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How to tell the gender of a cat?

It’s not always easy to tell a male from a female, and having sex with kittens or spayed males is even more difficult. However, there are some signs and behaviors that can make it easier to determine the sex of a cat. Once a cat or kitten has been successfully sexed, unless the owner is a cat breeder, it is important to find a good veterinarian who can spay or neuter the pet.

make love to kitten

For those adopting kittens, the new pet is likely only a few weeks old. Newborn kittens are so immature that it is almost impossible to tell their gender. However, once they are six to eight weeks old, their genitals become more visible visually. However, male cats often cannot see the penis, and the owner is less likely to feel or see the scrotum. Therefore, the apparent lack of a penis or testicles does not indicate that the kitten is female.

As a rule of thumb, breeders use “punctuation marks” to identify the gender of young or spayed cats. To do this, gently lift your pet’s tail; start by gently stroking and trying to scratch the cat’s lower back, as it may automatically lift its tail when the purr begins.

  • Female cat: Look at the female cat’s genital area, the space just below the tail, which looks like an upside-down exclamation mark (!) with the long slit in the vaginal area below the anus. The anus and vagina are usually only half an inch apart. In kittens, the anus and vagina may both look like dots, and they may be closer together.
  • Male cat: Male cats have a wider gap between the anus and the penis, with the testicles in the middle. The two openings look more like dots, circles, or colons (:) than slits or lines.

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Sexing Adult Cats

For those adopting adult cats, use the same sexing techniques as for kittens; this usually works for both neutered and “whole” cats. However, if the pet is not spayed or neutered, it will be easier to determine their gender based on appearance and behavior. Once cats have been spayed or neutered, there are no apparent behavioral differences between the sexes; apparent differences may be related to the temperament of individual cats.

  • “Whole” cat: Unneutered male cats have prominent testicles and wider jaws. They also have unique behaviors that begin as they mature. Unneutered male cats tend to be more active and aggressive. They are also more likely to mark their territory by spraying urine than spayed tom cats. An unneutered female cat comes into heat about once every two weeks. During this time, her behavior may change dramatically as she tries to find a partner. Unfrightened female cats usually need more attention and are louder during this time.
  • Neutered cats: A neutered female cat will still show an inverted “!”, but if she is adopted as an adult, an X-ray or abdominal ultrasound may be required to confirm that she is neutered. For female cats, it is important to determine if they have been neutered before accidentally producing litter. Most neutered male cats will still show remnants of the testicular sac, and the anus and penis will still be relatively close together. Spayed cats do not exhibit typical male or female behavior. Spayed males are generally more passive than “intact” males, and spayed females do not come into heat.

Gender-Based Appearance Differences

While all cats look very similar, certain colors and physical signs are unique to a specific gender.

Specifically, it is extremely rare for male cats to have tricolor calico or orange-black tortoiseshell fur. For those with a calico or tortoiseshell cat, there is a good chance that the pet is a female.

Female cats rarely have orange or ginger (or orange and white stripes) fur. For those who have an orange cat, there is a good chance it is a male.

Cats who have given birth are more likely to have prominent nipples (though both males and females have nipples).

Women who experience heat may have leucorrhea, while pregnant cats will have a low-slung, distended belly.

If you suspect your pet is sick, call your veterinarian right away. For health-related questions, be sure to consult your veterinarian, as they have examined your pet, know your pet’s health history, and can give your pet the best advice.


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