Polydactyl Cats, Fred and Ned, Have 54 Toes Between ThemPublished January 12, 2012
Polydactyl Cat--Flickr User GraphicReality
It seems, however, that Daniel’s been trumped when it comes to extra digits. According to an item posted on Huffington Post Green, four month-old Fred and Ned, a pair of black and white kittens (often referred to as “tuxedos”) living in England sport a total of 54 toes between them! Fred has 10 extra toes, while his brother has eight extra digits. Just think of the funds these two cuties might be able to raise for the Cats Protection charity shelter in which they reside!
"Fred and Ned are special in that as well as extra toes on the front paws, Fred has extra toes on his back paws," said Kate Stapelford, a branch volunteer.
What makes the story more enchanting is the rare configuration of the cat’s toes. The charity’s vet commented he had never seen a configuration like it in his 40 years of practice. While their appearance is a bit unusual, their extra toes will not adversely affect their health in any way and they will make super companions for anyone adopting them.
Polydactyl Cats: An Adorable Rarity in England
Cats Protection claims polydactyl cats can be found in the United Kingdom, although they are not common. This genetic "quirk" does not cause any harm to the cats. And while some polydactyls have only one, two or three extra toes on their paws, a wide range of additional toes is possible. Since this condition is an inherited genetic abnormality; the kittens born to polydactyl cats have an excellent chance of producing polydactyl offspring.
The rarity of polydactyl cats in England has led to lore and legends surrounding their past. For instance, one legend has it that they were used by sailors as ship’s cats because they were more adept in climbing the rigging due to their extra toes. In reality, extra toes do not enhance the “mitten” cats’ ability to climb: it is purely a genetic anomaly.
Polydactyl Cats: A Piece of Polydactyl Trivia
As one might imagine, the extra digits of the polydactyl cat is material for some type of world record. According to Dr. Arnold Plotnick, a practicing veterinarian in New York City at the Manhattan Cat Specialist Clinic, the record has bounced around a few times.
In October 1974 a polydactyl cat with the most toes was reported who had eight extra toes on each paw for a total of 32. But Tiger, a 27-toed cat that resides in Alberta, Canada, is the current verified record holder with seven toes on both her front paws, six on her right hind paw, and seven on her left hind paw.
Now that you are all polydactyl kitty experts, wouldn’t you just love to add one of these amazing kitties to your existing clowder? Share your thoughts with a comment.