How To Tell If A Kitten Is A Boy Or Girl? Every Owner Should Know This!

Rajnandini Roychoudhury
Feb 29, 2024 By Rajnandini Roychoudhury
Originally Published on Nov 22, 2021
Edited by Sarah Nyamekye
Group Persian kittens sitting on cat tower.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.4 Min

The baby of a cat is known as a kitten.

Many pet owners who are fond of petting a cat adopt them while they are in their kitten stage. A kitten is, therefore, a very popular pet option, and determining the gender of a kitten is a relevant subject.

The genital opening of small kittens does not develop until they turn six weeks old. Even a professional veterinarian finds it difficult to determine the sex of the kittens. However, if you are dealing with very small kittens, there are some physical characteristics that help to distinguish between male kittens and female kittens.

A kitten should not be separated from its mother for the first few weeks. You need to be very careful while handling a small delicate kitten. It becomes easier to determine the kitten's gender once your kitten turns six to eight weeks old. The genitals of a kitten develop enough to determine the gender. Among the many methods that are used to determine the sex of a kitten, the method of separating them by the differences in genitalia is the most accurate.

If you are looking for more articles on kittens and rescue cats, you can also check the articles on how to bathe a kitten and when do kittens stop growing facts too.

How to tell kitten gender by face?

A kitten's genitals do not grow fully until it transforms into a cat, neither does its facial structure change. So separating a female kitten from a male kitten exclusively by looking at its face shape will not be accurate.

The genitals of young kittens do not develop until six weeks. The face of a male or female kitten also appear similar, so glancing at their face is not enough to determine the gender. At this stage, the coat color and the behavior of the kittens help the owners to determine the gender. A kitten having a tri-colored or tortoiseshell coat color almost always resembles a female kitten. Orange or ginger-colored kittens turn out to be male cats more often. The chromosomal makeup of the male and female kittens is responsible for the colors.

As the kittens grow up, the male and female kittens show some respective behavioral changes. A male kitten, after it gradually transforms into a male cat, shows tendencies to roam around. The males also start spraying urine more often. Kittens aging into female cats start to get into heat frequently.

How to tell if my 8-week old kitten is a boy or girl?

By eight weeks, a kitten completes its bottle-feeding stage completely. The kitten slowly transitions into an adult cat, and they can be neutered after eight weeks. The genitals of the kitten develop completely by eight weeks old, therefore, sexing an eight-week-old cat is a lot easier than sexing smaller kittens.

Before eight weeks, the biological development of a kitten continues. After eight weeks, the rate of development slows down, and they gradually start to achieve sexual maturity. The testicles of the boys and the vulva of the girls develop fully. A non-spayed cat will start to find a respective partner to mate during this time. Determining the sex of a cat during this time is necessary. The differences in the shapes of their genitals will help you to identify a male kitten from a female. A male kitten has colon-shaped genitalia under the tail, while the opening of a female looks like an inverted exclamation.

How to tell if a kitten is a boy or girl at six weeks?

A kitten at six weeks old is big enough to leave its mother, but its body is not fully developed by six weeks. There are several other milestones a kitten needs to pass at six weeks of age. However, at this age, the kittens, fortunately, grow big enough to separate a male from a female.

A kitten goes through several physical developments at six weeks of age. They start getting their baby teeth, and their hearing and watching abilities completely develop. They still need some amount of heat to stay warm. One of the occurring features of a six-week-old kitty is that the testicles start to grow in a male and the vaginal area starts to stretch in the female. This makes identifying a male and a female kitten much easier. However, this method of separation is only applicable in kittens from six weeks onwards.

British blue kitten walking on a sofa.

How to tell if a kitten is a boy or girl at three weeks?

A kitten at three weeks of age does not leave the side of its mother. At three weeks old they will have small eyes, and the ears will start to grow. Determining the sex of the kittens at this age is practically impossible. Even a renowned vet may fail to separate between the male kittens and females at such a tender age.

A three-week-old kitten should not be separated from its mother. They thrive on the milk from their mother. At three weeks of age, a kitten opens its eyes properly, and its ears start taking a pointy shape. The testicles of a male kitten and the vulva of the female kittens do not grow properly at that time. It is also difficult to handle delicate kittens at that age.

Additionally, the coat fur of the kittens does not develop fully by three weeks, so their gender can't be determined even by the coat color rule of the kittens. They do not leave the side of their mother; hence, the behavioral changes in different kittens also do not appear by three weeks.

How to tell kitten gender in general?

After six weeks old, the kitten's genitals start taking their usual punctuation signs. A male kitten's genitals will start to take the shape of a colon, and a female kitten's genitals will look like an inverted exclamation mark.

A veterinarian raises the kitten's tail to determine the gender of a kitten. The testicles of a kitten do not hang outside its body. Young males have two round openings; it looks like a colon. The females have an inverted exclamation-shaped genital opening. They have a round anus and a long vertical slit under them. These differences between the males and the females help in the determination of the sex of your pet. The cat has to be held gently while raising its tail. Scratching the back of the kitten will cause them to raise their tail on their own.

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 kitten is a boy or girl then why not take a look at how to train a kitten, or how often do kittens eat?

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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. 

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