We all have genetic code, it’s in our DNA. Of course this applies to animals too. DNA contains thousands of genes and these are present in every cell of the body, it’s how inherited traits are passed down through the generations.
It creates our characteristics, for example, there are genes that determine eye color, coat color, and other body characteristics. But it also creates anomalies, and some animals arrive in this world with more, or less, features than what are considered normal.
A Polydactyl cat is a good example of this. This particular anomaly causes our kitties to be born with more than the usual number of toes on one or more of their paws.
This strange but endearing condition appears to be common along the East Coast of North America, Canada and in South West England, Wales, and Kingston-upon-Hull. But their origin is unsure.
It’s true that polydactyl cats were extremely popular on ships, they were considered to bring good luck at sea and also because of their extraordinary ability to climb and hunt mice on board a rolling ship, but we will never truly know which port they started out from.
You don’t see many ‘over-toed’ cats in Europe, this might be explained by the fact that they were hunted and killed due to superstitions about witchcraft.
Author Ernest Hemingway had no such qualms about polydactyly cats, his love for them began after a ship captain gave him a six-toed cat he named Snow White.
His former home in Key West, Florida is now a museum and a home for his cats, and has housed approximately fifty descendants of his cats, about half of which were polydactyl.
And nowadays because of the immense love he had for these kitties, polydactyl cats are sometimes referred to as “Hemingway cats”.
“The things that make me different are the things that make me,” is a beautiful anonymous quote. You can be assured that the animals in these pictures are very special too.
Scroll down and take a look at this awesome selection of photos compiled by Bored Panda because all of these cats are beautiful and it’s their unique genes that make them all the more lovable.
1. Ren is a polydactyl cat with six toes on each foot
2. Frankie was born with four ears and and I deformity – but we think he’s purr-fect
3. My sister rescued this adorable guy with extra toes…
4. This is Yoda, he was born with an extra set of ears
5. Too many peets!
6. A completely gorgeous polydactyl Maine Coon
7. My cat with opposable thumbs, I for one welcome our new cat overlords!
8. I met a cat today that had two tails
9. Sansa is a special-needs rescue princess, with different coloured eyes and more toes than you!
10. Meet Phoebe, eight polydactyl Highland Lynx complete with curled ears and a bobtail
11. My kitten is double fanged. Watch out Dracula!
12. Got my cat wholesale and he came with 75% extra beans
13. This is Amelia and her two-faced cat
14. This is Nugget at two months old and then at one-year-old. She’s my stunted growth, cross eyed, head tilted, polydactyl, special kitty
15. Sleepy polydactyl kitten with an extra six toes
16. Polydactyl peek-a-boo!
17. My kitten with seven beans and murder mittens!
18. This is my rescue baby…
19. This is my friend’s polydactyl half-Lynx kitten
20. Found a kitty with extra beans by the lake. Meet Pawla Abdul!
21. The cat at our warehouse gave birth to a kitten that has an extra tiny paw that looks like a thumb
22. At work today we literally had a mutant cat come through – with an extra canine tooth
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