Hermaphroditic Cat To Get Gender Assignment Surgery

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Mittens is a seemingly regular household cat that enjoys being scratched under the chin and chasing string around, but there's one thing about a Newfoundland family's pet that sets it apart – Mittens is a hermaphrodite.

Colleen Clarke-Murphy, who lives in Heart's Desire, says her daughter brought Mittens home thinking it was a sick stray that had been abandoned by its owner.

She took the cat to a local veterinarian, and after an examination in October got the news that makes Mittens unique.

The cat has both male and female genitalia.

Clarke-Murphy said it was the last thing she expected to hear about the newest addition to her family.

Her first response to the vet's news was, "Did I just hear you right?"

Clarke-Murphy said she would prefer to have another female cat — she already has a male and female cat — but she'll follow the advice of her vet, who recommends Mittens be assigned a male gender.

"They're the ones who know what they're doing. I mean, I really don't know. I'd like for it to be a female, but it really don't matter. It's got both parts," said Clarke-Murphy.

"I think it's got both personalities, so it really don't matter."

The vet told Clarke-Murphy the cat would need to be both spayed and neutered, and then have reconstructive surgery once a gender is assigned.

Vet bill will be about $1,500

While the vet bills are estimated to come in around $1,500 for all of the cat's surgeries, Clarke-Murphy said it will be worth it to ensure Mittens is in good health. 

"She was part of my family when she came home with my daughter," she said. 

Currently, Mittens has bowel issues and problems urinating as a result of its dual gender.

Clarke-Murphy said a friend is conducting an auction of used items on Facebook to help pay for the family's vet bills

"She was part of my family when she came home with my daughter."

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