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Sibling kittens Fingers and Thumbs born with extra toes.

They may be tiny, but with a total of 12 extra toes between them, kittens Fingers and Thumbs have knockout appeal. The pint-sized pair, who are currently in the care of our St Helen’s Adoption Centre in Merseyside, were both born with polydactyly – a rare genetic trait that gives them extra digits on each paw.

black and white kitten in shelter pen

Little Fingers was found living under a bush


They were handed in the adoption centre after being found at just two weeks old living under a bush in a garden with their stray mother and five littermates.

“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!” says our North West Adoption Centre Manager, Sonia Scowcroft.

“We don’t see polydactyl cats very often, it’s a really unusual quirk of nature. 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.”

ginger tabby kitten in rescue centre

Kitten Thumbs has extra digits on each paw


Although Fingers and Thumbs have thrived since they were handed into the centre, their tough start in life meant three of their littermates – two of which were also polydactyl – were not so lucky. They became very ill with feline parvovirus, which kittens are particularly susceptible to given their immature immune systems.

“While it’s a common virus, it’s easily prevented by vaccination,” says Sonia. “Sadly as a stray cat, [their mother] 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 rehoming – they’ll be fully vaccinated and neutered.

Sonia added: “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.”

To find out more about adopting Fingers and Thumbs, please contact Cats Protection’s St Helen’s Adoption Centre on 01744 817 718 or email

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