Kitten and Cat Sex Determination

Cat sex determination is often confusing for many pet owners. It's necessary to identify the gender of the kitten particularly when acquiring a new pet. Pet owners may often choose to have a specific gender if they have other cats living in the same household. In addition, pet owners may want to acquire a certain gender for breeding purposes. Irrespective of the need for gender identification, the gender always determines the cat name selected. In order to determine the cat's sex, it's necessary to understand the anatomy of the sexual organs in cats.

Anatomy of Cat Genitals

Every cat has two openings visible under the tail that perform two distinct functions. The upper opening is termed as the anus and the lower opening is the cat's genitals. Although both openings are similar in male and female kittens, the distance between the two openings varies. Male kittens have a larger space between the anus and the genital area in comparison to female kittens. As the male cat matures, the testicles descend into this space. Another distinguishing factor between the genders is the shape of the opening that belongs to the genital area. The female genital opening appears to be a vertical slit, while the male opening is circular in shape.

Cat Sex Determination

Although studies suggest that the color of the cat also determines the gender to a certain degree, the most definite way to determine the sex is through examination of the genital area. Since some pets dislike physical examination, it's best to examine the cat with the help of another individual. To determine the gender, the cat's tail should be lifted and the openings examined. Several caretakers use the colon and semicolon rule to identify kitten sex. The male kitten openings resemble a colon (:), whereas the female openings resemble a semicolon (;).

Birth Defects

During examination of the kitten's genitals, it's important to ensure that both openings are present. Lack of one of the openings could be attributed to a deformity that needs medical and often surgical intervention. Gender determination is easy if pet owners identify the openings present during comparison of two or more kittens. Pet owners may seek vet help to determine the gender of a single cat.

Tips to Care for Newborn Kittens:

  • If the litter is large, kittens should be cleaned with a soft cloth and warm water.
  • If the mother cat (queen) doesn't lick the kitten's genitals to stimulate defecation, pet owners may wipe the anus with a moist cloth.
  • Mother cats should have access to plenty of food and water to nurse the litter. Orphaned kittens may be fed according to vet instructions.
  • Kittens that cry excessively require medical help to determine any illness or health concerns.
  • Kittens that appear sick or underweight in comparison to other kittens should also be taken for a vet check.
  • It's important to keep litter boxes clean and prevent kittens from coming in contact with other pets.

Although kittens grow rapidly, pet owners should care for both the mother and kittens to ensure optimal health. It's also necessary start vaccinations early to safeguard kittens from contagious diseases.