Polydactyl Kittens Ned And Fred Are All Fingers And Thumbs: Pair Boast 54 Digits Between Them (PICTURES)
These four-month-old kittens have been causing a stir at a cats protection charity – after it emerged they have an extra 18 digits between them.
Known as polydactyl cats, Ned has an extra eight digits, while his brother Fred has 10 more than usual.
Branch volunteer Kate Stapleford said: “Fred and Ned are special in that as well as extra toes on the front paws, Fred has extra toes on his back paws.
“Our vet said he'd never seen that in 40 years in practice! Although they look a little unusual, the extra toes do not affect their health in any way and we know they will make the perfect companions for their new owner.”
Although not common, polydactyl cats can be found across the UK. It is a genetic condition that, in the majority of cases, causes no harm to the cat whatsoever, according to Cats Protection.
Some polydactyl cats have just one extra toe on each paw but some can have two or even three extra on each foot. If a polydactyl cat has kittens, there is a good chance some of her kittens will also have the condition.
“There is a legend among sailors that polydactyl cats used to be ship’s cats and the extra toes helped them climb the rigging,” said Kate.
“It’s a nice story, but these cats do not have a greater climbing ability. It’s neither an advantage or a disadvantage – just an unusual quirk of nature.”