Lily the polydactyl kitten

Saturday, June 14, 2008

polydactyl cat foot We brought home our new polydactyl (six-toed) kitten, named Lily, from Portland three weeks ago, on May 25. Lily has 23 claws: 13 in the front (on 12 full toes) and 10 in the back (on 10 toes). Her left front paw has an extra tiny claw/mini-toe in between two toes. And the inner “thumb” claw on each of her front paws is some kind of superclaw, with two claw tips, one stacked on top of the other (making 25 pointy claw tips total). She’s a freak.

Most cats, including our other cat Eli, have 18 claws: 10 in the front and eight in the back. We’ll probably have Lily’s weird extra claw removed when she gets spayed in a few months, bringing her total claws down to an even 22. Read more about polydactyl cats (also known as “mitten cats” or “Hemingway cats”). Lily’s mother, while small, was supposedly part Maine Coon (which are known for polydactylism).

We might give this product a try at some point: Soft Paws, which are nail caps for cats. These provide an alternative to clipping the claws of indoor cats (which we do) or declawing them (which we don’t). Oftentimes polydactyl cats aren’t able to retract (and/or actively use) one or more of their extra claws, so they can get snagged on things (or become ingrown) and cause injury. The nail caps will prevent claws from snagging on fabric and accidentally scratching humans as well.

Below are some photos of Lily (born April 10, 2008) and Eli (born in early March 2007) from the past three weeks, starting with a size comparison and a goofy shot of Lily:

Eli and Lily Lily the kitten

Here’s Eli showing his maternal instincts (including allowing Lily to repeatedly attempt to nurse; he’s been quite motherly for an adult male cat):

Eli and Lily Eli and Lily

Eli and Lily became fast friends (Lily is much like “Mini-Me” to Eli):

Eli and Lily Eli and Lily

A few playful pictures (including glowing multicolored demon eyes and a gratuitous six-toed paw shot):

Eli and Lily Lily the kitten Lily the kitten

And two final shots of Lily:

Lily the kitten Lily the kitten

We’re not certain whether Lily will have green, yellow or gold eyes yet. Since she’s only two months old, her eyes still have a bit of the kitten blueness to them. Her mother had yellow eyes. Lily just had her first shots and tests today.

By the way, this kitten post was by request of my mom. You’re welcome, Mom. And Happy Father’s Day tomorrow!

Similar posts that may be of interest:
    None Found