breed

Photos: Determining the Sex of a Cat

What is My Kitten's Gender?

Determining the sex of a cat can be difficult at times, especially if there is no other cat (or kitten) with which to compare the anatomy. So how can you tell if you have a Merlin or a Misty, a Rex or a Ruby? Here are a few steps to tell what your kitten's gender is…

If you've established a good relationship with the cat, pick him or her (you know, since we still don't know the gender) up and lift its tail. If the kitten isn't responding well, you may want to solicit the assistance of a friend or family member. If the cat still isn't lifting its tail, try scratching it where the lower back meets its tail; most cats lift their tails if you do this to them.

Once the tail is up, you should have full view of the cat's genitals and anus. A male will have a much greater distance between the genitals and anus than females — ½ inch apart on a male kitten or over 1 inch apart on a male adult cat. Conversely, if the two are almost adjacent on a kitten or less than 1/2 inch apart on an adult, it’s a female.

Need some more help determining the sex of your cat or kitten? Check out the pics below.

Male or Female Kitten?

In female kittens, the urinary orifice and anus are close together. Contrasting both sexes can be helpful. The space between the anus and urinary tract opening in the male is greater than in the female. In male kittens the urinary orifice and anus are not close together and an undeveloped scrotum may be visible.

More to Explore

Choosing the Best Name for Your Kitten

Why Do Cats Eat Grass?

Growing a Herd Garden for Your Cat

10 Ways to Stop Your Cat from Peeing Outside the Litter Box