Feline Gender Reassignment Surgery Makes Ginger a Happy He

April 1, 2013 |

first successful feline transgender gender reassignment surgery
Veterinary researchers at the Ohio State University School of Veterinary Medicine have announced the first successful feline gender reassignment surgery as part of treatment for gender dysphoria in transgender cats.

Gender dysphoria has only recently begun to be researched in veterinary medicine. It has long been suspected that cats suffer from the condition in the same way that humans do, but it was not until the gene mutation responsible for gender dysphoria was isolated and identified that researchers were able to diagnose the condition definitively.

Transgender cats often suffer from behavioral problems that include inappropriate elimination, aggression, self mutilation and pica. When these problems fail to be corrected through traditional behavioral training techniques, it’s thought that the culprit could be a gender identity disorder.

Once researchers identify cats with the transgender gene mutation, the next step is to complete gender reassignment using a combination of hormone treatments and reconstructive surgery.

A veterinary team led by Dr Budalla Prill completed hormone treatments and surgical genitoplasty on three male and two female cats in June and July 2012. One of the cats was Ginger, a female orange tabby owned by Linda Scovill, a teacher in Bellefontaine, Ohio.

Scovill described the problems she had with Ginger. “Ginger was always bullying my other cats, and sprayed every vertical surface in my house,” she said. “My vet pronounced her healthy, but I always knew something was a little ‘off’ with her.” She tried accupuncture and reiki, but nothing worked.

When Scovill heard about the study of Feline Gender Dysphoria being conducted at Ohio State, something “clicked,” she said.

The symptoms described Ginger to a ‘T’. “I knew that neither my family nor Ginger would be happy until we treated the root cause of her problems.”

Now a “he,” Ginger has settled in to a life of contentment. No more spraying, no more bullying. “It’s like we traded her in for a different cat,” said Scovill.

Dr Prill said that similar successes were achieved with the other four test cats. “We were surprised at the efficacy of the procedures,” Prill admitted.

Although the research is still in its infancy, Prill said that it appears that Feline Gender Dysphoria is most common among female orange tabbies, male calicos and male tortoiseshell cats. These genders are uncommon for those coat colors, and Prill believes there’s a link between the transgender gene mutation and the gender/coat-color anomalies. He hopes that being able to better identify and treat cats with Feline Gender Dysphoria will decrease the number of cats who are surrendered to shelters and euthanized.

“Cats have the same rich emotional lives as people,” said Dr Prill, “and they’re just as sensitive to disconnects between their anatomies and sense of gender. They deserve the same opportunities for happiness as transgender people do. It’s my job to provide that.”

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Category: 0 - Featured, Health & Wellness, Last Week, zzz Previous 3 cat articles

About the Author ()

Karen Nichols is a Pet Industry Influencer, Publisher and Multimedia Designer in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has over 15 years of experience in the Internet Industry as a User Experience Analyst and Interaction Design Consultant. She's blogged professionally for nine years, and is a respected expert in social media, web analytics, online branding and Wordpress design and development. She's a popular speaker at pet industry conferences. In 2013, she won the BlogPaws social media awards for Best Cat Blog and Best video. In 2012, Karen won the Best Blog Design award for SkeezixTheCat.com. She was one of seven finalists in the national Purina Cat Chow Correspondent search in 2010. She has been a spokesperson for Friskies and judge of the 2012 "The Friskies" video contest, and a juror for the Internet Cat Video Festival. Karen is a member of the Cat Writer's Association, Women in the Pet Industry, the IAABC, The Interactive Design Association and the North Bay Multimedia Association.

Comments (8)

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  1. This was such an interesting article, and it makes purrfect sense. I hope these kitties are all now living the purrfect lives they deserve.

  2. Simba says:

    Happy April 1!

  3. gina says:

    Yeah… hee-larious (/sarcasm) This is a cat owner who is also trans and doesn’t think your pathetic “take off” on trans people’s lives and what they go through makes for inspired April Fools humor. Why don’t you make fun of people with cleft palettes or cerebral palsy or something else similarly classy and not try to involve your small-mindedness with my favorite critter.

    • Witty Kitty says:

      I’m trans with 2 cats.

      Article is hilarious and very well written, author knows a few things about subject or researched it well.

      Trans people whine, cats meow.

  4. Jobi says:

    I have lived long enough by now to believe just about anything – or is it that I am still very gullible. (no need to answer) tee hee

  5. laurie & scrubby says:

    I loved it. I have a ginger cat who pees. I wonder — what is he trying to tell me? Is he unhappy with himself? Does he want to express himself differently?

    We laughed. Good job. And although he’s neutered, I’m going to talk to Scrubby about his sexuality a little more.

  6. Charmee says:

    Hmmm. My gullibility is showing … Happy April Fool’s!
    Charmee

  7. Natasha Finkel says:

    Hilarious!!!!