A pair of tiny homeless kittens have been named Fingers and Thumbs – because they sport 12 extra TOES between them.
The two kitties, who were both born with polydactyly – which gives them extra digits on each paw due to a genetic defect – were found living under a garden bush at just two weeks old with their stray mother Zoot and five siblings.
They were handed in to Cats Protection’s St Helen’s Adoption Centre, Merseyside, but three of the kittens died after picking up diseases because their mother was not vaccinated.
Now after being given injections and neutered – Fingers and Thumbs have been given a new lease of life and are on the look out for a new home.
Cats Protection’s North West Adoption Centre Manager, Sonia Scowcroft, said: “Fingers and Thumbs are everything a kitten should be – fun-loving, adventurous and inquisitive – they just have that little bit extra in the form of their huge paws.
“Having extra toes is neither an advantage or disadvantage for cats and, so long as they don’t get their extra claws caught on things, it shouldn’t present any problems.”
Sonia said their stray mum Zoot had done well to care for the large litter – but she couldn’t help three of the kittens being struck down by the feline parvo virus.
Sonia added: “It’s a widespread virus which kittens are particularly susceptible to given their immature immune systems – but its easily prevented by vaccination.
“Sadly as a stray cat, Zoot had not been vaccinated and therefore she couldn’t pass on her protection to her kittens through her milk. Had she been vaccinated, these three kittens may not have died.”
Now 12 weeks old, Fingers, Thumbs and their remaining two littermates will all soon be available for re-homing – fully vaccinated and will be neutered.
Sonia added: “Poor Zoot was an unneutered, unvaccinated stray doing her best as a new mum to a large number of kittens.
“Neutering is vital to reducing the number of unwanted kittens and the stray population, while vaccinating is a simple and effective way to protect your cat from serious illnesses.”
Cats Protection is the UK’s largest cat charity and help 205,000 cats every year through a network of 250 volunteer-run branches and 32 centres.
To find out more about adopting Fingers and Thumbs, please contact Cats Protection’s St Helen’s Adoption Centre on 01744 817718 or email [email protected]cats.org.uk.