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Kittens in a bed
Kittens in a bed

Cat Gender FAQ

Q:I found a litter of kittens and want to give them away to good homes. How do I determine their age and genders? They average two pounds and are eating dry kitten food.

A:Most kittens’ weight in pounds correlates with their age in months. So, a 1-pound kitten is about 1 month old, a 2-pound kitten is about 2 months old, and so on.

If a kitten weighs less than a pound, look for these developmental milestones to determine age:

  • 3 days: umbilical cord falls off;
  • 7-10 days (range 2-16 days): eyelids open, though kittens don’t develop normal vision until 30 days;
  • 9-11 days (range 6-17 days): ear canals open, but hearing isn’t normal until 4-6 weeks of age;
  • 7-14 days: crawling;
  • 14-21 days: walking;
  • 14-28 days: front teeth (incisors and canines) erupt;
  • 21 days: kittens can eliminate on their own, without external stimulation.

To determine genders, compare all the kittens, looking at the distance between the anus and the genital opening below it. The female’s genital opening, a vertical slit, is close to her anus.

The male’s round genital opening is further down. Between the anus and genital opening is the scrotum, which may be flat and devoid of testicles in a young male kitten.

Since your kittens seem to be about 2 months old, they are ready for their first vaccinations. Before you place them for adoption, take them to your veterinarian, who can vaccinate them and confirm their genders.

Editor’s Note:For an additional guide on determining a kitten’s sex, watch this Walkerville Vet video.

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