Cat Care

Determining the Sex of Kittens

Cat Care > Cat Breeding > Determining the Sex of Kittens

Knowing the Sex of Kitten

Identifying the sex of each kitten in a litter can be a problem as the urogenital openings are in similar positions. It is easier if both sexes are represented so that one can be compared with another. It is generally thought to be easier to sex kittens shortly after birth or, alternatively, when they are four weeks old. In long-coated varieties, growth of hair may soon obscure the openings so it is probably best to carry out the identification early on.

The kitten should be held in the palm of the hand or placed on a table and its tail raised. In both sexes, the upper round opening is the anus, looking like a small dot. In a female, the urogenital opening or vulva is beneath and close to the anus. It appears like an elongated vertical slit, a little broader in the center than at the top or bottom. In the male, the urogenital opening is slightly lower down and appears as another small round dot. It may be possible to see two small swellings between the anus and the urogenital opening which are the testicles.