KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 11 — A stray cat sent to a shelter in West Sussex, UK, has been found to have no external sex organs.

The cat, named Hope, was originally thought to be a female cat when it was first admitted into the Cats Protection’s care.

A closer inspection, however, found Hope do not have any external sex organs at all, the shelter said.

According to the shelter, there are hermaphrodite cats — although extremely rare — that have both male and female sex organs. Hope has neither, externally nor internally.


Cats Protection’s senior field veterinary officer Fiona Brockbank said they have conducted 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,” she said, adding that this was the first time the shelter encountered such a case.


Estimated to be 15 weeks old, Hope is now being monitored to ensure it can urinate and defecate appropriately before it would be put up for adoption.