Polydactyl Cats Not So Rare

Cats with six or more toes, called polydactyls, are more common than you may think.

Q. My boss found a stray cat that was apparently dropped off around his home. He is unable to keep the cat, so I took in the 3-month-old kitten. I currently have two domestic shorthairs that are 4 years old. They are having a hard time adjusting to the new cat. The stray kitten is dark gray, with white frosting on her paws and chest area. The peculiar thing is this kitten has six toes on all but one foot. She also has a very short, blunt facial profile with yellow-green eyes and a short, stocky body. 

Is this an inbred cat or is she a rare breed? My aunt claims there is a rare purebred with six toes, but I cannot find information on it.

A. While you indeed might have a rare breed of cat, the fact that she has six toes does not confirm she is a purebred. Polydactyl refers to cats with multiple toes, which is an inherited trait in many cats not specific to one breed in particular. The blunt facial profile may suggest some Persian, Himalayan or Burmese could be in her background. This little kitty is fortunate to be a new member of your loving home. Remember to introduce her slowly to your other cats. Using a behavior modifier/diffuser in their common space may help with a smooth introductory period.

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