How To Determine the Sex of a Kitten

Kittens are soft bundles of cuteness when they're born. And boy or girl, you just want to let them snuggle close to you. But if you're considering taking a kitten home with you to stay, the gender of the kitten might be important for you to know. Here's how you can determine the sex of a kitten

Step 1

Recognize that some kittens are just too young to be sexed. When kittens are born, their genitalia are still quite small. It is nearly impossible to tell the gender of a kitten before it is at least 2 weeks old. And even at this age, experienced veterinarians and breeders have been known to make mistakes. To be sure, wait a few weeks before trying to determine the sex of a kitten.

Step 2

Determine if your kitten is a male. Now that the kitten is a few weeks old, you should be able to get a better idea of the sex of the kitten. When you are looking to see whether or not a kitten is a male or female, you should be thinking in terms of punctuation marks (strange, I know, but it works!). Male kittens have genitals that look like a colon, or two small dots, one above the other. The top dot or hole is the anus, and the one below that is for the penis. There is a small space between the two holes that will later house the testicles, which haven't yet appeared. (If anything, you may notice two small lumps in this area which are the beginning buds of the male kitten's testicles.) If you really want to be sure that the sex of your kitten is male, then just squeeze the urinary opening gently. If a little penis pops out, then you've got yourself a boy!

Step 3

Know what features indicate that your kitten is a female. Much like the male kittens, the sex of a female kitten can be confirmed by thinking in terms of punctuation marks, namely the exclamation mark. The female kitten's genitals are shaped like an upside-down exclamation mark, where the top dot is the anus and the bottom slit or opening is the vaginal area. Once you have seen a few different kitty backsides, you'll come to recognize that a female's opening is much closer to the anus than the male's opening. It should almost look like the vaginal opening is attached or just barely below the anus when the sex of a kitten is female.

It is worth mentioning that kittens can safely be neutered as early as 6 weeks old. But, they still need to stay with their mother for at least 8 weeks, if not 12. It takes some time for kittens to become accustomed to their surroundings and those within it, including other cats and humans. To remove a kitten from its natural environment too early is not only stressful to the kitten, but detrimental to its overall survival. So keep the kitten at home for a few months before sending it to a new loving home. Besides, this extended stay will give you many weeks to try to decipher the sex of your cuddly new kitten.


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