Before you adopt or acquire a cat or kitten, do you want to know their gender first and foremost? Some people don’t have a gender preference for their new feline friends, others have their hearts set on tomcats or queens. However, if you have an existing cat, or you’d prefer one over the other, you should know for sure what you have.
The easiest way to determine the gender of a cat is to take a look under the cat’s tail, assessing the distance of the genital opening to the anus and its shape. Female cats have a small opening or vulva very close to their anus, whereas in males, you can sometimes see the tip of the penis and (usually) testicles, depending on their age. Let’s discuss how to know for sure if your fluffy cat is a boy or girl.
Why Is Sexing Your Kitten or Cat Important?
If you don’t care what gender your kitten is, you may find it’s a pretty useful piece of information to have. It doesn’t take a lot of expertise to figure it out either. If you didn’t plan on finding out, here is a list of reasons why it’s a very good thing to know beforehand.
When the kitten is first born, it is incredibly difficult to sex them unless you’re highly experienced. The sex of newborn kittens is usually not determined until they are a bit more mature, as the genital organs are small and underdeveloped.
So you can usually sex them with more certainty from 8 weeks onward, depending on your level of experience, and it may still be challenging for some, especially if they have long hair that obstructs your view. Get your kitten checked out by the vet during their vaccinations so they can sex your kitten with confidence.
Female kittens have a small opening very close to their anus, whereas males have a lengthier reach. Also, there should be two visible lumps in the male that you can feel or see (which are testicles that descend usually by 2 months of age).
The best way to check is to lift the tail to get a better look. Longer hair can make this a bit challenging, so you might have to feel for testicles manually.
There are certain color varieties in cats (non-breed related) that may determine whether they are most likely to be males or females. Tortoiseshell cats, which usually have orange and black, brown and golden, or gray and cream bi-colored combinations, with very few or no white markings. And calico cats, with the three colors of white, orange, and black, are almost always females. These specific coat patterns require the presence of two X chromosomes, and male calico cats are extremely rare. Also, ginger cats are more likely to be male than female, with only around 20% being female cats
Sexing Adults Cats
Sexing adult cats can be a little bit easier since they are fully developed. That is especially true of intact males, as it’s usually pretty obvious.
Deciphering a male cat can be pretty easy, but fur length and neutering can sometimes make it tricky. In any case, male cats will have nearly an inch gap in between the anus and the penis. Females have their genitals less than a fingertip length apart.
Why Is It Important to Get Your Cat Fixed?
Getting your cat fixed is of utmost importance when you’re a pet owner. If you already have gotten your cat from the shelter, your cat might have already had this surgery. If not, you will have to make arrangements with your local shelter or veterinarian.
So, what are the perks of spaying or neutering your cat?
- Related read: Are Calico Cats Always Female? What You Need To Know!
If for any reason you’re still unsure about the gender, you should always check with a professional. Shelter workers, breeders, and veterinarians should be able to sex your cat successfully. Although mistakes can be made, it’s not typical.
Once you get the hang of it, gendering cats will be a breeze for you. Regardless of gender, it’s best to spay or neuter your cat before the age of sexual maturity to avoid marking and unwanted pregnancy.
Next on your reading list:
- Are All Orange Cats Male? What You Need to Know!
- Are Male Cats More Affectionate Than Female Cats?
- Do Male Cats Have Nipples? What You Need To Know!
Featured Image Credit: Sergey Neanderthalec, Shutterstock