Finding out whether a cat is male or female just by looking at its face can be challenging.
There are, however, slight differences you’ll notice when you observe a cat carefully. It’s important to understand that a cat develops these characteristics when it’s sexually mature.
Therefore, this will be quite difficult with young kittens. This task becomes easier as the cat matures and its hormones begin to influence its physical features.
Let’s see what are the seven ways to tell a cat’s gender by face.
1. Head Shape
There are some important pros and cons for both male and female cats. Perhaps just seeing a mischievous kitty will lead you to think that it has to be a male. Or, if it often shows territorial behavior towards other cats – this is also a male cat, certainly!
Well, these characteristics don’t always have to be the confirmation of a gender. A cat’s temperament is also influenced by other important factors like breed and socialization.
Instead of trying to guess a cat’s gender by observing its behavior, you should look at its facial shape.
If a cat has a broad face and a large skull, most likely, it’s a male. The hormone testosterone causes this specific appearance, together with a stronger jaw.
On the contrary, female cats have a more delicate, smoother, and sleeker head shape.
When observing a cat from up close, pay attention to its forehead.
According to the Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance Program, female cats usually have much smaller foreheads than males.
If you’re observing a male cat, he is likely to have a broad forehead, which gives him a more angular facial appearance.
Females typically have more rounded foreheads. Their foreheads are not too conspicuous and somehow naturally fit into the whole shape of the head.
Does the cat have large, wide, and somehow chubby cheeks? This is one of the confident signs that a cat is a male.
Males have chubby cheeks due to a high testosterone level. These large cheeks are also one of the differences between a tomcat and a neutered cat.
This means that neutered males may not exhibit this characteristic, making it harder to distinguish them from females.
The snout is another cat’s facial characteristic that can be helpful in determining its gender.
Female cats usually have smaller and more narrow snouts than their male counterparts.
Since male cats are usually larger and have larger heads – their snouts are also expected to be longer and broader.
Male cats are also likely to have wider necks than females.
Their necks are more muscular, thicker, and more noticeable in general. If you’re observing a female cat’s neck, she is likely to have a less muscular and more slender one.
This characteristic gives male cats a more robust appearance, while it makes females look more elegant and sleek.
6. Whisker Pads
Male cats have more pronounced whisker pads.
Together with chubby cheeks, the pronounced whisker pads make a male cat’s head look heavier and larger than a female cat’s.
Once again, this is due to the male hormone testosterone which stimulates the growth of whiskers. So, this characteristic may be lacking in young kittens or in neutered males.
7. Fur Color
Both female and male cats come in different coat colors, patterns, and variations. In some cases, just looking at a cat’s face and its color can help you learn whether it’s a male or a female.
Of course, some exceptions are always possible, so the fur color isn’t a 100% confident confirmation of a cat’s gender.
What Are Other Methods To Determine A Cat’s Gender?
Since a male cat’s appearance is greatly influenced by hormones, neutered cats may not have some of the typical male cat facial features.
This is why, in some cases, most of us aren’t able to determine a cat’s gender only by observing its face.
The only thing to do to find out whether a cat is male or female is pretty obvious – you’ll need to look at the cat’s genitals up close.
If you’re new to this, start by gently lifting the cat’s tail. You’ll see the genital opening right below its anus.
Males have round genital openings, while females have vertical slits. If the kitten is very young, it can be hard to tell what the gender is.
Still, there is something you will notice easily: The spacing between the anus and genital opening. In males, this distance is typically greater (about half an inch apart), while in females, the vaginal opening and anus are positioned very close to each other, almost appearing to touch.
It’s fun to observe a cat’s facial characteristics to find out what its gender is.
Typically, males have more rounded faces, larger foreheads, and chubby cheeks. Their whisker pads are more prominent and their necks are more muscular. In general, a female cat’s face is softer and more delicate.
However, the important thing to understand here is that most of these characteristics are influenced by hormones.
If a male cat gets neutered before becoming sexually mature, it’s possible that it won’t develop chubby cheeks, for instance.
So, these are some typical signs to differentiate a male and female, but they aren’t entirely confident.
There’s a good chance that you’ll need to use the old method of taking a look at your cat’s genitals to find out its gender.
In the end, I would describe this guide on gender differences by face only as one with a high probability of gender-guessing. It isn’t a definite indicator of whether the cat you’re observing is a female or a male.