How To Determine The Sex Of A Cat

dmgreen44 / Pixabay

Determining the sex of a cat can be confusing, particularly in young kittens where the anatomy is small and under-developed. Not only that, but a desexed male will look different from an entire male cat. Both will have their scrotum intact, however, the desexed cat will have had his testicles removed, resulting in small and flat scrotum.

Lift the cat’s tail and you will see a circular/pink opening closest to the base of the tail. This is the cat’s anus, which both male and female cats have.


The vulva (external female genitalia) is located underneath the anus and has the appearance of a vertical slit.  The vulva is close to the anus in comparison to the anus and penis in males.


The scrotal sac is located underneath the anus in the male cat, followed by the penis, which is housed in a sheath. The following two images can help you to determine if a cat is male or female.

How to determine the sex of a catAnatomically, a spayed female will look the same as an entire female, as the internal reproductive organs are removed in the female.

Neutered male cat
Neutered male cat
Intact male cat
Intact male cat
Female cat
Female cat

If you are still unsure of the sex, speak to your veterinarian or veterinary nurse who will be able to determine the sex of the cat.

Did you know?

Calico and tortie cats are almost always female and 2 out of 3 ginger cats are male. So, if you have a litter of kittens with calicos and/or torties, they are almost certainly going to be female.

Calico and tortie cats

Tortie cat compliments of Ali Crehan, Flickr.

Male cats have a bone called the baculum in their penis.


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