General Question

snowyowl_ecs's avatar

Can cats change gender?

Asked by snowyowl_ecs (417points) July 2nd, 2009

I’ve had my cat, Bella, for about a year now. I got her from a friend who said that the place where Bella was adopted from had fixed her. Now I think that Bella has male genitalia. I was thinking that maybe she was born a hermaphrodite. Is that possible? Wouldn’t the pet adoption people have noticed something like this? Should I see a vet about my concerns?

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23 Answers

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willbrawn's avatar

Wow, yes please go see a vet. And please let us know what happens.

marinelife's avatar

Yes, see a vet. The cat could have been incorrectly sexed (if she was young when you got her), but you should have seen genitalia around six months if that was so.

Other possibilities include medical conditions. Page 186 of this book has clear illustrations.

snowyowl_ecs's avatar

Yeah. Bella was very little when I got him/her. She/he has really long black hair, so it’s hard to see anything regarding gender, but I’m pretty sure it’s a he… I think.

marinelife's avatar

Also, welcome to the collective.

tinyfaery's avatar

You mean sex, not gender. Cats do not have a gender.

Darwin's avatar

Since cats are pets and are greatly anthropomorphised, I think you can say that cats have gender.

However, they do not switch from one sex to the other. Folks unfamiliar with kitten genitalia can easily be confused as to what sex the cat is, so many have to be renamed later in life.

The simplest thing is to ask your vet the next time the cat is there for a routine check up.

tinyfaery's avatar

Unless the cat can say, hey I might be male but feel more like a girl cat, then cats do not have genders.

Darwin's avatar

I hate to say it, but male and female cats behave differently, even when neutered. They do have gender and they seem to recognize who is male versus who is female.

tinyfaery's avatar

No duh, but gender is something that is culturally constructed and has nothing to do with biological differences. Sorry @Darwin but cats do not have a gender.

snowyowl_ecs's avatar

I think that’s a matter of opinion. Just because animals can’t verbalize doesn’t mean that they are any less aware of gender.

snowyowl_ecs's avatar

But thanks for catching my mistake.

galileogirl's avatar

If something is growing there, it is much more likely to be a tumor than a spontaneous sex change.

tinyfaery's avatar

Gender=human, cultural construct. Explain to me how that translates to any other animal?

Darwin's avatar

When someone stoops to saying things such as “No duh” the conversation is over.

snowyowl_ecs's avatar

Animals live in communities just like humans. Just because they don’t get HBO doesn’t mean that they are any less of a culture. You wouldn’t say that people living in a remote tribe or amish people don’t have gender… would you?

syz's avatar

I suspect that it was just a case of mistaken identity (it can be quite difficult to identify sex in a small kitten).

Take him/her to your vet, explain the situation, and make sure that she/he has in actuality been neutered (neuter refers to either sex, castration is performed on males, a spay or ovariohysterectomy on females) before you find out the hard way. For a male, it will be obvious for the experienced eye. It’s more difficult to discern if a female has been spayed, but since she’s young, they should be able to shave a small area on the belly to look for an incision scar.

tinyfaery's avatar

no duh = profound statement of the obvious snob

ratboy's avatar

Try looking for a pussy.

MissAnthrope's avatar

I’m still stuck on the part where snowyowl_ecs said the previous owner said the adoption place had fixed the cat. That makes me scratch my head.. unless the previous owner was mistaken?

peglegtrading's avatar

in this case you cannot say they fixed the cat but in fact “broke it.” Poor thing. That’s pussies gonna have some issues.

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