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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Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,

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  1. 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. 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. 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. 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. Jenny

    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. 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. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

      1. 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.

      2. 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!

    1. 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.

      1. 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!!!

      2. 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.

        1. 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. 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. 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. 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.

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