HomeCatsShelter Takes In Rare, Intersex Kitten

Shelter Takes In Rare, Intersex Kitten

Bend, Oregon – An animal shelter in Bend recently took in a rare hermaphrodite tortoiseshell kitten. According to the Humane Society of Central Oregon, when they took the kitten in to be spayed, the veterinarian discovered that “she” did not have a uterus or ovaries.

Tortoiseshell cats are predominantly female because of genetics. The gene for coat color is carried on the X chromosome. Females have two X chromosomes (XX), while males have one X and one Y chromosome (XY). To be a tortoiseshell, a cat needs two different colors of fur, typically black and orange, which occur on different X chromosomes.

But this kitten skirted the norm. The animal welfare agency said:

During the surgery Dr Bloodworth discovered Cindi did not have a uterus nor ovaries. The HSCO veterinary team found and removed two testicles. After the surgery, Cindi was renamed Cinder.

HSCO’s Clinic Manager, Bailey Shelton, CVT said “it was like spotting a unicorn! Even though I’ve only been in the veterinary field for nine years, this very well could be a once-in-a-career moment. They always talked about how rare male tortoiseshells are back in school, but seeing one in person is something else. You just never know what amazing surprises await you at the humane society!”

On June 12, the agency let Facebook followers know that Cinder has a new home, writing:

On Friday, June 7, 2024, Cinder was adopted by a family that is a longtime supporter of the Humane Society of Central Oregon. This unique kitten will be loved and receive the best of care his entire life. Cinder will benefit when the daughter graduates from the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine in the next few years.

(Image via Facebook/Humane Society of Central Oregon)

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