Sebastian, a Hermaphrodite Ragdoll Cat – Reader Suggestions Needed!!

Sebastian, a Hermaphrodite Ragdoll Cat
Sebastian, a Hermaphrodite Ragdoll Cat

Meet Sebastian:

Having 2 Ragdolls already, one age 12 years (Samantha) and one 9 months (Savanna), I was looking for another young cat to be a playmate for Savanna because Samantha was just too old to be interested in playing as much as a kitten wanted to.

Surprise, surprise when one day I found a posting on Craig’s List from someone locally that was GIVING a Ragdoll away


because they were moving to Florida and didn’t want to take it with them. The posting described the cat as a “special needs” cat. I exchanged contact info with the lady and she called me. She advised the cat was a very nervous cat and not very social, and, additionally, was a hermaphrodite. The story went that a friend of hers was a Ragdoll breeder and this cat was in one of her litters. When she took that litter to the vet for the first round of shots, the breeder was advised of the “condition”. Knowing that she couldn’t really sell the kitten as a bonafide Ragdoll, she gave it to her friend that is now moving to Florida. The cat was given no further shots.

I have no idea how the cat was treated, but I do know


that the cat was literally quivering when I went to meet it before agreeing to take it. I have never seen it quivering like that since I’ve taken it in, but he is totally non-social. He (I’ve named him Sebastian, therefore refer to it as “he”) does NOTHING but stay in a corner or a closet or an enclosed fabric cathouse/bed or even in the back of the cabinet under my kitchen sink. No catbox issues and he does eat, but very little. At just over 2 years old, I would think he would do SOME running around, but he doesn’t.

I brought him to my vet and he was given a clean bill of health and his teeth and eyes appear to confirm that he’s in the area of 2 to 2 1/2 years old. My vet had never seen a hermaphrodite and actually took photos for reference. He advised that both penis and testicles are


outside of the body, and the vulva is there too. He couldn’t tell which organ was used for urinating, though. The previous owner never spayed OR neutered this cat and I’ve found some conflicting information on line as to which procedure or if either procedure should be done.

It appears that the cat had no socialization when a kitten at all and I don’t know if he was mistreated at all, but he will just stay in one corner and will not even use the litter box or eat until the middle of the night when there’s no activity going on in the house. I can reach him and pet him and he will now purr for me, but will hiss as my hand is moving towards him. Once I begin petting him, he now begins to purr fairly soon but if I pull him out and try to hold him on my lap, he squirms until I let him down. He is totally non-aggressive though and has never extended any claws to me.

Are there any thoughts out there on socializing this cat? Does anyone have any experience with a hermaphrodite? Are there any special needs? To neuter or not to neuter?? Spay, too?? I know male cats tend to smell and spray and assume that’s one reason to do the neutering.

Any input would be appreciated to help me help Sebastian enjoy his new home.

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57 thoughts on “Sebastian, a Hermaphrodite Ragdoll Cat – Reader Suggestions Needed!!

  1. Dani says:

    I JUST rescued a hermaphrodite kitten from a meth house. I was told it was female, and there were 6 other kittens in that litter. I named hir Nisha. Shi has some odd behaviors, is very nervous and always full of energy, even more than other kittens. Shi likes to lick my other cat until her fur is soaking with spit. Shi pees A LOT, I have to change the box at least daily to avoid it stinking up the whole house. It annoys my other cat, but she lets it happen anyway. I believe Nisha is about 7 weeks old, which I’m told is too early to go to the vet to find out what kind, if any, surgery shi needs. Coming from a meth house, I’m sure shi wasn’t treated in the best way, which might contribute to the behaviors. Reading about this on the internet is just leaving me confused. Some people don’t remove the non-functioning sex organs at all, sometimes the urethra or anus needs to be reconstructed, and sometimes these cats die very early according to the internet. Wish I could be of more help, but this has been useful for me too so far.

  2. Jina says:

    I recently found out that my beautiful cat Badu is a Hermaphrodite from the Vet. When I adopted him from pet rescue he was 4 months and it was love at first sight. I always knew he was special I just didn’t realize how rare as well. I remember how difficult it was to name him because I kept thinking he is not a tom cat he is too pretty like a Tony Curtis or a Rob Lowe pretty boy look. Little did I know how right I was my little Badu is a Girly Boy. He is the most unusual cat I or anyone that has met him feels but in the best of unusual ways. Be careful of bladder problems pertaining to stones and crystals that may build up that’s when I discovered that Badu is both male and female.

    He is pure love and joy and loyal beyond belief,


  3. caitrina says:

    I found this story and read just about every one of the posts. I have now reached the end of the page and it looks to me like the last post from Judi was in September of last year.I really wish people would finish their posts. I would like to know how Sebastian is doing. I also wonder if she had him declawed. I hope not. I would never do this to an animal, particularly NOT a ragdoll. De-clawing is painful and I’m actually quite surprised you did not do research on the Ragdoll. Although I know this cat was not purchased most breeders won’t even sell a ragdoll unless a “no declawing” contract is signed. There are reasons for that. Anyway. putting all that aside I hope Sebastian is doing well and has over come his anti-social behavior.

  4. sue tatton says:

    Hi i have a ragdoll kitten called inka decided get her aplay mate so got a british blue kitten when i took her for hdr jabs the vet also told me she was of mixed sex there are about two weeks difference to them but the british short hair is nearly three times as big goibg fir her second jabs tommo so see what else vet has to say

  5. Rev. Ron says:

    Good Morning. I know this is an older pst, but as I have a 5 week old hermaphrodite kitten I was doing some research. While I am sure hormonal levels have much to do with the socialization, as a breeder of unusual felines it is common for many social disabilities to occur if they are not socialized properly. I woulod suspect as this cat had no value as a kitten it was soon seperated until given away. What you are doing of continually reinforcing your love and affection are the best ways to bring him out of his shell and into the family. When you hold him, attempt to distract him into pleasure for a few moments before allowing him to leave and then just allow it and wait patiently for him to return each time for a bit whil rubbing your thigh like you are still loving on him. Also allow him to see from a istance you loving on your other cats. It is a process and will take time, but understand, when you succeed, you are going to have one of the most annoying loving cats you could imagine! I have also a siamese female that if you move to fast she will take your hand off, hiss and growl while you pet her, and even occasionally start spitting and trying to bite. I have been working with her for about four months now and it is the most rediculous sight in the world as she has started to purr along with the definsiveness. I am still not sure, if anything, of what may have been done to her before she came here, but the internal battle between wanting to be lovedand fear of being loved is very apparant. Time and patience; the secret to all animals and even people!

  6. Pamela says:


    I really admire you and was wondering how sweet little Sebastian is doing these days. I have 2 Ragdolls of my own. I have been thinking about you both so much. Would love an update

  7. Shannon says:

    Jackie, it’s very hard to turn them down. Sometimes, when I know we can’t have another one, I have to avert my eyes and squeeze back the tears when I see them in the pet store. Good luck with your new one.

  8. Shannon says:

    I found this website because just two weeks ago, we found out that our newly adopted kitten was a hermaphrodite in the true sense of the word: penis, uterus, one ovary and one testicle. He is approaching the 6 month mark (puberty!) and so far, is extremely friendly and sociable. We are in the course of getting him fixed (we found out about his special nature when we went in for the first surgery when we thought he was a cryptorchid (undescended) male). So, they took out the uterus and ovary (and found the penis), but were certain there was something else in the other horn, up in the inguinal canal (I’m learning a lot about a cat’s reproductive system!). Upon getting a second opinion, the vet and her colleagues all agreed that they felt a testicle on that side. He goes back into surgery on Friday.

    It’s hard to say if Sebastian had a lack of socialization that caused his problems, but I depending on the nature of his hermaphordism (I’m not sure if that’s a word or not), I wonder if he’s got both testosterone and estrogen in his system. That would have to be tough on him. I would ask about doing an exploratory surgery to see if there is an ovary in there at which point, I would have him fixed–removing both the ovary (if there is one) and the testicles.

    • Shannon says:

      Correction: Before putting him through surgery, I would ask if those things could be determined by an ultrasound. If so, that’s definitely better than putting them through the trauma of surgery only to find out there was nothing there.

    • Judi says:

      Thank you for your comments and best of luck with your new little kitten. As my story unfolded, I took Sebastian in to be neutered, whether they would do an altering or spaying was to be determined by what they found. It turned out that he was only a “psuedo-hermaphrodite”, meaning that he had the penis, testicles and vulva on the exterior (which I knew), but inside there was no uterus or ovaries. Had he had the internal female organs, he would have been a full hermaphrodite. Since the surgery he still stays in a corner most of the day, but does come out once in a while fleetingly. At night, however, he started coming into the livingroom and laying on the floor and would stay in the room with us and move around a bit and interact with one of my other cats.

      • Jackie says:

        I have a tortoiseshell cat that someone left in my garage a few weeks ago. He appeared to be a male which I knew was very rare. When I took him to the vet, it was discovered that he had external male and female organs. He is very sweet and gets along fine with my other cats, He seems to perfer being with my spayed females and shuns the netured males, He will have an ultrasound next week to determine the procedure that he will need to have done,

        I have so many rescue cats and it is hard to turn down a cat in need. I hope your new addition continues to do well.

      • Shannon says:

        Sounds like he’s doing very well. I’m glad you were able to determine his exact situation. Ours was originally listed as a psuedo-hermphrodite because the surgeon was sure there was an ovary in the other horn, but, after his second surgery yesterday, it turned to to be a small testicle. So, he has both a spay and a neuter certificate! He’s doing very well–except for being hell-bent in getting his e-collar off!

    • Judi says:

      No, he’s not declawed. All of my other cats are, though and I have ALWAYS had declawed cats and have NEVER had any issues with them that some of these articles that are against declawing claim. I was going to have him declawed because my other two would have been defenseless had he been aggressive, but he is totally NON-aggressive. As many times as I have picked him up and tried to keep him on my lap for a while and as much as he’s squirmed to get away, he’s NEVER extended his claws to me, so I’m thinking that his having claws might not be an issue with the declawed cats.

      • Beth says:

        Please, oh, please DON’T declaw him, Judi! Spay/neuter surgery is probably needed so he won’t feel so strange to himself and your other cats but declawing is additional stress and pain that’s so unnecessary! It’s a wonder the poor little thing has lived this long through all the misery of isolation and lack of love. If only he can have a little peace and happiness with you now!!!

      • KLD says:

        If he doesn’t use his claws, that could be a sign that he was abused. My aunt adopted a cat from a family with two young boys, when he was a kitten if he ever tried to use his claws to get away from them they would hit him and hurt him. So he was pretty messed up in the mind when my aunt got he did growl a lot but never used his claws even in play. Although he did like people he would crawl into my lap on his own but would growl and hiss the entire time and would get very upset if I tried to pet him no matter how gentle. He seemed very sad like he really wanted love an attention but was just too afraid of being beaten.

        • Beth says:

          That is such a sad story! I hope the poor kitty your aunt adopted eventually learned to trust the GOOD people and was able to get his long-overdue share of love from his new family.

  9. Kim says:

    I would think the hormones going on would be a mood alterer. I would also have Sebastian neutered and or spayed. 1- because you have other cats and you didn’t say if they were all altered. 2- because it should help w. hormone issues that at the least I would guess would alter mood. 3- because it’s better for health risk if they are spayed. Unless you plan to breed I see no good reason not to have a cat altered, unless there is some medical reason for a particular cat. It reduces the chances of some cancers later in life. We alter our cats as soon as the local vets will do it.

    On socializing. We got our rescue’s at 6 weeks old. They could not have been abuses long because the foster parent for the shelter removed them at 5 weeks for where they were. But I think in those 5 short weeks that my girl may have been mistreated as she still 4 years later ducks when you go to pet her head. Yet she loves to be petted and heads butts us. Both are fearful of sounds and kids. Again -it’s been 4 years and weekly they still run to the bedroom when the ice maker makes a sound, they hear the house adjust in the weather, the door bell rings, my cell phone rings, if someone live or on TV sings or hums. Both want petted, both want cuddle time both want a safe haven to run to when scared.

    You might also consider getting a cat tree so Sebastian can overlook things going on. He may feel more secure when he can see everything happening.

    Good luck. You’ve gotten some great advice on here. ~

  10. Cindy says:

    You might run your spay/neuter question by Dr. Christine Wilford. She is currently on staff at Atlantic Veterinary Hospital in Seattle (206) 323-4433. She is responsible for the existence of the Feral Cat Spay Neuter Project where they have “fixed” over 10,000 cats. It is possible that she or one of the other doctors at the project has seen a hermaphrodite cat before.
    Other than that, he’s beautiful. Once he bonds with you, it will be special. I have an anti-social ragdoll. For the most part he only likes me. =)

  11. Alissa says:

    What a strange situation! My heart just breaks for what he’s been through. God bless you for taking him in!!! I have no advice to offer but am sending good vibes to Sebastian!

  12. Mary Brien says:

    I agree that this is going to be a very long process but so worth it. You are already noting steps in Sebastian’s development. They may seem to be very slight… but believe me they are great strides.

    2 1/2 years ago we adopted a big odd-eyed white cat called Maxine. She had come from a home that loved her very much but severe allergies and the introduction of a boistrous dog had made her life far from perfect. They sought out someone to give her a good home. Having just lost one of our cats we were looking for a companion for our ginger tom. Max was beautiful but also very timid.

    We had taken her from everything and everyone she had known and introduced her to a house that smelled so different from her own world! 1st she managed to hide under the sofa bed and actually climbed inside of the mechanism! We extracted her and she made a run for my bedroom, hid under the bed and there she stayed… for a month! I brought food, a litter box and water into a corner of the room for her. Gradually, after a while I could see she would venture out when no one was there… grabsomething to eat, get adrinka nd use the litter. After this… she began to respond to my tom’s chirps and would join him exploring the rest of the house. About a month later you could hear them running up and down the hall in the early morning hours. Then, one early morning, she rose up on her hind legs to investigate me in bed. I ‘pusspussed’, tapped the bed and she hopped on, allowing me to pet her. Several weeks passed before she would venture out to the living room during the day when I was alone in the house with just Garf. In all, it took over 4 months for her to come into the living room when anyone else was here bar me (I live with my husband and my adult son… both cat lovers)

    She came to us in late February and it was well into June before she would remain in the living room when my son and husband were at home… another year before she didn’t run and hide when my daughter called by. She still hides in the bedroom when visitors come but emerges in a short while. The only person she accepted straight away was my youngest daughter when she came for a visit the first year we had Maxi. She went straight to her, never ran and hid or anything else… very strange. What I’m trying to say is that Sebastian will gradually come out of his shell… he just needs what you are doing for him… giving him love and understanding and most important… time.
    Why don’t you try contacting Jackson Galaxy Cat Behaviorist? He’s on FB and has an email listed? You never know,he might be able to help you socialise this lovely boy.

  13. Beth says:

    Poor Sebastian–what a heartbreaking story! I’m so glad he has you and that you are taking the time trying to give him a better life, though. I think Feliway would help (have personally had good luck with it) and I’ve heard positive things about Rescue Remedy, too. Spay/neuter works so well with normal males and females… certainly worth a try.

    I’m sending you both hugs, purrs, and wishing you all the best!

  14. annie says:

    I haven’t had experience with a “special needs” cat of that particular nature but I do have experience with kittens/ cats whom, while “socialized” babies really WEREN’T ….our Tally girl is half munchkin and we have has her since she was 4 weeks old the breeder said she was 6 but she wasn’t and even though we have had her all her life, she is three now, she will barely let me touch her, she runs if you walk so much as PAST her, and likes to sit by the window at night when all the other cats and dogs (one dog she took to as her Mommy when we got her so she loves them) she will eat, but has never ONCE given me head butts and trust me I am a cat whisperer. I stroke her very gently while she is sleeping until she says no more, I ignore her as best I can when walking past her, and I let her come to me if she chooses. I just basically give her her space. Sounds to me like your love for this sweet kitty will be all kitty needs for a happy life at their own pace of growing. <3

  15. Shadie Kaye's Mom says:

    What a beautiful boy! I don’t have any answers for you, seems others have given pretty good suggestions.
    I’m just wondering if the different hormones of male/female combination would make him smell funny. I’m sure even he is aware something is a miss and must be confussing as he cleans himself. Bless his heart … I pray you find the answers and that he continues to progress as he has … maybe his other situation was very stressful and as he sees he is loved, safe/secure in his new home he will become more loving. He looks like he really needs a good hug and ear scratching, even if he doesn’t know it yet.
    We will be keeping Sebastian in our thoughts and prayers …

    Shadie Kaye, de fursibz and Meowmie

  16. Leslie says:

    . Suggestions on socialization. You can try feliway diffusers for help with calming. It is a synthetic copy of your cat’s natural facial pheromone. You can read up on it on their website. It has helped calm a couple of older feral cats that I have. Valarian root and Camomille are two herbal remedies that I have used to calm cats. There is also Rescue Remedy from Bach Flower Remedies. Maybe some of these can help. Good luck, Sebastian on becoming happy in your new home.

  17. John says:

    Someone mentioned Rescue Remedy (also called Five-Flower Essence; they are the same), and this is a good idea. A few drops in the cats’ water each day will help ease anxiety and fear (both for Sebastien and the existing cats). You can even take it yourself to help ground the pattern within your own body; the cats will pick up on this. I work with a homeopathic teacher with a lot of experience supporting pets, and she also uses homeopathic Walnut in the same way I described using RR. Walnut helps to make transitions easier for everyone involved.

    My best to you all! Sebastien is lucky to have someone so dedicated to his care and well being.

  18. LauraC says:

    How desperately sad for Sebastien. It makes me so happy that you have taken him in and he is finally getting the love and support he deserves. When we first got Mr Darcy it was apparent that he was not well socialised at all. He was by no means at the level that you have described Sebastien, but for a long time he was very skittish and would run when you tried to stroke him. We learnt that the best thing to do if he was frightened by something (such as a loud noise) was to carry on and not pay him or it any attention. By reaching out or saying ‘oh poor baby etc’ to try and reassure him when he is scared by something, you are reinforcing that there was something to be scared of in the first place. No reaction shows that there was never any danger.
    In time Darcy began to jump up on the sofa to sit with us of his own accord and would then accept a cuddle.
    Fast forward a year and a half and Darcy is now a complete cuddle monster and will cry out for attention, but it was a very gradual process. Much like Rebecca has said above, it was like one day someone flicked a switch.
    Also just to mention that neither Darcy or Sookie are lap cats, if I try to put them on my lap to this day they will immediately scramble to jump off. Perhaps you could also try introducing something at a higher level for Sebastien to explore and hopefully climb onto, cats tend to feel secure if they are at a higher level and it gives them a better view of all that is going on below them.
    Good luck and all the best for a bright future with Sebastien.

  19. Keith Phillips says:

    We had a calico rescue that was believed to be feral. We don’t know if she was feral or just abandoned. Totally not social. It took a lot of time and we have a therapy cat who also seemed to be therapy cat for other cats too. That helped, but what really made a difference was Bach Flower Essences. Most people have heard of Rescue Remedy, but there are more. If you visit the Bach web site, they have a page for pet issues. We used a combination of three didfferent essences, placing drops on freeze-dried salmon treats and giving them to her at least 3 times a day. One was for ‘unknown fears’, one was for socialization, and we used Rescue Remedy. They worked, but it does take time.

  20. keziah49 says:

    I’m with the ones who suggested neutering or both. The hormone conflict might be what is causing the personality traits (many of you know what pms and menopause can do). It certainly wouldn’t hurt anything and may help the personality problem

    • Judi says:

      Definitely something I plan to do. I just have to find someone that is familiar to doing this procedure on a hermaphrodite. I believe they have to neuter whichever sex is primary. How they determine which is the more dominant sex, I’m not sure, though.

  21. Stacey Taylor-Kane says:

    Sebastian is a beautiful cat!

    All the advice you’re receiving in the comments is quite sound. Just remember that socializing any cat can take up to three months (in some cases as long as six months). So, patience is key.

    With all my pets (cats, dogs, birds, turtles…) treats are key. It can take a lot of trial and error to find out what works best. Thus far, the most popular treats with my cats have been: baby food (chicken or turkey), boiled chicken, rosemary rotisserie chicken from the store. I’ve, also, been known to give them a couple licks of ice cream or yogurt… but, not too often as it’s not very good for them.

    As for toys… get a peacock feather. Seriously, I’ve yet to meet the cat that doesn’t go insane for a peacock feather. Also, playtime with toys like this can help your cats get used to each other. They’ll be focusing on the toy more than any “strange” cat in the area. Other stick/feather/dancer toys will work, too. But… seriously… peacock feather.

    • Judi says:

      This cat doesn’t show much interest in food . . . so I’d be surprised if treats worked on him, but I will try it. My other two cats just sniff the other way when I try to give them treats.

  22. Monica Swift says:

    My daughter in law bought a full blooded rag doll from a breeder who wasn’t socialized very well to people, but loved other cats, she only had him, so he hid under the bed most of the time, she gave him to me because I have 6 other cats and we figured he would be happier being around other cats, we were right in that regard, as soon as he got to my house he walked around the other cats like they were his litter mates, but he still was very leary of people, he would allow you to pet him if he happened to pass by, but wouldn’t allow you to pick him up, if he thought you were going to pick him up, he would run! I have had him for over a year and a half and just in the last couple of weeks has he actually jumped up on the couch and laid next to me so I could pet him, but when I have tried to put him on my lap he has balked at being picked up, so I being patient with him and allowing him to call the shots.

    • Judi says:

      Thank you for your comments. I think Sebastian will just take a lot of time also, but I do see him making progress. I wish they had gotten him neutered when he was a kitten. I hate to put him through all that just as he’s starting to feel a little bit less frightened.

  23. Marcia says:

    I have trapped feral kittens and my sister kept one from one of the litters, several went to her Vet that adopts out kittens and cares for ferals. She told my sister to begin with a small room and place the kitty there with a litter box and food (we put him in a spare bathroom). Visit the kitty on a regular basis, and do not allow the other cats near it at first. Play music, and let the kitty feel safe for awhile, and it should not have to fear the other cats for the litter box or he could develop urinary issues, with holding and litter avoidance. This poor kitty will need time to adjust to his new owner and surroundings, it is too much all at once. Once the kitty associates you with food and attention and not fear, I’d gradually introduce him to another room with supervised time. The kittens the Vet socialized, she put them in a large cage, out in the open area of the Vet’s office to get used to noise after awhile, then they graduated to the Kitten room, with volunteers that would come in and hold and play. When we had them for a few days, we had to swaddle them and hold and calm them, and they had just started getting used to human hands. My sister’s kitty Charlie is still very shy and hides when anyone comes to the house but he has bonded with her family and other cats- took some time. I am so happy that you have this poor kitty and are working with him. Sounds like he has had a bad time before you!! Good luck, don’t give up on him and keep us posted!!

    • Judi Phillips says:

      Thank you for your comments. I am beginning to think that, possibly, when the breeder found out that he was a hermaphrodite and, therefore, not a kitten that she could sell for the usual amount of money, she might have segregated him from the rest of his litter and other kittens she might have had. I don’t know if that’s the case, but it certainly would explain the lack of socialization.

  24. Branwyn says:

    I agree with Nuria. I had a cat who was exactly the same but from abuse. he would just shake and wet himself in the corner from fear. the best tool you need is patience. I kept him in the lounge and blocked off all the hiding places so he would have to sit in the basket as that was the only place in the room he would go. i then would sit next to the basket but not doing anything. after a few days i would just put my hand into the basket but again not try to touch him. every few days i would go a bit closer then to the point of stroking him. once he started purring i removed the basket also. it worked by making him come out of the corner and started to explore while i just sat in the same place all the time. he would then start to come to me sniffing etc. same happened with picking him up or letting him sit on my lap. you take it very slow but you also have to manipulate the environment to achieve the results. feel free to e-mail me for tips and tricks I used but now he is the most confident and loving and soppiest cat who craves attention and cuddles now so it is well worth taking your time.

    • Judi Phillips says:

      I love your story. Thank you. I am trying to manipulate the terrain where I can but this cat can actually open closet doors!!! And he opened the door to my kitchen cabinet and hid under the sink a few times. I’d have never found him if it hadn’t been that I had a plumber there that day and as he was on his back working under my sink, he felt fur on his head!! Imagine that feeling??? I have no idea how he got that door open. He does let me hold him, but hisses as I reach for him. Once I start petting him, he now does purr though and was even responding to my touch by rubbing his head one way and the other in the palm of my hand . . . . . so I think it will just take a lot of time.

  25. katmandolino says:

    He just needs lots of patience and love. Nuria mentioned ‘Feliway’ diffusers and I agree with this. I have found that they work for most cats, in a variety of situations, including introducing new cats to the home and to calm them if there is outside disturbance (fireworks etc.). ‘Feliway’ contains synthetic pheremones that mimic those of a cat’s cheek scent glands, and it will help Sebastian to feel more secure, as your home will smell more ‘catty’ to him. You will not notice any smell. Neutering may help, as his hormones may be confusing him.

  26. Bea says:

    Should not make a difference if he’s hermaphrodite or not, my friend’s cat was and he behaved just like any other cat! I’d suggest a lot of interactive play (with treats!) and maybe clicker training to bring him out of his shell! And be patience, you don’t know what happened on his previous life, maybe he just needs some time to adapt and feel safe

    • Rebecca says:

      Aside from the sex issue, which I have no personal experience with, I would advise patience, patience, patience. I adopted a fearful cat who loved me and my boyfriend but ran & hid when anyone else so much as walked by the front door. After about 4 years she started interacting with new people and now is willing to come meet most strangers. (But she was not so much of an “issue” because she always liked us, so we didn’t do anything to encourage her to talk to other people.) We also tamed a feral cat – he went from being completely wild to friendly, but it took about 9 months of gentle approaches, feeding canned food and careful socialization. One day it was like he flipped a switch; he walked in the kitchen with his tail up and started rubbing against my boyfriend’s legs. After that, once he got used to living in a house with people, he was the most loving and friendly cat you could ever ask for!

    • Judi Phillips says:

      I think you may be right with him just needing time. He plays with nothing, though, but I haven’t tried a clicker. He eats very little so I don’t know if treats would inspire him at all, but I will definitely try. Thanks for your input.

    • Judi Phillips says:

      Bea, somehow my reply to you got posted to the next comment . . . I’m amazed at how much feedback I’m getting.

  27. Hayden rae says:

    I have a friend that raises and breed ragdolls. I will ask her if she knows of any special care for your new baby. The special one’s always go to special people. Give him as much time as he needs. I would personally make him a special place for his litter box. I would think the rest will come in time. I think that if it were going to be a problem that the momma would have eaten him but she didn’t. So I would think that he just needs special attention. He’s a beauty!

    • Judi Phillips says:

      Thank you for your comments. He IS a beauty. His eyes are almost turquoise. I actually have just moved his catbox to where the other ones are. He had his to himself for this long, but now it’s in the same room as the other three that I have. He seems to be fine with that so far and this morning I actually found him HIDING in one of the other catboxes because I had closed him out of my walk-in closet.

  28. Robin says:

    Although I have a dog boarding business I’ve had cats all my life. I’m not sure being a hermaphrodite would have much to do with behavior and disposition other than influencing how other cats react.

    This is what I’ve done in the past with fearful cats. 1. I’ve not allowed them to run into their hiding places by putting them in a room without hiding places. At first, making it a room where the other cats aren’t in but where you may spend a lot of time. The cat will be with you as often as you can be in this place. Do this for a month. No hiding places and you in his presence often. I would then graduate him to room with no hiding places where the cats are. Starting out with a few hours a day, as long as there is no serious fighting. For me, the key is to eliminate hiding places where Sebastian will be separate and alone, it only perpetuates the fear he has.
    I hope you find this helpful. I’m so glad he’s with you, someone who cares for him.

    • Judi Phillips says:

      What you describe is very much what I have been doing. Thank you for helping me feel that I was approaching this situation properly.

  29. Nuria says:

    How long have you had the cat in your home? Apart from likely having very little socialization, you have brought a cat into your home that has no clue who you are or what this new place is. You have literally taken him from the planet he knew, to a planet he doesn’t know. I took in a stray 3 years ago. I kept her in my kitchen, apart from my other cats. It took her 3 days to get out of the small pyramid bed she was in to come and use the litter. It took another 3 weeks for her to actually come out of that little bed an walk around. It took a little over a month before she would come out and actually come out and interact with me, allowing me to pet her and have her sit on my lap.

    I currently have another stray, a 9 month old kitten, who never had any human contact. I’ve had her for about a month. It took 2 weeks before she allowed me to put my hand inside the carrier to pet her, and when I took my hand away she’d hiss and swat at me.

    Patience is really the most important thing here. Sit and talk to this little guy in a soft voice. Leave a radio in the room when you are gone. Put some toys out. In time, he will realize he is safe. As you said, you don’t know what his life was like and if he was abused. He needs to learn he can trust you.

    If you can get some Feliway diffusers, put one in the room, and another few around your house. This will help calm him, but it takes around 2 or 3 months I believe for it to begin to work. In the meantime you can use some Rescue Remedy. They have a spray, and you can spray this in the areas he’s in, like on his bed or near where he likes to hang out. This will give a calming effect and may take away some of his nervousness.

    • Judi Phillips says:

      I’ve only had Sebastian for close to 6 weeks and I really think he’s made some strides. At first I DID isolate him in one room with food and new catbox, bed and some toys. It was over 3 days before any food was missing from the dish but the catbox was being used. After a week I brought my other cats in, one at a time, in my hands and didn’t let them loose . . . just brought them to see Sebastian and he to see them, No reaction on his part, but some hissing and/or growling on my other cats parts. I kept him in that one room for another few days and then just opened the door. He never came out but would move from one corner to another corner or to inside the closet. Finally I got him to run out of the room and the hiding places he found were amazing. Little by little I’m trying to eliminate hiding places. On occasion I will come in the house or room and find him up on a window sill or something and that’s very encouraging. But he still hisses at me when I reach for him, but stops once I have him in my arms. I now have moved his food to the kitchen where the other cats eat, but he has a different corner. And I just moved, gradually, his catbox into the same room as the other three that I have. Thank you so much for your interest and your feedback.

  30. Joy says:

    Seems to me like it may be a hormone issue. You may want to look into getting Sebastian spayed and or neutered. I had an antisocial cat that calmed down quite a bit after having him fixed. Best of luck to you and your new baby.

    • Judi Phillips says:

      He definitely doesn’t need to “calm down” , , , , he needs the opposite. I hope that neutering can shift him into a higher gear. Could it possibly have that effect, too?

  31. I HAVE CAT says:

    awwww poor baby. thank you so much for saving this sweet baby and trying to love and understand him……i’m not an expert at this sort of thing but can post to IHAVECAT.
    Though I don’t know if it’s really his sexual organs that would have anything to do with his socialization issues? Unless other cats acted differently towards him? Animals seem pretty accepting though…usually….

    • Judi Phillips says:

      I don’t think being a hermaphrodite has anything to do with his anti-social behaviour but I was thinking that, possibly, the breeder — upon finding out that he was what he is, might have segregated him from the rest of his litter or something. My understanding is that they need to be socialized before they are 12 weeks old and that if not, it becomes more and more difficult to socialize them after that age. My other cats just don’t even react to him, nor he to them . . . at all! It’s very strange.

  32. giuli says:

    Wow, I’ve never even heard of a hermaphrodite cat, so I’m completely blown away by this post. I can’t give you any advice, but I’m curious and will talk to my ragdoll’s vet. Maybe she will know something, who knows?! I’m hoping you will be given good advice. I’m sure with time Sebastian will learn to be more social.. I really hope he will be happy in your home! He’s very lucky to have found a loving home 🙂

    • Judi Phillips says:

      Thank you for asking her and I’ll appreciate whatever info she might offer. I hope he’ll be happy too, but I think it’s gonna be a long road.

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