Hope the intersex kitten. (Cats Protection)
An adorable intersex kitten, born with a condition so rare there is no name for it, is looking for a home.
Hope is 15 weeks old and was born with no internal or external sex organs.
They were admitted into the care of Cats Protection‘s Warrington Adoption Centre in Tyneside, and workers noticed that Hope had no external genitalia.
After they underwent investigations, it was confirmed that they had no internal reproductive organs either.
Cats Protection’s senior field veterinary officer Fiona Brockbank said: “We carried out a procedure to look for sex organs but there’s nothing apparent inside or out.
“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.”
Brockbank said she had no “previous cases to base our knowledge of how this will affect Hope in the future”, but that vets had to make sure the intersex kitten was able to urinate and defecate appropriately before putting them up for adoption.
May we take this moment to endorse the amazing work of Cats Protection in general!
Animal adoption (and fostering!) is one of the most rewarding experiences for so many people, and we know many marginalised folks benefit hugely from the support and comfort their pets provide.
— Trans Activism UK (@TransActivismUK) November 8, 2022
Tyneside Adoption Centre manager Beni Benstead added: “Discovering Hope’s special status has been an exciting time as none of us have seen this before or are likely to again.
“Hope has been a delight to care for and it is fantastic that they are now ready to be adopted; we know they will bring their new owner many years of fun and companionship. We also hope to hear updates on our Tyneside superstar.”
iT’s BaSiC bIoLoGy – Anyway, I love and welcome this adorable Enby kitten and hope Hope receives many pettings. https://t.co/xOIxFzyhE9
— TransiTorri – Reads the article 🏳️⚧️ (@TransiTorri) November 8, 2022
Though it is exceptionally rare for cats to be born with no reproductive organs whatsoever, there have been a few documented cases of kittens born with a mixture of sexual anatomy, commonly known as “hermaphrodite” cats.
In 2016, a hermaphrodite kitten named Bellini was taken in by a Cats Protection centre in St Helens. Bellini and their sister Daiquiri were quickly adopted.