Cat that is neither male nor female shocks UK doctors

November 09, 2022

The 15-week-old white tabby kitten brought in by an animal charity to the hospital was initially believed to be female

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15-week-old white tabby kitten, Hope.— Instagram

Veterinarians in the United Kingdom were shocked after they realised that their cat-patient was neither female nor male.

As per a report by The Guardian, a 15-week-old white tabby kitten brought in by an animal charity to the hospital was initially believed to be female. When theCats Protection rescue centre in Warrington admitted the homeless cat, they labelled it female.

However, when the team took the tabby to the vets, they said that the animal had neither female nor male sex organs. Any kind of internal and external reproductive organs was absent.

The senior field veterinary officer at Cats Protection, Fiona Brockbank, was part of the case. Attributing the instance to agenesis, she said that she had never seen such a case before.

Agenesis is when an entire organ or specific cells within that organ are absent in any organism.

"There's an outside possibility of some ectopic ovarian tissue hiding away internally but we think this is extremely unlikely," Brockbank told the outlet, adding that the situation was extremely rare.

"This is so rare that there isn't really a commonly used term for this condition."

Brockbank said that the kitten was being taken care of despite the fact that experts had not seen any such case before.

Cats Protection took to social media to share adorable images of the unique kitten.

"Playful kitten Hope came into our Cats Protection Tyneside Adoption Centre with their siblings and was found to be of neither sex, which is extremely rare! So rare in fact that there isn't even a common term for Hope's special status and the news has gone global," the caption of the post read.

"While this means we don't have any previous cases [on which] to base our knowledge of how this will affect Hope in the future, we spent time monitoring this cat to ensure they can urinate and defecate appropriately before they were considered ready for rehoming," she said.

While it seems that Hope is missing important organs, it is healthy and is waiting to be rehomed at Cats Protection's Tyneside Adoption Centre.

The centre was excited to have the cat. The manager Beni Benstead said that it was a "delight to care for" the animal, adding that the organisation was anticipating "many years of fun and companionship".

A social media user called the cat a "non-binary icon" in the comments section. Another said: "Wow! Have never heard of this!"

People sent the cat lots of love, wishing it the best for the future.

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