Sunday, April 3, 2016

Meet Fingers and Thumbs - the cats born with twelve extra TOES and opposable thumbs

The 12-week-old moggies have two extra toes on each front paw and one bonus toe on each hind leg due to a rare genetic trait

Fingers and Thumbs

Kittens have been given the thumbs up
This pair of moggies are getting the thumbs up for having an extra 12 toes between them and opposable thumbs - giving them paws so big they could ‘take over the world’.
Aptly-named Fingers and Thumbs were both born with polydactyly, a rare genetic trait that gives cats extra digits on each paw and means the 12-week-old kittens have opposable thumbs.
The adorable siblings are being looked after by staff at the Cats Protection adoption centre in St Helen’s, Merseyside, after they were discovered in the area as strays at two weeks old.
Ginger Thumbs and black and white Fingers have an extra two toes on each front paw and a further extra toe on each back paw, giving them six additional toes each.
But while their oversized paws may look unusual, the male kittens’ condition is simply a quirk of nature and does not cause them any harm.

Mercury Press Fingers and Thumbs
Fingers has big paws licked
Sonia Scowcroft, North West dual adoption centre manager for Cats Protection, 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!
“We don’t see polydactyl cats very often, it’s a really unusual quirk of nature.

Mercury Press Fingers and Thumbs
Paws for thought!
“You will sometimes get a cat with an extra digit, but these kittens have an extra digit on their extra digit.
“That has the effect of making Fingers’ and Thumbs’ paws extremely big - they look like they are going to take over the world!
Read more: Why do cats always land on their feet? BBC documentary answers age-old question
“Other cats with polydactyly look like they are wearing mittens because their thumb sticks out but these guys look like they have a proper hand with workable thumbs - they really are rather extraordinary.

Mercury Press Fingers and Thumbs
Thumbs up!
“Having extra toes is neither an advantage nor a disadvantage for cats and, so long as they don’t get their extra claws caught on things, it shouldn’t present any problems.”
Fingers and Thumbs were among a litter of seven found being cared for by their stray mum Zoot and five siblings under a bush in a garden in the St Helen’s area about two months ago.
Their condition is not shared by Zoot, who has the correct number of toes - 18 altogether, five on each front paw and four on each back paw.
Although the plucky pair have thrived since they were handed into the centre their tough start in life meant three of their littermates - two of which also had polydactyly - were not so lucky and died.

Mercury Press Fingers and Thumbs
How cute!
Sonia, 42, said: “Poor Zoot was an unneutered, unvaccinated stray doing her best as a new mum to a large number of kittens.
“Despite it being a rather large litter, Zoot had done a tremendous job in caring for them but sadly within a couple of weeks of arriving three of the kittens became very ill with feline parvo virus.
“It’s a widespread virus which kittens are particularly susceptible to, given their immature immune system, and is 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.”

Mercury Press Fingers and Thumbs
Fingers and Thumbs are in need of good homes
Staff at the centre, who came up with the fitting names for Fingers and Thumbs, said the neutered and vaccinated moggies should be rehomed in a pair and are available from this weekend.
The playful kittens love to sit up on their back legs like meerkats and Sonia said they could find this easier to do because of the balance provided by their larger paws.

To find out more about adopting Fingers and Thumbs through Cats Protection, the UK’s largest cat charity, call 01744 817718 or email


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