Keys to identify the sex of your kitten

When we meet a kitten, one of the first questions that arises is whether it is male or female. For many cat owners, deciphering the sex of their new pet can be more complicated than expected. In particular, when they are very young kittens, the physical differences between the two sexes are not noticeable beyond the characteristics in the genital area. That is why in this post we are going to comment about how to recognize the sex of your kitten. 02

Identifying the sex of your kitten

The color of the coat can provide initial clues about the sex of your kitten. If the kitten has a mixture of black and red colors in its coat, it is most likely a female, regardless of the presence of white spots. However, other colors are not indicative of sex. In this case, it is necessary to inspect the genital region of the kitten to obtain confirmation.

Male cats have an anus, scrotum with visible testes, and penis. The anus is located just below the tail, followed by the hair-covered scrotum, which houses the testicles. Finally, the penis is located, protected within the foreskin.

In adult male kittens, the testicles become the size of a cherry and are usually easily visible. However, in newborn male kittens, the testes are not clearly discernible, being small and difficult to palpate. In addition, although most kittens have their testicles in their final position at birth, some may take months to fully display them. Under the tail of a male kitten, two circular openings are observed, separated by a space of about one centimeter, while in an adult cat, this space can reach three centimeters with the protrusion of the testicles.

On the other hand, in females, the anus is similar to that of cats, followed by the vulva, which has a vertical groove appearance. The distance between these openings is approximately one centimeter in a kitten. Thus, the key to distinguishing sex in newborn kittens lies in the separation between these openings. Observing the differences between males and females will be easier when comparing several kittens with each other.

Pubertal changes

When kittens reach puberty, they begin to develop secondary sexual characteristics, which make it possible to differentiate the sexes by their physical appearance. Females tend to be smaller than males, and males have a larger, rounder head due to the accumulation of fat around the cheeks and base of the neck, influenced by male sex hormones.

Males, between six and twelve months of age, develop “cheeks” that are attractive to fertile female cats and useful for protecting the neck during territorial fights. In contrast, females retain thinner and more delicate muzzles, without pronounced changes in their appearance at puberty.

Beyond physical differences, cats and female cats can show variations in behavior from an early age. Males tend to be rougher at social play than females, and these behavioral discrepancies are accentuated with the onset of puberty, when sex hormones stimulate reproductive behaviors such as courtship, mating and interaction with competitors in search of mates.

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