All kittens are adorable, but it is not always obvious what sex they are just by looking at them. Generally, people look for a kitten’s testicles to “drop” to verify that they’re dealing with a male feline. But when do a male kitten’s testicles drop? This natural process typically happens by the time a kitten is 2 months old. However, there are a few things that can stop you from seeing or feeling your kitten’s testicles even at that time. Here’s what you should know about the topic.
You Can’t Always Find the Testicles at 2 Months Old
The testicles develop inside the abdomen, near the kidneys. When developed enough, they drop into the cat’s scrotum, which is what people refer to as the “testicle drop.” It is possible to identify the testicles of a male kitten before he’s 2 months old, but this is not always the case. In fact, the testicles of some kittens can’t be identified by touch or sight even after that time.
Some owners report that they don’t notice their kitty’s testicles drop until around 6 months of age. So, if you can’t find your cat’s testicles by 2 months of age, be patient for a few more months. If there is still no sign of them by 6 months of age, it’s probably time to contact your veterinarian.
How to Tell That Your Kitten’s Testicles Have Dropped
When a kitten’s testicles drop, they are visible, but they are only about pea size. So, even though they are there, you might not be able to see them. The testicles are located between the penis and the anus, in the scrotum. If you can’t see the testicles, feel for them. You should feel something like slightly soft marbles if the testicles have dropped. If you see or feel nothing, chances are that the testicles have not dropped yet, either because it’s simply not the time or there is another reason that the process has not yet taken place.
Reasons That Your Kitten’s Testicles May Not Have Dropped Yet
There are a couple of reasons that a male kitten’s testicles might not be present or drop when they are expected to.
The first is that the cat in question has been neutered. A male cat that has been neutered before you adopted him won’t have any testicles since they are removed during surgery. If you adopted your male kitten from a humane society, there is a good chance that he has been neutered. Therefore, it’s important to verify with whomever you get your kitten from whether he has been neutered. If neutering has taken place, you should expect never to see or feel his testicles in the scrotum.
Another possible reason is due to a condition called cryptorchidism. This is a health condition in which one or both testicles fail to make their way to the scrotum at all and remain in the inguinal canal (groin) or in the abdomen. While cryptorchidism is not common, it can happen, so all cat owners whose male cats are not neutered should be aware of it. Treatment for cryptorchidism involves surgery (neutering) to have the testicles removed.
In general, your male kitten’s testicles should drop by the age of about 2 months unless he has been neutered, he’s a late bloomer, or he has cryptorchidism. If you are in doubt, talk to your veterinarian, and they can help you determine what is going on. They can do tests to find out if your cat has been neutered and help you figure out whether cryptorchidism is something to consider.
Featured Image Credit: Anna Hoychuck, Shutterstock