A tiny kitten handed in to a cat charity has turned out to be one of nature’s rarest finds.
The little puss is a hermaphrodite - born with both male and female organs.
The 15-week-old kitten is currently being cared for by Cats Protection at its national cat adoption centre in Chelwood Gate but is now looking for a new home.
Staff at the centre have dubbed the puss - who was one of a litter of kittens taken in by the charity - Haydyn.
As well as having the unusual condition, the black-and-white kitten was also born without a tail but is otherwise happy and healthy.
Centre manager Danielle Draper says staff have taken to referring to Haydyn as a boy.
“Haydyn came into the centre along with seven other kittens after the number of cats in a household had become out of control,” she said. “All the other kittens had no issues but, when we checked Haydyn, we could see both male and female organs.
“It was a surprise as it’s a very rare condition. We’ve got used to calling him a boy but his new owner may decide what they think is best. Either way, he’s a really lovely, fun-loving kitten who will make a wonderful pet.
“It’s highly unlikely that Haydyn would have been able to reproduce but he will still benefit from being neutered. Neutering has many advantages aside from controlling kittens being born – neutered cats fight less, stay closer to home and are less likely to contract serious illnesses.”
Cats Protection’s central veterinary officer Jennifer MacVicar said: “Hermaphrodite – or intersex – cats do not frequently occur so Haydyn is one of the more unusual cats to be found.
“This may arise through mosaicism – which is when a kitten’s cells divide unusually while the kitten is a growing embryo.
“Such mosaicism may result in a cat with either male or female reproductive organs and genitalia, or a pair of mixed reproductive organs and genitalia.
“Whether a cat is hermaphrodite is only normally discovered during very close veterinary inspection - most frequently during neutering.
“We have heard of cases where much older adult cats are found to be hermaphrodite without their owners ever having had a clue.”
If you would like to offer Haydyn a home, contact 01825 741331 or email firstname.lastname@example.org