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Readers Respond: How I Mistook my Male Kitten for a Female (or Vice-Versa)

Responses: 24


I've made a couple of mistakes now and then in determining the gender of a kitten, one memorable one resulting in the birth of a litter of kittens from what I'd thought were two male cats. I even once had a female cat named Arthur, from the result of a similar mistake. From emails and forum comments I've read, it appears that the same thing has happened to others. Now you can share your own "kitten gender goof" with other readers by completing this easy form. Share Your Story

pretty penny

My little yellow kitten was given to me by a friend who said it was female, a beautiful copper color I named Pretty Penny. I have sense discovered that penny is a tom cat. I will change his name to Penrod but will continue to call him pretty penny. He doesn't know its a girls name.


a long time ago my family got a kitten from someone on craigslist and we thought it was a girl, and we named her Mittens, which, is a common name i guess, and she was 3 weeks old, like around May, and we just found out today when my sisters fiance picked her up and he said mittens is a boy, so now we are thinking of either changing it to scooter, scoot or mitty. i just wish i could get used to it. :)
—Guest little mitty

Jingle All the Way !

I was teaching in my Foundation Stage classroom of 4/5 year olds and we were looking at rhyming patterns using 'at' ... so 'the cat sat on the mat' was an obvious end to the session. Then into the class comes an adorable tiny white and ginger kitten and sits on the door mat! An obvious stray i took her home, cleaner her up and a visit to the vets confirmed all was well and she was a she! It was December and so she got the name Jingles. During the next school holiday I was having her spayed and so she went to the vets and I waited for the text message that all had gone well. Later that day a message came 'Jingles had had the operation, she was recovering well and he could be collected later that day'. I was laughing about the typo in the message with friends, but the joke was on us as when my friend collected her later. We were told, after prepping 'her' to be spayed they discovered 'she' was in fact a 'he'. So the operation was changed accordingly!

Pet store and three vet visits later...

I bought the only non-calico kitten in a litter at a pet shop and they were very certain it was a boy. I would not take in a female kitten, and they knew that. The vet I started going to said "Yep, Atticus is a boy!" Three vet visits down the road and I switch veterinarians and find out that Atticus might be an Addison? She/he has two tufts of hair where testicles should be, but its "area" is closer to its anus than boys' should be. So now my kittens gender is in limbo. He acts like a boy, hardly chats and he's almost 5 months old now, which means it should be in heat soon if it is female. His new nickname? Shem. I'm having a gender identity crisis towards my cat.
—Guest Sam

Our Feral Boy cat had Kittens

I have had cat in my life for over 50 years. Mr. Nippers is a cute feral, orange short hair cat, who found us around 2 months ago. I started feeding him because he was so skinny. He started putting on weight and that’s OK. He was getting larger and larger every day, so I thought he might have picked up a parasite like worms, that causes abdominal swelling. On Sept 12th, 2012 He looked very sick and was trying to find a place to hide. I thought he was going to die. I called the Vet and rushed him there. To my surprise he was a very pregnant female. X ray confirmed the he / she was giving birth right now. I rushed home and set up a birthing box. Ten minutes later the first kitten was born. She had 4 cute kids. Her new name is now Ms Nippers. I still can’t believe this has happened…
—Guest Sue

Precious was a boy

My daughter found a small kitten outside of her workplace and thought it was a female, indeed when we took "her" to the ASPCA for "her" shots and first vet visit, the receptionist recorded the sex as female. When we went into the the office the vet correctly sexed the kitty as a male. We had a good laugh and renamed kitty MiniMax. It is difficult to tell when they are that small, as the organs are not apparent at all. Luckily now Max is a healthy happy boy living at our home.

Oliver's Secret

I had my cat Oliver for 3 weeks and even took "him" to a vet who said nothing to me about the possibility "he" wasn't a boy. Imagine my chagrin when the second vet announced "he" was a girl! Olivia was out since I have 2 cousins with that name, so it was back to the drawing board. That little kitten now takes her name from another literature character... Darcy
—Guest Darcy's__Girl

Jojo Becomes Joe

We found our kitten at our doorstep at about a month old, and decided to adopt her. Called her Jojo, and was confident that we got a girl. We brought her to the vet to get her vaccines and deworming, had her record card printed as "F". We gave her a pink collar with a red bell to wear around her neck. She had her regular check-ups at the vet's till she was about 5 months old and ready to make the appointment for spaying. It was only then, the vet pointed out to us that we had adopted a male kitten. Luckily we found out before the surgery procedures were made.
—Guest Shu

puss n boots and a "girly boy" ebeneezer

when i was 8 and my sister was a year, we got our first kittens, both siblings. i was supposed to get the boy and she the girl. my grandparents had incorrectly sexed them and i cried and cried. i wanted the boy cat not the girl, it really didn't matter in the end. "puss"and "boots" they were. when i was a teen we took in a stray fluffy maine coon we called "ebeneezer" he looked feminine and even acted like a girly cat. now i am not sure, but i could have sworn our ebeneezer was a gay cat! he and boots were like a tag team, ganging up on the neighbourhood cats and dogs. they were well known on our street....in a good way.

1 for 3

After our female, Fuzzball passed on, we acquired a longhair 'female' who was an impostor. He became FIGARO. Later on we acquired a 'female' gray short hair impostor who became JACK. We got both kittens from private owners. The 3rd female kitten was indeed a female, Maggie Mae was from a pet store. Conclusion: Have your kitten's sex checked by a professional.
—Guest pluto127

You're no Lady!

Several years ago, my family decided to adopt a female kitten. When we got to the owner's home, we saw two identical kittens. The owner lifted them both, discovered one was heavier, decided that was the male, and gave us the other. After a long discussion, her name became Lady Katherine of Hoffmeyer (Kat for short). Later, Kat began to exhibit male behavior. A closer inspection verified that "she" was indeed a "he." So, even though my parents continued to call him Kat, I started calling him Tootsie, after Dustin Hoffman's cross-dressing character.
—Guest Aisling

From Seppi to Sonja

I rescued a very tiny kitten on 31 August 2000 when the kitten followed one of my neighbors in the gate to the farm where we lived. My other neighbor and I looked at the kitten and decided it was a male so I named him Seppi, a South German nickname for a male named Josef. About the time I was going to take Seppi in to have him neutered, she went into heat so I had to change her name and have a different operation. I decided to change her name to Sonja after HM Queen Sonja, the queen of Norway, since they were both beautiful and regal, and I thought another name with the "s" sound would be easier for her to get used to. I had her for over 11 years until I had to euthanize her the day after Christmas, 2011 to prevent her from suffering more. She quickly became the queen of the L. house and lived up to her royal name. She is truly missed.

Tasha Became Travis

Many years ago, I got a real job and a real apartment. I had an adult cat, Cinnamon, but was looking for another kitten. One of my family's cats had a kitten who was born with one eye. They told me it was a girl kitten, and my sisters named her Tasha. When she was old enough, I brought her to my home. Cinnamon took over teaching Tasha the things kittens should know. Tasha and Cinnamon were not bothered by Tashie's missing eye, and neither was I. What I didn't realize that Tasha was missing something else. One day, I was playing with Tashie and rubbing her belly, when that missing part poked out from the genital area. I was very surprised, and so was my family. I decided to name the little boy kitty Travis (long story). When I petted Cinnamon, she looked at me in that wise look cats have. Of course she knew all along.

Lady Was a Laddie

A beautiful very large Tuxedo cat opened my storm door and found the way to the bedroom where I sat at my desk. He/she was very vocal and made himself/herself at home. When I couldn't find out who this beautiful creature belonged to I took it in and named "her" Dark Eyed Lady. There was no evidence of exterior genitals and the cat seemed very shy when I tried to look more closely. I've seen people with less modesty than this cat had. I adopted a calico kitten to keep "her" company while I was at work and they were so much fun to watch together. Soon there was a reason for "her" to visit the veterinarian ...an injury as I recall... and soon I was told I could come and pick up my beautiful cat. "And, oh yes, "she" is actually a he." His name changed from Dark Eyed Lady to Dark Eyed Laddie immediately. He and the calico (Sassy) had one kitten together and it was a tuxedo also but we lost it in the flood. Laddie and Sassy have both gone on to the rainbow bridge now.
—Guest Biscat

My Sylvester

When we got our beautiful little black and white cat, the kids asked me what it was. I checked and proudly announced that it was a male! Well, I took him to the vet for shots and a check-up and much to my surprise... the Dr. says.....This is a Female cat!! Well, we had already named her Sylvester, which is known as a male name. She not only appeared to be a male, but she loved to wrestle with one of the older cats! She still does and she is 7 years old. I believe she is a Tom (boy) cat!! We love her just the same!!

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How I Mistook my Male Kitten for a Female (or Vice-Versa)

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