Male or female cat: how to recognize the sex of a kitten?


Male cat and female cat present anatomical features specific to their genital area. It can be very useful to know how to differentiate them when you want to adopt a kitten or keep a little one among the litter of your own cat. In principle, the task is not very complicated, but ultimately you need a relatively keen eye and despite this, it is not uncommon to make a mistake … even if you are a professional. But the behavioral differences between males and females in cats really exist? Follow the guide !

Recognize the genital differences between a male kitten and a female kitten

It is enough to lift its tail to recognize the sex of a kitten. Certainly still immature at birth, its genitals are easier to distinguish after five to six weeks. From this period, it is therefore possible to see more clearly, but the risks of error are still frequent.

The male kitten has a small protuberance between the urinary orifice from which his penis will emerge later and the anal opening. It is simply his testicles still in formation. The space between its two orifices is of the order of 12 to 14 millimeters. To make sure it is a male cat, a light palpation can be done. You should be able to smell two balls no bigger than peas. As for the urinary orifice of the male kitten, it is circular in shape.

At the female kitten, no protuberance but a very short space – no more than 5 millimeters – between the anal opening and the genital opening (the vulva, a simple vertical slit) makes it possible to distinguish it from the young cat.

Specific physical difference in the female kitten: tricolor “tortoiseshell” dress

There is one feature that rarely deceives when it comes to the color of the fur of a very young cat: the color of its hair. If her coat is “tortoiseshell”, there is a greater than 9.99 in 10 chance that the kitten is female. To know the reason, we have to look at the chromosomes of cats. Only those with XX sex chromosomes can have a tricolor coat. And it can only be female cats since male cats have XY sex chromosomes.

However, a male cat can have a tortoiseshell coat, but cases are extremely rare. These are cats with three sex chromosomes (XXY). It’s a aneuploidy that we call the Klinefelter syndrome.

As for the red dress, it is much more common in male cats, but we still see red cats more frequently than we see tricolor cats!

Is there a typical cat sex behavior?

Differentiate male and female cats according to behavior rather the impossible. It is certainly easier or safer to determine the sex of a cat by lifting its tail rather than by studying its behavior, especially since it changes with age, environment or education. It is therefore not a good point of haunt to know if the kitten that we have selected is a male or a female.

The a priori having a hard life, many people are still convinced that in adulthood certain tendencies are more marked according to the sex of the cat. It is said that cats are more sulky than cats. Yet many of us have known sullen babes. And the list of nonsense is long! A tomcat is not necessarily more dynamic than a female. There are male cats that are listless or unwilling to exercise and hyperactive cats. And not all females are home-like or males more independent. Finally, males and females are indiscriminately cuddly.

In fact, behavior is acquired over time, and it is very much influenced by the cat’s life history, by the relationship he had with his mother, by the age at which he was born. weaned, by theeducation that he received, or whether he was loved or on the contrary mistreated … At the time of choose a kitten in order to welcome him into the family, it is therefore unrealistic to predict that he will have such or such a character on the grounds that it is a male or a female. On the other hand, some differences exist between the two, namely:

  • The male cat urinates everywhere for mark your territory, and if he does not have the possibility to go out, he does not hesitate to urinate in the house. He also has a tendency to wander especially when there are cats in heat in his environment and to fight with other congeners.
  • The female cat meows a lot at night during her hot periods.

These characteristics disappear with the sterilization (called castration at the tomcat). This veterinary act avoids the masters of females having to manage litters that are not necessarily desired, knowing that a cat can have several litters per period of twelve months. In addition, sterilization protects the health of cats regardless of their sex.

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