How to Tell Male & Female Kittens Apart

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How to Tell Male & Female Kittens Apart
Tortoiseshell kittens are typically female. (calico image by Allyson Ricketts from Fotolia.com)

Whether you are caring for a new litter or you are thinking about adopting a kitten, being able to tell the difference between a male kitten and a female kitten is important. Sexing a kitten is a straightforward task that can be accomplished quickly and easily.

Skill level:
Easy

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Wait until the kitten is at least 2 weeks old. Before the age of 2 weeks, the kittens cannot be sexed as their genitals are still undeveloped. The older the kitten is, the more clear its sex will be.

  2. 2

    Lift up the kitten's tail.

  3. 3

    Locate two openings. The opening nearest to the kitten's tail is the anus, and the opening closer to the kitten's head is its genitals.

  4. 4

    Look at the shape of the genital opening. In female kittens, the genital opening will be a slit, while male kittens have a small circular opening.

  5. 5

    Check the spacing between the anus and the genitals. Male kittens have more space between their anus and their genitals than female kittens do, as this is where their testicles will descend.

  6. 6

    Rub the area between the genitals and the anus gently when the kitten is 4 weeks old or older. Male kittens will have two small pealike structures in this area, which are their testicles.

Tips and warnings

  • Kittens with tortoiseshell or calico coats are typically female.

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