At first glance, there is very little information to let you know whether a kitten is a male or a female. Even breeders may have trouble in the beginning. However, there are a few signs you can look for so that you can determine whether a kitten is a male or a female. You should wait until the kitten is at least two weeks old so that the mother doesn’t get upset and abandon the kitten.
Handle Your Kitten Gingerly
When you pick up your kitten to determine its gender, you want to make sure to keep its stress levels low. Start by holding the kitten and petting it before you go any further. If your kitten is nervous or afraid, you should ask someone to help you by holding the kitten or moving the tail out of the way for you.
Hold Your Kitten Securely and Move the Tail to the Side
Once you establish trust, you can hold your kitten securely (or have a partner hold it for you) and move the tail to the side. Make sure that you cradle the kitten and hold its hind end securely. You will also need to have an unobstructed view of the genital area, which is just below the anus. The anus will be exactly the same for males and females, so use it as a point of reference.
Examine the Genital Opening Below the Anus
Now you can look at the genital opening below the tail. If you have a male, it will be approximately ½ inch below the anus, and the penis will be a rounded shape. Males will have testicles in the area between the anus and the genitals. Females do not have testicles, and the female genitals will be more of a hole with no penis. Basically, the female genitals will look like a slit, whereas the male will look like a rounded area.
A less reliable tidbit is to check the color of your kitten’s coat. If your kitten’s coat has three colors, it is almost always a female. This coloring is linked to the female chromosome. In addition, about 75% of orange or ginger colored cats are males. However, this will only tell you the likelihood of your kitten’s gender, not the actual gender. Of course, male kittens’ testicles will grow as they age and become more obvious over time.