How to Sex a Kitten – An experienced breeder is unlikely to make a mistake, but a member of staff in a pet store may not be quite so competent. So rather than rely on an inexperienced assessment, or if your cat is pregnant and you would like to know what sex the kittens are straight away, you can follow the information here and check for yourself.
Sexing kittens is easier if you can compare one sex with the other. The problem is that the urogenital opening in both male and female cats is located in a similar place beneath the tail.
Sexing a kitten is a lot harder than sexing an adult cat. In longhaired breeds, it is a good idea to sex kittens early —before the growth of fur hides the tell-tale openings.
The easiest way to sex a litter is to compare one sex with the other — which is only possible if there is at least one example of each sex in the same litter.
The presence of teats is no indication of a kitten’s sex. If your female cat has just had kittens, you will probably want to know the sex of your newborn kittens immediately.
This is more difficult than sexing an adult cat, but it’s not impossible, especially if there are both sexes in the same litter so you can compare one with the other. Hold the kitten in your hand with its rear end towards you and raise its tail.
Looking For Openings
There will be two openings apparent, and the crucial thing is the distance between them. The upper opening, nearer the tail, is the anus, while the lower one is the urogenital opening. In the female, this opening is the vulva, and it is a vertical slit very close to the anus.
In the male, on the other hand, there is a much wider gap between the anus and a small round opening, in which the penis is hidden. Gentle pressure on either side of this opening should cause the small, pink penis to stick out.
The gap allows room for the scrotal sacs, located above the penis, but in most cases the testes are not visible until a male cat is around five to 12 weeks old, though two tiny dark and slightly raised swellings may just be apparent.
In some cases, the colour of a cat is a guide to the sex —but there are exceptions. For example, for genetic reasons, ginger cats are almost always male. When female gingers occur, they are often sterile.
Tortoiseshell colouring — in which a cat has a combination of several colours in its fur — is very likely to indicate that a cat is female. Tortoiseshell colouring may be a combination of black, red and brown, either evenly distributed through the coat or in patches. If the patches are mixed with white, the colouring is called Calico.
Combinations of blue and cream are also, strictly speaking, a form of tortoiseshell, in this case referred to as dilute. In a tortie colourpoint, the tortoiseshell marking only shows on the extremities.