Whether a cat is male or female rarely matters in our day to day interactions with them. Behavior between the sexes is largely the same, with the exception of unaltered cats. Unfixed males will spray and potentially be aggressive. Females will go through heat. So to deter unwanted breeding and negative behaviors, most shelters spay and neuter before animals go home. In the UK, a kitten originally thought to be a female was discovered to have no sex organs when examined by a vet.
A One-of-a-Kind Feline
It isn’t impossible for cats to be born with both sex organs. An example is Bellini, the kitten originally thought to be male. But Hope, a 15-week-old kitten at the Cats Protection Center in the UK, is different. A cat with no sex organs altogether is much more rare. “This is so rare that there isn’t really a commonly used term for this condition,” said Fiona Brockbank, senior veterinary officer for the center. “This means we don’t have any previous cases to base our knowledge of how this will affect Hope in the future,” she said. “We spent time monitoring this cat to ensure they can urinate and defecate appropriately before they were considered ready for rehoming.” It’s possible Hope will experience complications as an adult. However, for now, they seem to be a happy, healthy kitten. Hope, as of November 2022, is still up for adoption.
Other Exceptional Felines
It’s uncertain if there are any other cats out there like Hope. However, sex-linked physical traits are common in cats, even if behaviorally they are much the same. The coat color orange is sex linked to males; how many times have you met an orange female cat? Calico coloring is sex linked to females, as only one in three thousand calico cats are male. While not as unique as Hope, a female orange cat or male calico are pretty special in their own rights.