How To Tell If A Cat Is A Boy Or A Girl? Everything You Need To Know!

Rajnandini Roychoudhury
Jan 24, 2024 By Rajnandini Roychoudhury
Originally Published on Nov 22, 2021
Edited by Lara Simpson
Gray kitten with beautiful big green eyes lying on a white table.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.3 Min

Before getting a pet, you might want to know how a male and a female cat look and their differences.

It is not easy to determine a cat's sex by just looking at its face, especially when they are kittens. Some physical differences exist between a male and a female cat.

Sexing a male and a female cat is the best way to tell the difference between their gender. Observing the genital area of a male or female kitten is the safest option to determine the gender of the kittens. However, in the case of a spayed kitten, it is difficult to tell the kitten's gender. So, determining the sex of the kittens also depends widely on the behavior of the kittens. If you think that the only way of separating the boys from the girls is by looking at their genitals, you are probably wrong. The testicle or the vaginal area of male and female kittens respectively do not grow properly until they turn six to eight weeks old. While most of the cats look similar when you glance at them, some sex-based differences and behavioral and physical differences set the female cats apart from their male counterparts. To know more information regarding cat sexing, keep on reading the article.

If you are interested in more cat content, then check out the articles on why do cat scratches itch and how often do you take a cat to the vet facts too.

What does a boy cat look like?

A male cat is much bigger in size, and they are more prone to leave urine marks in the house. However, despite popular belief, male cats are more affectionate than female cats.

The genitalia of a cat is the most obvious physical difference that can tell the sex of a cat apart. A quick look at the kitten's back end will help you differentiate a male kitten from a female kitten. A male kitten has testicles while the females have a uterus. The distance between the anus and testicles in male cats is around an inch. Some other physical characteristics distinguish them from female cats. The male cat is generally bigger and heavily built than a female cat, and it grows larger if they are not neutered within the age they reach sexual maturity. Males have rounded and lovable cheeks; the cheek acts as a sign of the fitness of the female. The male cats have smaller urethra than the female cats. This increases the cases of urinary tract infection in males than the females. They might need to undergo urinary tract opening surgery to widen the urethra.

How can you tell the difference between a girl and a boy cat?

Unless you take your kitten to a veterinarian, most cat owners can't determine the cat's sex when they adopt newborn kittens that are only a few weeks old. Even though the genitals of the cat become clearer as they age, the testicle sac or the scrotum is not visible in the male cats even when they are not spayed.

A vet uses the rule of punctuation marks to identify the genitals of the male cats and female cats. To identify the gender of the animal, gently lift its tail. You can also rub the fur on its back gently, which will cause the cats to raise their tail on their own. The genitals of the male or female cats are located just under their tail. When the female cats raise their tail, their genitals will appear like an inverted exclamation sign. The females have a long slit just above the anus. As a kitten, both the anus and the vagina of the females look like two dots. In the males, both the scrotum and the anus opening are placed like a colon. The two round or circular dots lie at a distance of an inch from one another. In the case of spayed males, the two dots may lie close to each other. A neutered male is less aggressive than a whole male, while a spayed female does not go into heat after every two weeks. Neutering a female is important for avoiding the chances of it getting pregnant and becoming a mother of an unplanned litter.

How do you tell if a cat is a girl?

The shape of a female's genitals and the structure of the face differs most of the time from the tomcats. However, in the case of neutered tomcats, the physical differences become narrowers, and observing the genitalia is the only process that yields accurate results when sexing the cats.

The genitalia of the female cats in an earlier stage looks similar to the genitalia of a male. Since the kittens have a small body, their openings cannot spread during the kitten stage. However, gradually as the kittens grow, their bodies expand, and their genitals take their actual form. If the cat is a female cat, its genitalia will take the shape of an inverted exclamation. The vagina is a long slit, and below it lies the anal opening.

Some female cats who have given birth to kittens in the past might also have visually apparent nipples for milking their kittens. Apart from these sex differences, a female has a much more slender and narrower face than a tomcat. The whisker pad is also smaller than the males, and they are overall smaller in size than the males. They show less aggression than the males even when they are not spayed but produce louder calls to attract the males in the vicinity to mate.

Domestic cat portrait.

Can you tell a cat's gender by its face?

An expert veterinarian would always recommend looking at the genitals of a cat to determine the cat's sex. It is the most accurate process to tell the difference between male and female cats. However, sometimes you can preliminarily take a good guess about the gender of the males and females by studying the face of the concerned animal.

The facial structure of a cat begins to alter as they enter into their adult stage, so determining their sex by studying their face only applies when the cat outgrows the young kitten stage. When cats are born, both males and females look the same. They have indistinguishable physical characteristics, and the genitals also do not develop properly. As they age, the differences become more evident. The male cats have a rounder and heavier face than the females. The muzzle of a male cat is also broader, and the nose wing is wider. These cats look less delicate than female cats. The forehead is broader in a male, and the whisker pads are well defined. A neutered male will look less masculine and be less aggressive than the whole male cat. The face of a female is narrower. The muzzle is narrow with a slender whisker pad, and the cat's forehead is much less wide. The feline puberty does not hit a female cat as strongly as it hits the male cats.

How To Tell If A Cat Is A Boy Or A Girl In General

The presence of the scrotum or the vagina in a cat gives a much more accurate result in terms of sex determination, and a vet will always recommend this method. Still, some general behavioral differences indicate the sex of the cat.

Surprisingly, male cats are more playful and social. A male pet will form strong bonds with its owners or any other cat in a household quickly. It is easier to cuddle with the male cats because of their ability to mix with the owners quickly. The females, on the other hand, are more standoffish. These cats are also more playful and more active than the female ones. So if you have decided to get a male pet, then get ready to wake up in the middle of the night. Female cats are more independent than males. They can spend a lot of time alone in an apartment. So if you are looking for a pet that can spend a long time on its own, female cats are the best option. These cats can entertain themselves perfectly. Even though a spayed female cannot get pregnant, the maternal instinct of such cats remains strong in them. They are very loyal to their owners, and they will always be by your side when you are feeling sick. A non neutered male is more likely to spray urine around the house than the female cats. They are also much more aggressive than the female cats and have a habit of escaping from their owner's home searching for females.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for how to tell if a cat is a boy or a girl, then why not take a look at how often to change cat litter or why do dogs eat cat poop?

We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You

See All

Written by Rajnandini Roychoudhury

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English, Master of Arts specializing in English

Rajnandini Roychoudhury picture

Rajnandini RoychoudhuryBachelor of Arts specializing in English, Master of Arts specializing in English

With a Master of Arts in English, Rajnandini has pursued her passion for the arts and has become an experienced content writer. She has worked with companies such as Writer's Zone and has had her writing skills recognized by publications such as The Telegraph. Rajnandini is also trilingual and enjoys various hobbies such as music, movies, travel, philanthropy, writing her blog, and reading classic British literature. 

Read full bio >
Read the DisclaimerFact Correction