How to tell the sex of a kitten or puppy, as explained by a child

When I was a kid, I didn’t quite understand how you told a boy cat from a girl cat. My cat (Buttercup) was a girl, but I didn’t know why. I had no choice but to rely on the representations of my parents.

Inquisitive child that I was, I wanted to know more. What was the trick? I didn’t ask my parents. I prided myself on being a smart kid, and I loved puzzles. The clues were all there – I just had to solve the mystery. After all, I’d seen both of my parents flip a kitten upside down, take a look, and proudly declare whether it was a boy or a girl. I just knew that I could figure it out if I put my mind to it. 

And I did.

However, my answer to this question turned out to be wrong (and to be honest, slightly ridiculous). Here’s a hint:

Dog label: I Still Want More Puppies

I’ll spare you a photo of where else I thought this mark might be…

Yes, after careful consideration, I determined that it must be something simple. Namely, that all kittens and puppies had something written on the bottom of them that told the answer. I suspected that it might be as simple as an F or M (or even B and G for boy and girl).

I couldn’t confirm my hypothesis, as none of our animals were particularly willing to let me to flip them over and do a thorough examination of their undercarriage to find the location of the mark. (I was pretty sure it wasn’t on the paws, as I’d gotten a good look at those.) Nonetheless, I felt certain that I’d cracked the case.

Confident in my problem-solving abilities, I promptly moved on to the next case, secure in the knowledge that I’d figured out the secret to my parents’ expertise.

(I told this story to some of my relatives this past weekend. My aunt then told me a story about a cat that she adopted and named Miss Maizie. When she went to the vet, he took one look and informed her that she might want to rename the cat Mr. Amazing instead. I guess it runs in the family.)

What crazy things did you believe as a kid? Did you ever have a cat or dog that you mistakenly thought was a boy or a girl?

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25 thoughts on “How to tell the sex of a kitten or puppy, as explained by a child

  1. I was an adult and I knew that female kittens had three spots and males had two. Or was it the other way around? Whatever, I identified the sex of all the kittens in the litter of some friends who then gave the kittens away using my expertise. I was 100% wrong.
    jan recently posted..Butkus Stallone — movie star

  2. True story. I wanted hamsters REALLY REALLY REALLY bad. So I secretly saved my allowance for months and months and months while secretly pretending to spend it on candy and other assorted crap. Then I snuck (sp? sneaked?) away to the store, purchased two hamsters. Fluffy ones. Why you ask? Obviously, the fluffy ones were girls and the unfluffy were boys. Duh. I knew enough to know that one of each = baby hamsters and I didn’t want that. I brought them home, said they were my class pets and I had them for the weekend. I have no freaking idea what I was thinking, since come Monday, I clearly had no back up story as to why these hamsters weren’t going back to school. My Mom was mad. *really mad*. Not nearly as mad as she was later that year when she came into my room to see that Thelma and Louise were actually Thelma & Lou and I now had 8 hamsters. Not two.

    Apparently “Fluffy” is not a gender. Whoops.
    Jodi, Kolchak & Felix recently posted..DIY Dog Friendly Herb Garden

    • First of all, I love that they were named Thelma & Louise/Lou. Fantastic naming choice. Second, I’m glad I’m not the only one who couldn’t quite figure out what to look for. ;)

  3. That’s so funny.

    I remember my 2 friends and I when we were really little wondering how a baby gets out of momma’s tummy. My one friend knew the truth and told us. My other friend said, “no, that’s not right! There’s a magic hole in the mom’s side that opens up, and the baby just comes out there.” I decided to go with that one, cuz that seemed WAY better than what my other friend said!
    Jackie Bouchard recently posted..No Mirth Today – The Worst Walk I Ever Took

  4. That’s funny! My aunt had a cat that went to the vet as a male and came back as a female. We had a guinea pig that we thought was a girl, but when we added two more girls and they started to grow fat we realised the first guinea pig was a boy! We had lots of guinea pigs!
    Clowie recently posted..Surrounded

  5. LOL! My mom had gerbils and they kept having babies, so she got a crash course in telling males from females as she wanted to know the sex of the babies. Mom had a book about how to care for gerbils and they had photos of males and females and how to tell by looking, so she got it down early!
    emma recently posted..My Beautiful Furamily | GBGV | See Beautiful

  6. That’s funny! We didn’t really have pets when I was very young, so by the time we had lots of kittens, I already understood the truth of the matter! However, when I was an adult and married we took in a stray cat that we were convinced was a pregnant female, and it turned out to be a male and just fat!! :)
    Jan K recently posted..See Beautiful – At Home

  7. I also thought my sisters cat , Princess , was a girl .Untill we toke it for her shots and the docter sayed priness was a boy so we should call him prince and we changed it to Shaggy

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