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  #1  
Old 10-05-2010, 05:43 PM
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Aurelia Aurelia is offline
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Exclamation Sexing kittens ... Hermaphrodite kitten?

As some of you might know there is mystery surrounding the sex of one of my newborn kitties.

Tinks was the first to be born, and two hours or so after the birth we had a look at sexing them all. Now I am not experienced at sexing kittens, so using an online diagram (well a few actually) I had a go.

Tinks looked like a girl, as did Itty and Chaz with Cain being a boy.

Now, when Tinks lost weight on day 3 (I think, I'll check in a bit) she lost 4g. I was worried and so contacted my mentor. After a discussion about Tinks and what we could try to improve things, it was decided that I would try checking on them every hour or so to begin with, and if Tinks wasn't feeding we should move one of the bigger kits (Itty and Chaz) and pop Tinks on the nipple to give her a chance. Tinks had been continually shoved off the nipple by Cain before the day of weightloss, and on the day of weightloss the other two had also been pushing her off.

Well I'm pleased to say it worked and she gained beautifully, and still is

Anyway, back to the sexing. During the conversation about Tinks with my mentor, I mentioned that I still wasn't sure of Chaz' sex and colour, I had thought she was a Lilac Tortie like Itty, but this was now in doubt. So her sex was not reliable. So I suggested taking pictures of all of their bits to show her, and she could then hopefully sex them better than I could as she is experienced.

This is one of the images I originally used to try and sex the kits:



These were the first set of images to be taken of their sexy bits:









After these pictures were mailed to another cat breeding site by my mentor for advice, a few vets and cat breeders confirmed the sexes of Itty, Chaz and Cain. But there was some concern over Tinks' bits. So a bit later I took another shot of her bits when she wasn't so wet (she has a habit of peeing on me every time I pick her up, she never does it to my hubby though ).

She peed on me again, but this time I dabbed her dry a bit with some cotton wool:



It was after this image that the 'concern' was revealed to me. The thoughts were that Tinks had both male and female parts, making her an hermaphrodite!

After doing some research and asking advice from my mentor, I was reassured that this isn't necessarily a big problem or a health problem. But she did need checking by a vet to make sure everything else is OK down there. I have her booked in tomorrow as they couldn't fit her in today. She is still eating well and gaining weight, otherwise I would have pushed for an emergency appointment.

I took another picture last night while Tinks was for once -dry!



After again showing this to my mentor, she commented that she didn't want to get my hopes up, but that she indeed looks better in this image.

So I guess tomorrow we shall see!

There is one other possibility, and that is that Tinks is actually a boy. If this is the case she/he will most definitely be a blue/cream Tortie, making him a very rare kitten indeed. But I doubt this ... though I have always seen my Rilly-Pops as a special girl, I doubt we would be lucky enough there.

Your thoughts and experience with this kind of thing is greatly appreciated, as I am a person that likes to have as much information as possible. Even if it's just experience of owning an Hermaphrodite cat!

I have heard that spaying such a cat is more difficult because they have to open them up more to get both bits out. Is this true?
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Old 10-05-2010, 06:49 PM
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Re: Sexing kittens ... Hermaphrodite kitten?

Can't offer much advice sorry other than if that was one of my kittens I would say they were male judging by the genitals, are you sure she is a tortie?

Perhaps a picture of her coat colour would help.

I have heard of male tortie's before but it is very very rare.
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Old 10-05-2010, 07:32 PM
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Re: Sexing kittens ... Hermaphrodite kitten?

Well at the moment she is classed as Blue/Cream and you can't get male Blue/Creams I believe.

I'm no expert though, this is what I'm told

This is Tinks:

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Old 10-05-2010, 07:38 PM
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Re: Sexing kittens ... Hermaphrodite kitten?

How strange!

I have heard blue/cream cats be called dilute tortie's before now and the colour is sex linked so you would assume she is female but her genitals look very much male.

From what I have read male tortie's are possible but very rare and it is caused by an abnormality in the X/Y chromosones, they are almost always infertile.

It may be worth getting a vet to have a look or waiting a while and seeing how she develops.

I have had cats before now where they have appeared male then female etc.

Anything can happen I suppose. I fostered a pregnant cat recently that had a litter of 5 ginger females. Now considering that ginger females are rare (although not as rare as male tortie's) and the mother was not ginger I was very shocked as expected them all to be male.
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Old 10-05-2010, 07:52 PM
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Re: Sexing kittens ... Hermaphrodite kitten?

Well she is booked in at the vets tomorrow for a general check over. We shall see what they think.

The information I read last night said that male Blue/Cream Torties can be fertile, but there is no way they can reproduce their colour. I too read about the Chromosone thing, and also skin pigment issues, making some appear to be a colour they are genetically not.

It would be amazing to have such a special colour ... what am I talking about she (he?) is special anyway
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Old 10-05-2010, 08:09 PM
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Re: Sexing kittens ... Hermaphrodite kitten?

Well

he/she is definatly a tortie - bluecream is a dilute tortie

Yes it is sex linked, and occasionally (very very very occasionally) a male shows up, but he will almost always be sterile.

To be honest she appears to be a girl in the last pic... the first looks like she has a bit of loose skin before she fattened up.... I hope thats the case.

If not then yes you would have a rare tortie boy... remember you still need to neuter though, especially as some tortie boys have retained testicles...

let us know how you get on at the vets xxx
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Old 10-05-2010, 08:15 PM
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Re: Sexing kittens ... Hermaphrodite kitten?

They all looked like girls to me lol
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Old 11-05-2010, 07:41 AM
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Re: Sexing kittens ... Hermaphrodite kitten?

Hope she gets on okay today. I am thinking my she may be a he at the moment. It's so frustrating. My mother usually confirms for me but she is unwell atm.

I will have another look later.

Let us know how Tinks get on. x
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Old 11-05-2010, 08:15 AM
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Re: Sexing kittens ... Hermaphrodite kitten?

blimey how hard is this? ... in the books it looks so easy ... i think they all look the same ... god im gonna have fun sexing my own litters!! ... soz im not much use to you , im sure the vets visit will make it all clearer
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Old 11-05-2010, 09:41 AM
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Re: Sexing kittens ... Hermaphrodite kitten?

id say girl, just needed to fatten out a bit
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