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The cat with male and female sex organs

The cat

A young couple, Tom Minns and Claire Gidley, were shocked to discover Marbles, their beloved cat, is a rare hermaphrodite.

The pair got the cat two years ago as a female and had related to it that way ever since. They discovered the secret only a year later when they welcomed a white female called Bella to keep their first cat company. But surprisingly Marbles became uncontrollably amorous.

Tom told Mirror UK: “Bella was getting a lot of romantic attention from Marbles. We took them to the vet to get both cats checked and were stunned to be told the reason Marbles was so frisky was that she was half-male.

“The vet who examined Marbles said she had both male and female genitalia, which explained why she – or he – was so attracted to Bella.”

As a result of the condition, Marbles, who is otherwise healthy, is sterile so cannot father kittens. Tom, a cleaning supervisor, said: “The vet explained there are certain health risks leaving Marbles as she is. Compared with Bella, Marbles is definitely mostly male. She is much more of a tom cat so I would like her to keep her male parts.

“However, the vet has explained that if tests show Marbles is mostly female, then she will continue to be brought up as a she.”

Steve O’Shea of the Veterinary Hospital, Plymouth, United Kingdom, said: “A hermaphrodite cat is seen only a handful of times, if that, within the average vet’s working life.”

Hermaphrodites occur when there is a chromosomal abnormality and testes and ovaries do not form as they should. However, the animal usually remains healthy and loving and its day-to-day life is not affected.

Tom said: “Whatever happens, we’ll always love Marbles. The one good thing is we called it Marbles. At least we won’t need to change the name. He or a she – it doesn’t matter to us.”


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