cat whose history is a mystery to the shelter or rescue organization, its hard to determine how old your new feline friend may be.

Once your kitty reaches adulthood, pinpointing a birthday becomes increasingly difficult. However, there are some indicators that can help you and your vet make an educated guess.

Dr. Michael;Nappier, an assistant professor of community practice at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicines Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, says that these indicators are far from precise, but they are more able to give owners and vets a general idea.

Here are six tips that you and your vet can use to tell a cats age.

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Is It True You Can Determine A Cats Sex By Colour

It is true that almost all tortoiseshell and calico cats are female.

Research shows that only 1 in 1,000 calico cats are male.

This is because these colours require two X chromosomes to be present and females have two X chromosomes.

A male of these colours would have a genetic aberration of two X chromosomes and one Y chromosome.

People also say all ginger cats are male but according to Science Focus around three quarters are male and one quarter are female.

So, while it is more likely for a ginger cat to be male, its not 100% certain.

Ginger colouration is a less reliable indicator of sex in cats but generally ginger males are more likely to occur than ginger females.

This is something that provides a rough guideline, it is by no means foolproof and we highly recommend using other methods to find out the sex of your cat rather than judging solely by the colour of their fur.

Determining The Sex By The Cat’s Physical Features

Kittens: How to know if it’s a boy or girl
  • 1Approach the cat or kitten with care. To ascertain the sex of a cat or kitten, it’s necessary to pick the cat up. Some cats don’t like to be handled, so take a little time to let him or her get comfortable around you.
  • Stand or crouch near the cat and let him or her approach you. When the cat comes close, let him or her sniff your hand.
  • If the cat seems nervous, you may have to come back later or have a partner help you with the next step.
  • 2Lift the cat’s tail. Gently pick up the cat and cradle him or her in one arm. Use your free hand to lift the tail so you can examine the genital area.
  • If the cat doesn’t mind being handled, this may be easiest to perform while sitting on a chair or the couch, so you don’t have to worry about dropping the cat.
  • If you’re working with a partner, have the partner hold the cat securely in both arms while you lift the tail.
  • If the cat avoids having his or her tail lifted, try scratching him or her in the area where the tail meets the back. Cats usually lift their tails when they are touched in this spot.XResearch source
  • 3Look for genitalia characteristic of a male cat. The surest way to tell the difference between a male and female cat is by examining the cat’s physical features below its tail. Begin by looking for male genital features, which can be somewhat easier to spot.
  • A male cat will have an anus, scrotum, and penis, while a female cat will have only an anus and urinary tract opening.
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    What Is My Kitten’s Gender

    Determining the sex of a cat can be difficult at times, especially if there is no other cat with which to compare the anatomy. So how can you tell if you have a Merlin or a Misty, a Rex or a Ruby? Here are a few steps to tell what your kitten’s gender is

    If you’ve established a good relationship with the cat, pick him or her up and lift its tail. If the kitten isn’t responding well, you may want to solicit the assistance of a friend or family member. If the cat still isn’t lifting its tail, try scratching it where the lower back meets its tail; most cats lift their tails if you do this to them.

    Once the tail is up, you should have full view of the cat’s genitals and anus. A male will have a much greater distance between the genitals and anus than females ½ inch apart on a male kitten or over 1 inch apart on a male adult cat. Conversely, if the two are almost adjacent on a kitten or less than 1/2 inch apart on an adult, its a female.

    Need some more help determining the sex of your cat or kitten? Check out the pics below.

    Leave The Kittens Alone For The First Few Weeks

    When kittens are under a month old, its best to leave them with their mother. Taking a kitten away for too long can be distressing for the kitten and their mother cat. Some mother cats may abandon their kittens if theyre handled too often.

    As kittens get used to your presence, you may be able to start handling them at 2 weeks old, but its safer to wait until theyre 4 weeks old, if possible. Its also extremely difficult to tell the gender of a kitten under 4 weeks old, so you may be putting both the mother cat and the kittens under unnecessary distress.

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    Need More Help Sexing Kittens

    I hope that my kitten sexing guide helped you determine the sex of your kittens. If you need any further help sexing your kittens then please feel free to contact me via the contact page, social media or by using the comments section below. If you can send me photos of your kittens sex organs as in the photos above then I should be able to let you know the sex of your kitten.


    About the author

    Ross writes extensively about cats and kittens and has been featured in magazines such as Your Cat and Our Cats and has also guest authored on newsletters for various cat organisations. He is also a guest speaker at cat seminars.

    Leave a Reply
  • 07/08/2017 at 8:51 am

    Hi Ross,

    Thanks for the great article. I have a nearly ten week old kitten that I was told was a female when I got her but Im not too sure now. I dont think her genital area really matches either sex perfectly! If I send you a picture, would you be able to clarify if she is definitely female or if I actually have a little boy?


  • Send me a picture and I will take a look for you.

    I have sent you an email that you can reply to.


  • Send me a picture and I will take a look for you.

    I have sent you an email that you can reply to.


  • I am more than happy to help.

    I have sent you an email which you can reply to.


  • 09/09/2017 at 9:55 am

    Hi Amanda

    It is always hard when you are just looking at one kitten rather than a litter. No chance for comparison.

    I have sent you an email which you can reply to.


  • Sexing Cats Based On Genitals

    How to Determine the Sex of a Cat: 7 Steps (with Pictures)

    The only really reliable way to determine a cats sex is to look at the genitals. This is easier in older cats. In very young kittens, the males and females can be quite hard to distinguish if you dont know what youre looking for.

    To see the cats genitals, youll need to gently lift up the tail. If the cat is relaxed and amenable to being handled, this is easy enough. Its a good idea to sit down with the cat on your lap, so you wont drop the animal if things dont go well. If the cat doesnt co-operate with you lifting the tail, try scratching the animals back at the base of the tail. This often causes the cat to lift up its tail instinctively.

    A more nervous or hostile cat can be tricky to handle its better to have someone else hold the cat while you perform the examination. It might be necessary to wrap the cat in a towel or blanket.

    A male cat will have a scrotum and penis located just below the anus. In an entire tom, the testicles will also be visible. Neutered toms still have scrota, but theyre smaller and less pronounced. A female cat will only have an anus and vagina.

    Whatever the cats sex, its important that the cat be spayed or neutered as soon as possible. Your vet can advise you on whether the cat is old enough for the procedure. Its usually carried out at around five months, but may be performed earlier in some cases. De-sexing cats makes them happier and easier to care for, as well as protecting them against various diseases.

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    Determining Gender Of A Kitten

    This information is not meant to be a substitute for veterinary care. Always follow the instructions provided by your veterinarian.

    You just brought home a kitten that you intend to name Sam but your roommate tells you that you had better consider the name Samantha instead.

    Determining the sex of a kitten is easy when you know what to look for.

    Lift the kitten’s tail. The opening just under the tail is the anus. Below the anus is the genital opening which is round in males and is a vertical slit in females. In kittens of similar size, the distance between the anus and the genital opening is greater in the male than the female.

    Male 8 week old kittenFemale 8 week old kitten

    As the male kitten grows the testicles become more apparent.

    The color of the kitten may suggest its gender. Almost all kittens of calico or tortishell color are females. More orange kittens are male than female although the association between color and sex is not as strong as in the calico/tortishell colored kitten.

    Washington State University assumes no liability for injury to you or your pet incurred by following these descriptions or procedures.

    How To Tell Cat Gender By Face

    It can be tricky to tell the difference between male and female cats without peeking under the hood, as it were. Sometimes you dont have an opportunity to sex a cat by looking at the genitals. Although its not an exact science, its possible to tell the difference between male and female cats by other means. Cats exhibit a degree of sexual dimorphism, with this being more or less pronounced in different breeds. Females tend to be smaller than males. Perhaps most distinctive, though, are the facial differences between male and female cats. With practice, you can often distinguish between the sexes.

    How to tell cat gender by face: Male cats tend to have a more rounded, fuller face than females. The cheek pads on a male cat develop more, especially in an entire male, giving these cats a jowly look. Female cats tend to have a few narrower face with a more delicate muzzle.

    Youve landed on this page because you want to learn how to distinguish between male and female cats. Perhaps you cant get near enough to perform a genital inspection. Maybe the cat is a stray and wont let you get close, or perhaps youre curious about a neighbours pet. Maybe you spotted a kitty in the shelter and youre thinking of adopting. Keep reading to find out all the answers: how to tell a cats sex from the face, and from other characteristics. This article has all the information that youre looking for.

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    How To Keep Them Away

    1. Dont feed a feral cat if you want them to leave

    If you start feeding the feral cat population around you, you will not be able to get them to leave. Feral cats are capable of hunting, but like any animal, once they find a ready source of food, they will continue to return to it, and theyll bring friends. If they become accustomed to having a caretaker, the sudden cessation of food will not deter them from hanging around. The best way to handle this is to not start feeding them if you dont want to become a feral cat caretaker.

    2. Call to have them removed if theyve become a problem

    Even if youve never fed them, you may still have feral cats making themselves a nuisance in your area. If you are interested in having them removed, keep in mind that most feral cats are unadoptable due to their lack of socialization. If you want them removed humanely, contact your local Humane Society. They will have a list of cat-caretakers and volunteers who participate in the trap, neuter, release programs.

    3. Cover Your Trashcans Tightly

    Raccoons arent the only critters who like to get in the trash. Feral cats will also dig through your trash to get at a meal. Secure your trashcans tightly, to prevent cats from smelling a free meal, and knocking over your trashcans. Knowledge of an easy food source will keep the cats coming back, and bringing more with them.

    Here are a few options on Amazon for keeping secure trashcans:


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