How to Tell the Difference Between a Male & a Female Cat

Updated November 21, 2016

Determining the sex of a cat can be easy if you have a mature cat, but if you have a kitten or a neutered male cat, this process can be challenging. Even cat breeders sometimes make mistakes when trying to identify male and female kittens. Unlike dogs, there are no obvious outward signs of gender. In addition, male cats can have nipples. Knowing what to look for on your cat or kitten will make the process go more smoothly

Look at the kitten's bottom. The opening just below the tails is the anus, and every cat has one. Beneath the anus are the kitten's genitals. On a male, this opening is round or like a curved line. On a female, this opening is vertical.

Look at the distance between the openings in the rear. On a female cat, these openings are close together. On a male cat, they are farther apart to allow space for the scrotum to grow.

Look for a vulva. This is the opening beneath the anus. In kittens less than six weeks old, this can be difficult. After six weeks, you will see a scrotum on a male kitten.

On older cats that may be neutered, you will not see a vulva, which is visible on a female cat. The vulva is located beneath the anus and it is shaped like a small leaf.


If you have several kittens, look at them side by side to help you determine if they are male or female. Almost all calico or tortoiseshell kittens are female, and most orange cats are male. Use this method with caution, as it is not completely accurate.

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