Hermaphrodite Kitten Wins Hearts Worldwide

PetMD Editorial
Updated: June 13, 2016
Published: April 20, 2016
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When Bellini the kitten was brought to the St Helen’s Adoption Centre of Cats Protection in the U.K., it was initially thought that the tiny 9-week-old cat was male.

But, after the cat was brought in to be neutered, it was discovered by a veterinarian at the facility that the kitty possessed both male and female genitalia. Since then, the adorable kitty has captured the attention of people worldwide. 

In a press release on the Cat Protection website, manager Sonia Scowcroft noted how rare it is to see a hermaphroditic cat and stated, "I was pretty stunned, it’s so unusual. I have seen over 3,000 cats during my time at Cats Protection and only seen one other hermaphrodite cat."

Scowcroft also stated that while it will be impossible for Bellini to reproduce, he is an otherwise happy and healthy cat, despite a mild heart murmur. 

"Hermaphrodite—or intersex—cats do not frequently occur and, if they do, they are often tortoiseshell, so Bellini is one of the more unusual cats to be found," Louise Waters of Cats Protection told petMD. Waters explained that it is something that develops when cats are in utero. 

Waters added that each case with hermaphroditic cats is different and unique, so Bellini's new owners will have to check in with their vet to "ensure that s/he remains healthy." 

Luckily, Cats Protection was able to re-home Bellini alongside a littermate named Daquiri. Scowcroft pointed out that when it comes to assigning a gender, "it is up to his new owner to decide what they think is best."

"Either way," Scowcroft said, "[Bellini] is an absolute cutie pie and will make a really lovely pet."

Image via Cats Protection