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- What you can and can’t do when first trying to tell your kittens genders
- How to tell if a kitten is a boy or girl
You will agree that it is quite difficult to determine the sex of a small kitten, especially a newborn. You have to enlist the help of a vet or wait 10-12 weeks (2-3 months) before the sex is obvious. Learn how to determine the sex of a kitten yourself at an earlier stage.
The article contains all the necessary information for the pet owner, supported by photos to learn how to distinguish a male cat from a female cat.
What you can and can’t do when first trying to tell your kittens genders
- Hold the kitten carefully.
- Put the kitten on its stomach and raise the tail.
- If it is possible, wait until the baby is 3 to 4 weeks old.
- Make sure the mother cat is okay with your actions.
- Reduce manipulation time to a minimum to avoid stress.
- carelessly holding the baby
- NOT lift the kitten by the tail
- if it’s possible, don’t pick up the kitten before it’s 3 weeks old. If you hold the kitten for a long time, it may get your scent. So, the mother cat may give up on her baby. As a result you will have to nurse the kitten by yourself.
- don’t pull a kitten away from the feeding
- thermoregulation of very small kittens (up to 1 month) is not developed. So, don’t keep them in your arms for a long time, as this can cause hypothermia.
- do not try to press on the genitals
How to tell if a kitten is a boy or girl
In order to tell the gender of the kitten, you will need to put the baby on a warm towel on its tummy and gently lift its tail. There are several differences that are present in babies from birth. By correctly identifying them, you will have no difficulty in sexing kittens.
Distance between anus and genitals
Consider the pictures below. These are approximate pictures of 3-week-old kittens (1-month-old). The one on the left is a boy and the one on the right is a girl.
You need to pay attention to the distance between the anus and the genitals. Males’ distance is greater than females’. To illustrate, consider the following picture.
Shape of the genitals
Consider the pictures below. These are approximate pictures of 3 week old kittens. The one on the left is a boy and the one on the right is a girl.
In this question it is preferable to look not in the eyes, but under the tail. If under the tail you see a conditional colon (“:”), then you definitely have a male kitten, and if you see the inverted letter “i”, then, respectively, a female kitten.
You need to pay attention to the shape of the genitals. A male kitten’s shape of the genitals resembles a point, while the female kitten’s one resembles a vertical line.
Appearance of testicular shape in male kittens at 3 months of age
Part of the male cat’s genital organs are the testicles, which are located between the anus and penis. Almost invisible at birth, they begin to appear and enlarge at 10-12 weeks of age. The photos below will help to clarify this issue visually.
Tactile palpation of kittens’ genitals
Touching the genitals is an effective method of determining sex almost from birth. This method helps to tactilely determine the presence of testicles. Even with a baby of a few weeks old, it is feasible.
To determine this, you will need to gently run two fingers (index and middle) together in the indicated area. If the kitten is male, you will feel pea-like formations (3-5 mm in diameter).
The color can tell you how to determine the gender of a kitten
The color of the coat can help you to tell if the kitten is male or female.
Turtle (tricolor – black, white, red) is a 100% indicator that it is a female. These colors are carried by the X chromosome and 2 X chromosomes are needed for the tricolor to appear. Thus, tortoiseshell coloring is only common among female cats because they have two X chromosomes. Males have only one X chromosome. Tomcats cannot have three hair colors except they have a rare genetic disease.
Orange color is a marker of the male sex, so your ginger kitten seems to be a boy cat.
It’s also said that you can find out the sex from the muzzle. However, I don’t believe in this method and urge you to try the 5 above first.
Unconventional folk methods
Some experts determine the sex of a kitten by… gaze! Indeed, a wary stare is more common among tomcats, and a self-confident stare is common among female cats. But this method is not informative, because everyone can get a very self-confident kitten.
To reinforce the impression, pay attention to the hair. Male kittens have very dense hair between the anal and genital openings, but females have no hair between these openings.
There is also a grandmother’s method of determining the sex of kittens. Put a saucer of milk in front of the baby – if the kitten’s tail is raised victoriously to the sky while drinking, it’s definitely a male. If it’s lowered to the floor, it is a female.
A more intense smell of urine can also be an indication that the kitten in front of you is a boy.
That’s probably all I can advise you on. If you have your own methods on how to distinguish the sex of kittens, please share in the comments. Also, please share this article on social media if you liked it.