Charity identifies rare kitten of 'neither sex'

Charity identifies rare kitten of 'neither sex'

A young cat that recently came into the care of Cats Protection was found to be neither male nor female.

Tabby-and-white kitten Hope was originally thought to be female but on closer inspection it was discovered they had no external sex organs at all.

While hermaphrodite cats — which are also extremely rare — have both male and female sex organs, Hope has neither externally nor internally, Cats Protection explained.

“We carried out a procedure to look for sex organs but there’s nothing apparent inside or out,” said Fiona Brockbank, senior field veterinary officer for Cats Protection.

“There’s an outside possibility of some ectopic ovarian tissue hiding away internally but we think this is extremely unlikely.

“This is so rare that there isn’t really a commonly used term for this condition, but it is effectively ‘sexual organ agenesis’ — where agenesis is the lack or failure of development in relation to body organs.”

At 15 weeks old, Hope is described as a “playful” kitten who has endeared themself to staff and volunteers at both Cats Protection’s Warrington Adoption Centre, where they were first admitted and underwent investigations, and the charity’s Tyneside Adoption Centre where they await rehoming.

“Discovering Hope’s special status has been an exciting time as none of us have seen this before or are likely to again,” said Tyneside Adoption Centre manager Beni Benstead.

If you’ve recently adopted a kitten, protect your new furry friend with cat insurance from Purely Pets! Choose from 15 cover levels and enjoy benefits including access to unlimited video consultations 24/7 with a qualified vet.

Pet Insurance Quote

  • 98% claims paid *
  • Claims paid directly to vets
  • 24/7 vet video consultations
  • Interest free monthly payments