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Danielle sent me an email the other day, and I checked to be sure it was okay to share it (and the pictures she sent) with y’all.

I don’t know of anyone else with as much kitty experience as you so I was wondering if you (or your readers) have a clue about this. We adopted our newest kitten in July and she is now approximately 8 months old, though there was confusion because she’s very small. She’s got a bunch of extra toes but it’s not like other double-pawed cats I’ve seen because they are small and shoved in between her other toes, no more than two extras a foot. Her nails on these toes are a normal length. When the vet checked her out, he said that he might recommend declawing if they get in the way but so far she seems ok. The thing that’s weirding me out if that often, even when she’s resting, the claws on her back feet stay out, and they seem to be coming/staying WAY out, like I’ve never seen so much nail on a cat before. Maybe she just hasn’t learned how to properly retract them and it’s a kitten thing? I’m just worried that this might be an example of her creepy feet functioning abnormally. (One of the nubs on her back foot specifically doesn’t seem to have a lot of tissue connecting it to the rest of her foot and it like…dangles back and forth when you play with it.) So far, with frequent trimming, the toes haven’t been getting in the way of any of her activities, and she never seems to be in pain. But she never has this problem retracting her front nails.

Sorry that this is such a long question all about my cat’s toes. I wouldn’t feel right sending this to any other person, because it is so bizarre, but I have no problem emailing you! Weird? And I attached a picture, the best one I could get of the frankenfeet.

I told Danielle that I haven’t seen anything like that before (but how CUTE are those little paws!) – how about y’all? Ever seen anything like this before? (I suggested that perhaps the kitten was a twin and she ABSORBED her twin and perhaps will eventually grow an ear out of her back or something cool like that, but I was kidding. Even though that would be COOL.)

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Jan and Bobby are continuing to improve. I let them stay out of their cage for most of the day and didn’t find too many unwelcome surprises when I went to check on them. I did put them back in the cage overnight – just to be safe – and haven’t been in there yet this morning. If their level of playfulness is anything to go by, they are definitely on the mend. Jan, especially, is THE most playful thing. It didn’t hurt, I suspect, that yesterday was a lovely, sunny day and they were able to spend some time soaking up the sun.

Sweet miss Marcia.

Oh, I’m sorry. Am I BOTHERING you, brats?

Marcia’s by far the biggest Brady.

Bobby? He haz a complaint. He haz lots of complaints. Often. He’s a complaining little brat, is what I’m saying.

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Corbie on the couch.

Rhyme on the couch.

Corbie in the guest bedroom. (He IS SO BEAUTIFUL I CANNOT STAND IT. His long legs and skinny, lanky grace reminds me a lot of his half-brother Gus.)

Corbie in the guest bedroom again. I love this picture so much that I made it my desktop background.

I feel like he’s looking judgmentally at the icons on my desktop, like he’s thinking “Really? Weren’t you in Myrtle Beach, like, MONTHS ago? You still haven’t moved those pictures to the permanent pictures folder? Really? Corbie’s not calling you a slacker but, well. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions from my judgy face.”

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Spanky lurves his purple bed. This is where he spends his days, on the cat bed in the computer room. He spends his evenings perched by Fred on the couch, smacking any other cat who gets too close. He lives the life, our Spanky.


2009: Spanky is not so impressed with the wee kittens running around.
2008: No entry.
2007: Tommy + Stinkerbelle = True Lurve.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



12-2-10 — 12 Comments

  1. Sounds like orange kitty is a polydactyl. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polydactyl_cat] A friend of mine in high school had one (also an orange kitty!) and she was just fine, lived to the ripe old cranky age of 18.

    Is Marcia the only calico in the Bunch? And golly, Corbie is ridiculously handsome.

  2. Corbett is gorgeous!!!

    Yep, polydactyl. [joke] Would the vet charge EXTRA to declaw? HAHAHAHAHAH.
    If your kitty is doing fine, let her be and just listen to your vet’s advice. Poly’s, by the way, are suppose to be VERY sweet cats. That is part of the reason that Hemmingway collected them. 🙂

  3. What an adorable “mitten” kitty!! There are a variety of different toe arrangements with polydactyls. I wouldn’t worry about the ones on the back unless they start causing problems for the kitty. Declawing would be a last resort, for me anyway, and only if absolutely neccessary for the health and happiness of the kitty.


  4. We have a whole LITTER of mitten kittens! Lol, well, they are cats now. Their extra toes seem to grow the nail, but have no way to retract, so when they get annoying or I hear them clicking on the floor, I just grab my fingernail clippers and snip! A couple of ours have the floppy bits too, with a nail, of all things. I learned from a vet friend that they have to have bones to be called toes, otherwise, they are just extra nails, but she thought they were the neatest things. One of ours has 23 total toes, but it looks like you may have us beat! 🙂 Enjoy your kitten! And Robin, those Brady’s kill me! It is like someone stenciled them! So adorable!

  5. Awww, I love polydactyl kitties! I’d forever be tempted to play with extra-toed kittypaws though, and some cats don’t appreciate their feet being messed with. *pets*

    *also pets the Brady kittens* Again, yay for healing up! Marcia is a calico? Awww. What are the others?

  6. A dear kitty (love you, Sweet Ehos!) who lived with me for 12 years a long time ago was a poly – and she also had “dew claws”: bumps with small claws that appeared above her “wrists” and would not retract. These were not weight bearing and they never bothered her, nor did her polydactyl toes(on all four paws).
    As Beth says above, they come in all sorts of varieties (as do kittens in general – and isn’t that a blessing!)
    Love your tales, Robin – I can’t let a day go by without checking in. Glad Jan and Bobby are feeling better now.

  7. I would guess the problem with retracting or not retracting the extra claws isn’t learning, but may be physical. The claws retract by having a tendon pull up the claw automatically. A second tendon pulls down the claw when the cat wants to scratch.

    Some of these extra tiny toes may be incompletely formed. If the pull up tendon is missing, or there is no bone for it to attach on either end it might not work like his normal toes.

  8. I agree. The extra toes are floppy because they don’t have bones in them. I’d say relax and enjoy the frankenfeet if they’re not bothering the kitteh. Also, my Sweetpea has normal toes, but doesn’t retract her back claws when she’s hanging out. Don’t know why, but it doesn’t cause any problems except for looking weird — like she has dog paws.

    So glad to hear the L&H kittens are on the mend. They are the cutest!

  9. My polydactyl tabby girl (mitten-style, front paws only) also can’t retract the claws on the extra toe or her dew claw — the two are kinda jammed together. Our vet just told us to make sure to keep them trimmed so that they don’t become ingrown. I’m not sure if this is exactly what Danielle means since I don’t see a photo of the back claws, but if it’s not bothering the kitten and the vet doesn’t think it’s problematic, it sounds ok!

  10. Oh wow, Danielle’s kitten is so adorable! And those paws are so awesome – that looks like a lot of toes going on! I don’t know much about extra toes on cats, other than they are just cute.

    Yay that Jan and Bobby are feeling better! And oh my gosh they are just so cute! Oh, today is a Marcia day by the way.

    And Corbie and Rhyme are so cute – that is a perfect picture for your desk top too – he really is looking at the icons – I am sure of it!

    And Spanky is just too cute curled up in that purple bed!

  11. My Carlos has extra toes, and the claws on the extras don’t ever go all the way back in, the way the regular claws do. Doesn’t seem to bother him!

    He didn’t really like having me pet his feet when I got him, but I’m warming him up to it gradually. They’re just too cute!