How to Tell the Difference Between a Male and Female Kitten

Written by caroline jackson
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How to Tell the Difference Between a Male and Female Kitten
Kittens begin to develop visible genitalia at 8 weeks. (Two Kittens image by afroditi from

Telling the difference between a male and a female kitten can be tricky, depending on the age of the cat. Kittens younger than 8 weeks old have yet to develop their genitalia, making the difference between the genders harder to distinguish. After 8 weeks, a kitten's genitalia should develop to the point where the differences between the genders are more apparent.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Pick up the kitten.

  2. 2

    Turn the kitten so that you can see its hindquarters.

  3. 3

    Lift the kitten's tail. The kitten's anus is directly beneath the tail and its genitalia is beneath the anus. If the kitten is male, its genitalia resembles a round dot or period. If the kitten is female, its genitalia resembles a vertical line.

Tips and warnings

  • A kitten's coat colour and markings may indicate its gender. For genetic reasons, nearly all calico and tortoishell cats are female.

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