Differences between male & female kittens

Written by jack ori
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Differences between male & female kittens
The battle of the sexes begins in kittenhood. (kittens image by Annika from Fotolia.com)

It is important to understand the differences between male and female kittens. For one thing, you will want to know if your cats are male or female before giving them names. There are also personality and behavioural differences between male and female kittens; if you are thinking of adopting a young cat, you should be aware of these differences so that you can choose a kitten that will thrive in your environment.

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Physical Differences

There are three areas of a kitten's body that are different in male cats than in female cats: the shape of the anal and genital openings; the proximity of the anus to the genital opening; and the genitalia themselves.

If you look underneath the kitten's tail, you will be able to determine its gender by examining the shape of the openings in the anus. All cats have an anal and a genital opening; for females, the openings resemble a semicolon (;), whereas for males the openings are rounder, resembling a colon (:) This is because in females, the genital opening is closer to the anus than it is in males. Male cats also have a more rounded genital opening.

The other way to tell the sex of the kitten is by examining the genitals themselves. This is difficult to do in very young kittens, as male genitals are not fully developed. As the male kitten grows older, testes grow and drop down from the round genital opening.

Personality Differences

Non-neutered male cats tend to be more territorial and possessive than female cats. These cats may become aggressive toward other cats; fights between male cats are more common than between female cats. Male cats tend to become less aggressive when neutered.

Both male and female cats can be very affectionate. Neutered male cats may be slightly more loving, although this is a matter of debate and may be more due to individual personality differences than to differences between sexes.

Behavioural Differences

Dealing with a non-neutered male cat can be risky because male cats sometimes mark their territory by spraying urine. They are more likely to do this if there are other cats in the house, as it is a way of claiming space for themselves.

As the kittens grow older, there may be other behavioural concerns associated with male cats. Males are more likely to wander the neighbourhood than females are, sometimes disappearing for days at a time. If you are considering breeding cats, you should also be aware that male cats can sometimes be dangerous to young kittens; some male cats consider kittens to be prey and will attack them.

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