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Kittens with Syndactylism have been rescued from a car by Cats Protection.

Two young kittens with an extremely rare suspected genetic condition have been found in a burnt out car.

tabby and black-and-white kittens with Syndactylism

Bert (left) and Ernie (right) have Syndactylism

Bert and Ernie, who are now in the care of Cats Protection’s Gildersome Homing Centre, both have Syndactylism, where two or more toes are fused together.

The condition is different to the more frequently seen polydactyly – where a cat can have extra toes on their paws.

tabby cat with Syndactylism

Bert has some of his toes fused together

A normal cat has four toes on each foot and on the front feet they also have a dewclaw – which is a little higher up on the leg.

“Although very rare, complex Syndactylism – the form which tends to be seen in cats – appears to cause minimal to no discomfort so treatment is generally not recommended,” said Jennifer MacVicar, Cats Protection’s Central Veterinary Officer.

black and white kitten with Syndactylism sticking tongue out

Ernie is being monitored to make sure his toes aren't causing any discomfort

“The condition is unlikely to cause problems but Bert and Ernie will need to be monitored as they grow for any sign of lameness. Syndactylism is potentially inherited and could be passed on to their offspring so, like all the cats in our care, Bert and Ernie will be neutered when they reach four months.”

The kittens were believed to be under two weeks old when they were found in Wakefield in mid-May.

There was no sign of their mother when they were discovered so the charity believes it’s possible she may have rejected them.

two kittens with Syndactylism bumping heads

Bert and Ernie will be rehomed when they are eight weeks old

“We weren’t sure Bert and Ernie were going to make it but they’re growing into two lively boys,” said Rob Wilkinson, Cats Protection’s Gildersome Centre Manager. “All the staff have taken it in turns to hand rear and they’re now being looked after in a volunteer’s home. They both seem perfectly happy and mobile.”

Bert and Ernie will be monitored by the charity’s vets until they are ready to find a new home.

If you would like to donate towards the care of Bert and Ernie, you can find out how at

To find cats looking for homes in your area, visit

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