This just in: Kittehs have EVOLVED!

Evolved Kitteh mutant "Amstel" is proof that OPPOSABLE THUMBS aren’t just for humans and monkehs any more. Soon, kittehs everywhere will be turning doorknobs, using can-openers, and programming C++.



Amstel in the sink, evolved to drinking straight outta the tap. What’s next? Fixing the plumbing herself can’t be far behind.


This is the best part. Sender-inner Kathleen A. says that "Amstel" reminds her of a Star Wars AT-AT (with honkin’ feet). High-larious.



  1. Oh my, she is so precious.
    But that doesn’t look like normal polydactylism(?) does it? It looks more like she’s got 1.5 feet on each front foot. I love her!

  2. What a sweet sleeper… I, for one, welcome our new cute kitteh overlords. 😉

  3. Peg of Tilling says:

    The 1.5 feet is proof that Amstel is two! two! two kittens in one!

    This is just the cute one. The other one is kinda scary.

  4. How many extra toes does she have? It looks like she has either 7 or 8! I have one like that–he looks like he has little mittens on! CUUUUUTE!

  5. So is this going to be threeberts Dad

  6. Ahhhhhh, she looks like she’s wearing mittens.


  8. SUPER Polydactyl Kitten!

    I wanna see what her back paws look like!

  9. Awww…. other than her extraordinary extremities… she looks like Pooh Bear!
    ‘Course he’s, uh, goofy in his own unparalleled way.

  10. chet's momma says:

    what a precious girl! There’s just more paw-pads to kees and snorgle and play with! keep on evolvin’!

  11. My kitten has extra toes too, but his actually are bigger!!! i guess i’ve gotta send in a pic of him and his toesizzles. he’s black and white and so we named him jellicle (for those old possum fans) but since he was such a fat kitten, we call him jelly belly. he actually got the genes from his mommy, jennyanydots. i have pics of her, jelly belly, and the rest of his litter here:

  12. SUPER pawsitude!

  13. mind you, the pictures on my site are from months ago, so they’re much bigger now!! =(^.^)=

  14. Dustbunny says:

    Hmmm…this is kinda scary, because if kittehs evolve & are able to open cans, what will they need humans for?? I better start being nice to the office cat.

  15. What a prosh little girl!
    And the extra tosies just make her extra special and cute!

  16. Yay for polydactyly! My brother’s cat ties the record for number of toes at 28. Check out Clyde halfway down this page:

  17. I, for one, welcome our Qte newly-thumbed overlords.

    Love the mitten feets. So much cuter than regular polydactyls.

    w00t for Amstel AT-AT!

  18. citizen4nr says:

    lol, they look like mittens. kittens with mittens! freaky

  19. I love the Yeti Kittis!!

  20. Fish Eye no Miko says:

    Aw, such a sweet baby.
    Might I recommend we have a “sleepy/sleeping animals” category? There’s just something sooo cute about sleepy or sleeping animals that I really think it needs its own category.Or maybe it should be a Rule of Cuteness (C)? There definitely needs to be some acknowledgment of the cuteness of sleepy and sleeping animals! ^_^

  21. Awwww. <3 I openly welcome our kitty counterparts and their opposable thumbs. :D

  22. FeeeeeetS!!! moosie feeeeeets……

  23. Rosie — your pets are just the sweetest…..

  24. Rosie… I really hope you’re not breeding deformed kittens. Sure an extra thumb or no tail aren’t extreme and I’m sure your kittens are healthy, but something about that just rings so wrong.
    I really hope your kittens ONLY have those minor deformaties and nothing else turns up wrong with them in the future (same goes for future litters).
    As for the pics.. it’s such a cute kitten. I love how they sleep.

  25. What a sweetie.
    Opposable thumb or not, I think she’d still keep us around.
    Opening a can is little bit too much like work.

    Though opening doorknobs can happen with no cat thumbs already — just takes some motivation.

    Programming the computer?
    I thought that was already happening too.


    There’s a lot of info on polydactylism in cats.
    It seems to be a mostly harmless trait, unless otherwise it’s involved in serious inbreeding.

    Turns up randomly a lot too.
    Puss here doesn’t look like an overbred show cat and so is almost certainly just fine.

  26. I don’t know…Sorry to be a bummer but the 2nd pic really freaked me out. Paws down = mittens!! But, paws up = TOO MANY TOES!

  27. Doesn’t anyone find this sort of scary?! Do kitties with this superpaw have any other genetic disorder??

  28. Try googling polydactyl cats.

  29. That kitten’s got mittens!

    Seriously tho, one of my friends has a cat with thumbs too. Creep-ay.

  30. Gross.

  31. My cat doesn’t need extra toes to open cupboards. When mice get into the pots and pans he opens the doors and goes after them.

    And then we have to wash all the pots and pans…

  32. jenni joon says:

    Holy polydactylism, Batman!! Wow…. two-headed babbeh cows and seven-toed kittehs… what will they think of next?! Personally, I think the kitteh is awesome! Great way to end my weekend – another fab-oooh post from CO!

  33. My kittles Summer already manages to open doors, cabinets, etc. — we actually had to install LOCKS on the closets and bathroom door, to keep her from getting in, lol!

    I’ve always maintained that if she ever gets opposable thumbs, we’ll REALLY be in trouble!

  34. it’s not nice to call a birth defect gross.
    just sayin.’
    even if this cat is a little disturbing, it’s freaking cute!

    someone in another thread groused tht there are too many cats on co. this site used to be 99% hamsters, and I loved it then despite the cat-paucity. and now with cats ruling the roost it is even better!

  35. holy kittin mittins batman!!!

  36. more toes to snorgle…

    Is it just me or do pics of sleepy aminals make you sleepy too? Makes me just wanna curl up with my mini schnauzer and take a nice wittle nhap

  37. sadie_asher says:


  38. As I firmly believe, with kittens with extra toes, there is simply more to love. Teh Kittehs are delectable no matter how many toeses they sport.

  39. …And for anybody worried/grossed out by polydactylism, it’s a very common and perfectly harmless genetic VARIANT, not defect, in cats. Some of the polys I’ve known have been some of the healthiest, lovingest, most wonderful cats EVER.

  40. I can’t quite tell from the photos, but the kitteh might not be just polydactyl but rather have the start of a second paw (there’s not only toes, but a second paw-pad). Our old kitty Shiro had the start of a second pad, making for huge front feet. As long as we kept an eye on his nails, which grew quickly and could hook into his new toes and pad, he was quite all right…he once caught a hummingbird, just to show what a good hunter he was!

  41. Amstel, move over, I’m coming there. 🙂

  42. Drat, can’t find the name for the condition in which the second paw forms, but here’s a link to Reilly, a kitten with toes ‘n’ toes ‘n’ toes, and an extra paw-pad on each front foot:
    Reilly looks like a CO candidtate, too!

  43. (And if the Empire had had Amstel at its disposal, those wretched Rebels would never have won…he’s way cuter than any smelly Ewok!)

  44. Lisa-

    of jenny’s litter, we only kept jelly (the black & white) and the rest went to good homes. jelly is a lot bigger now and seems to have only one thing wrong with him now that’s he’s gown up– he’s one of the most evil little cat’s i know!!! i mean, sure EVERY time i sit down he comes over, even when i push him away, and he loves being held like a baby, but don’t let that fool you!!! he and his fellow minions are constantly breaking/ruining/jumping upon EVERYTHING in sight!! our table looked like the isle at a marriage because we HAD roses up there, but hy knocked all the petals off of them and scattered them all over the table. and our poor, poor christmas tree…do i need to say more?? ahhh the joys of owning an extra-thumbed cat…

  45. and bats:

    ewoks were one of the best and cutest of the characters in star wars!!! how can you not love giant, suicidal teddy bears?? and they’re not smelly… yur just too cruel =(

  46. Harperking says:

    Oh my – I think she is my Max kitty’s long lost sibling! She is adorable! Max is a poly as well and yes, he uses those paws to open cabinets and steal straws out of glasses and get into much other mischief!
    2 pics of Max for you 🙂

  47. Soon the new kitty species will rule the earth…yay

  48. woot! we have new cuteness category – SCARY CUTE

  49. My kitty opens doorknobs already…. It scares the heck out of me.

  50. hrh.squeak says:

    Hey, Harperking, love the pictures of Max. Cutecutecute!!!! What a great smile on his sleepy little face.

  51. misscrisp says:

    Well, considering the superior intelligence of felines, I’m fairly certain that this is actually evidence of positive gene selection for the coming Ice Age (after the Big Warming).
    You know….built-in snowshoes!

  52. pottergirl11 says:

    Aw, our cat has thumbs to, AND, one of my friends has a cat who can unlock and open doors.

  53. Manx cat’s are a breed, not a deformed cat. Some have their whole tail, some have part of a tail and some have NO tail.
    Polydactyl cats also are NOT deformed, I’ve known a few and they are perfectly healthy.

    So the point is, before you start freaking out about deformed animals, make sure you know what you’re talking about and that they REALLY are deformed and aren’t something you just haven’t seen before.

  54. That kitten is soo cute! I love the pictures =]

  55. Harperking says:

    Thanks – Max is curled up next to me right now with that same little grin on his face 🙂

  56. omg she’s precious!!!!! My friend has a poly cat, Leo – he’s half the size of a lion ANYWAY, and with those feet, it’s like he’s walking on dinner plates lol

    Deformity, variant, DOESN’T MATTER. It’ cute as hell & makes ’em unique (and as someone said, more paddy paws to kiss 😉

  57. fastdrivinwoman says:

    OH MY GOD!! MITTEN PAWS, I want to hold them!!!

  58. Our youngest has extra toes, but not that many. If he were a human kid, he’d be the kind who takes everything apart and doesn’t bother putting it together again. His life motto is “What’s under HERE?” If I were religious, I’d be giving thanks every day that he doesn’t have opposable thumbs. It doesn’t bear thinking about.

  59. We had a cat named Pumpkin who was so smart he actually used to try to open the front door knob with his paws!!! Unfortunately he was not blessed with Amstel’s superpaws so he was unsuccessful! Amstel is adorable!!

  60. Tread lightly with these beasts. They must be handled carefully. Always kept in the dark about their potential for tool use, and further evolution.

    They learn to use tools. Their brains evolve problem-solving. They begin to wonder why humans determine when they get treats.

    If they should ever realise their inherent potential, we are but a short step from claws at our throats as we sleep.

    Protect the human race!

  61. Polydactyl cats are fine. It’s OK. And Amstel is cute-cute-cute. Er, you got some chocolate on your nose there, Amstel.

    Pic #1 – Superkitty is recharging her superpawers while sleeping on Purrbery plaid.

  62. I am not sure if I want to smooosh heeem, or teach him to hold a beer

  63. There is a polydactyl cat who lives at my work, Roxy, and she’s just fine. She must be about 105 by now, and she just keeps going…she hasn’t learned how to open her own cans yet though. And why should she, when she has a whole office full of cat-slaves to do it for her?

  64. I luuuuuurv this kitty! My Skye has the exact same thing, and she is the sweetest, cuddliest kitteh ever. The size of her pawz just makes her look even more cute and adorable in comparison to. Polydactyls are awesome!

  65. Heh – Polydacts ARE COOL. They are a mostly innocent part of the cat genome.

    They actually occur in greater percentages in certain costal cities where poly-dact kitties were the norm on ships.

    Many people used to think they were better at keeping down vewrmin than your average kitty.

    I’ve not seen any data on this but… who knows. 😉

  66. Awwwwww, what a sweet kitty! And teh PAWZ.

    I don’t see any reason to freak out – I’ve seen this in several kitties (including one in my college!) I know at least 2 people with 6 fingers on a hand, and one of them is a famous actor. These kinda things are as uncommon as say, twin births. In extreme cases an extra limb/organ may inhibit movement or look bad, and so require surgery (in humans) but in kitties, I think it does nothing but give them better support when they land on their feet after a jump!

  67. Aww, Amstel is a little cutie, just like my little kitten (who is bigger every day). I hadn’t seen any polydactyls on CO before, so I had sent Meg pictures of mine, but I guess Dexxy didn’t make the cut first. She has opposable thumbs too, and dewclaws in the back where there usually aren’t.

    Other added features of “teh cute” she includes are the multicolored paw paws, being extremely playful, and she has a compulsive urge to fetch paper balls. I’ve seen dogs who are less interested in fetching things than she is. She’s also the most affectionate cat I’ve ever owned, which I’ve found is rather unique to females…

    Here’s pictures to add to the polydactyl pile:

  68. EXACLTY!

    This variation pops up in cat populations all over the world. It appears to be harmless, if not a tad advantageous. ;p

    Go figure that kitties would be able to use this to their advantage?

    Just like any genetic reality there are people who will select for this trait despite other genetic concerns, such as relatedness of progeny.

    I’d be VERY concerned if a STUPID–CRAZY breeder started selecting for this trait over all else. It wouldn’t be the first time something this immoral worked it’s way into the Cat Fancier’s ranks (please note the IRONY here) but you never know. Idiots will pick any little thing to single out a new breed-line to explore.

    Okay, that was WAY more than my 2 cents. ;p

  69. AliceTanzer says:

    Squeee! Snow-Shoe Kittennnn!!!

  70. LessDenied says:

    Eeeehehehe. So cute. I want to kees the paws!

  71. i wonder what’s up with the back paws.

  72. acelightning says:

    I know of someone – a complete amateur with a rather unorthodox approach to the world – who started by attempting to breed cats for intelligence, as well as giving them a lot of mental stimulation as they grew up. Now that her cats are all feline geniuses, she’s starting to try to breed in polydactyly, and specifically polydactyly that leads in the direction of opposable thumbs. The human race is doomed… but they’re so *CUTE*!

  73. acelightning says:

    As others have mentioned, a cat doesn’t need extra toes to open doors and things. My Loki has only the usual number of toes, in the usual configurations. But he completely understands the *principles* of how doorknobs work – I often see him trying to get a grip on a knob, but his paw-pads are too smooth. (I’ve seen other cats who *can* do this.) I’ve also watched Loki trying to open a door with a thumb latch, a sliding patio door, and an ordinary sash window. In every case, it was clear that he understood what he had to do – he just wasn’t equipped to do it. (It gets him very frustrated, and he starts to meow in an annoyed tone.)

  74. In picture #1, it looks like she’s out like an Amstel Light.

  75. Oh my GAWD, look at the boooootiful stripes! I think the big paws give him more character, a cartoon at that.

  76. So cute! My current boy kitty must have looked something like this when he was a kitten. I got him as an adult, though. What he has in thumbs he lacks in ears – he has the smallest ears I’ve ever seen on a cat. Luckily he doesn’t know how to use his thumbs, plus he is the sweetest kitty I’ve ever known. He has extra musculature in his front arms to help with the paws and, unrelated to the polydactylism, it’s like he is made of rubber and can stretch to about 4 times his at-rest length.

  77. how strange, and such a gorgeous kitty! 😀

  78. Thinker is absolutely right. My first encounter with one was by having to bottle feed and raise 4 two week old ones that were abandoned. I freaked at first, too. I posted my concerns on CO and learned I had some extra special kittehs. I ended up keeping one because he was sooooo sweet. He also has extra toes on the back and it’s hilarious to watch him run- he looks like his feet are on backwards. B/t/w….named him “MITTENS” (what else?!)
    —Jaypo knows the history of these cats so hopefully she’ll post it.

  79. All hail Amstel…Queen of Mittied Kitties!

  80. WOW!!! There’s a neighborhood cat that has the same thing going on with his paws. I thought it was just an isolated deformity. I now know better. Too cool.

  81. Once again the folks who use this website demonstrate why they are the BEST. Lovely sentiments and joyful comments!

  82. There actually IS a breed who has been bred with this trait. It’s the only polydactyl breed sanctioned for showing by one of the big cat breed groups (can’t remember which one) – Pixiebobs! Not all pixiebobs are polydactyls, but many of them are, and they are bred towards having that trait.

  83. 🙂
    Inigo Montoya: “I do not mean to pry, but you don’t by any chance happen to have six fingers on your right hand?”
    Westley: “Do you always begin conversations this way?”

  84. I have a friend who had a cat with thumbs, and she named it Nintendo, which I loved.

  85. Squeeeee! Love those paws! They look like mittens!!

  86. 7 TOES!! Eeee! What a cute mitten kitten.

  87. ShelleyTambo says:

    Polydactyls are supposed to be good luck, but then all sleeping kitties are lucky, I think.

  88. “—Jaypo knows the history of these cats so hopefully she’ll post it.”

    Well, supooosedly, all cats with the extra thumbs are related to one cat who made it to the American Colonies from England/Europe. I’ve heard that New England has a larger share of such kittehs, but of course they’ve been fruitful and multiplied so now *everybody* gets to enjoy this unique and endearing quality. Kind of like the human mitochondrial DNA stuff?! Mebbe. All I know is they’re Super BatCats.

  89. [Montoya continues]
    My father was slaughtered by a polydactyl kitten… I love my father…

  90. Prepare to die.

  91. AWWWWWW how adorable!!! One of my neighbors has a six toed cat too. 🙂

  92. It’s a cAT-cAT! ^__^


  93. For the love of god, somebody get Kathleen A. a cat with EYES!

  94. Teughcats says:

    I frequently hear them referred to as Hemingway polydactyls because supposedly he had one at his house in Key West and it “was fruitful and multiplied” as the saying goes, and now there are lots of them still living there.

  95. Wow, that kitty can count REALLY high…

  96. Hey, the Today show just this morning had a story on about Hemingway’s cats! There are bunches of them living at his Key West home, mostly polydactyls, and there’s some federal inquisition going on about them involving undercover agents going on the Hemingway tour and taking pictures surreptitiously and everything. I guess the government wants to govern the kitties. Heh.

  97. soxfan–u r silly! 😉

  98. NebraskaErin says:

    You have six fingers on your right paw. Someone is looking for you.

  99. Yep, my Summer tries to turn the doorknobs, too. She’s seen me do it, so she gets the principle, but as someone else has said her pawpads are too smooth! So are the doorknobs, actually — I live in a 1920’s apt. building, so all the doors have those cool old glass doorbknobs.

    But we had to put locks on anyway, because otherwise she would just use her paws to grip the closet doors at the side or the bottom, and eventually she’d get them open (and these are tall 1920’s doors, maybe 7 or 8 feet tall!).

    As for the bathroom door, that opened inwards, so she’d just head-butt it until it opened!

    Wow, I love my little cat. 🙂

  100. Polydactylism is common in Maine Coons — and some breeders feel it is an advantage, in that it can cause bigger and stronger bones in the legs, and give the cat an advantage in snow.

  101. I had a cat, Morty, who had the bigga feets. He was a striper, with white patches on the tips of what would have been his second and third toes, if he were not a freak of nature. It looked like the scoring patch on Olympic/amateur boxing gloves.

    Morty, too, could open door handles–he was always letting himself out onto our patio, via the screen door.

  102. my kitty that I had when I was growing up was able to open my bedroom door… it was an old farm house and everything was crooked, so the door would swing inwards if the knob was turned. so bunn-bunn would jump up and give the knob a “one-two” hit with her paws, which would turn it just enough to clear the latch, and then she’d jump back to allow the door to swing open. such a smart kitty!

  103. We have to keep our front door locked at all times, as Squeak, our non-polydactyl calico, has learned how to open it. It has a lever-type handle (don’t know what to call it properly…one with a horizontal handle that you push down on to turn the knob) and she’s figured out that all she has to do is apply a bit of pressure from either above or below. We found the door hanging mysteriously open on a few occasions before we caught her at it…

  104. “cats using can-openers,”? Oh that reminds me of one of all-time my favorite cartoon drawings.
    Hope this works:

  105. If my kitties had opposable thumbs, I would be obsolete. Then again, maybe then they could get jobs and support themselves (and me) in the style to which they’ve grown accustomed.

  106. Pyrit—- lol. That’s cute. Mine are tuned in to the flip-top can station.

  107. I have a confession to make. I adopted my cat, Mike, when he was six years old. I know close to nothing about his history. He is not only huge (20 lbs…and even though most of that is fat, he has the frame to carry it off), but he is a polydactyl as well.

    Mike would go absolutely ape-sh*t whenever we tried to trim his nails. Even with two of us working on him – one restraining him and one clipping – Mike would get so worked up and scared that he would urinate on us. Oddly for his extra toes, the nails weren’t retractable claws, but actual toe nails – like what dogs have.

    Evenually, we took the easy way out and had his extra toes removed.

    I feel like an absolute heel, taking away something that made my sweet boy unique, but I can’t truly regret the choice. We no longer traumatize him when we clip his claws (we didn’t have him declawed, only de-extra-toed). Isn’t that for the best?

  108. My kitty who had six toes front and back forged my signature and wiped out my bank account.

  109. Oh my god. That is so cute! that is so cute! Holy crap! That is so cute!

  110. Oh my god. Until I read you guys’ posts, I didn’t even notice the extra toes! I was just catatonic over the face and the “oooohhhh me soooooo happy” look!

  111. Ack! A Hemingway Cat!!! I LURV Hemingway Cats!

  112. When I was a kid, my uncle had several poly-kitters living in the cow barn…great mousers indeed!

  113. When I think about how much of a struggle it is to trim my kitty’s claws, I can’t imagine what I would do if I had to deal with even more claws on the same kitty!

  114. merrrlssa says:

    _I_ have a kitty with a thumb, she likes to pick up pens and board game pieces in the crevice between thumb and hand, put them in my shoes, and hunt for them. It is a bit of a pain to trim the claw that grows in there, though.


  115. rpennefe–
    i know you feel bad, but couldn’t you just take the cat to a groomer?

  116. Yeah, ’cause putting the cat into a carrier and hauling him off to a groomer to get his excess claws trimmed wouldn’t be AT ALL stressful for him either…

    I had a non-polydactyl Maine Coon who tried to open doorknobs too. He’d spread out his big ol’ round paws and try it. We didn’t dare have latches.

    TK doesn’t have a thumb, but he’s too good at picking up small things already.

  117. I have a kitty with 1.5 feet like that too. She is a very special girl.

    I actually worked with a veterinarian who theorized that cats are slowly evolving to take over the world and that’s why there are so many polydactyl kitties. Funny, eh?

  118. Wow, an inbred kitten. How cute. o_O

  119. Actually, we tried taking Mike to a groomer. We were asked to never bring him in again. Something about the way he was yowling put other customers off. Funny – yeah, but sad too. I gave up on the groomer after that, although I could have stuck with it and found one that would take him.

  120. Oh my god, i have a kitten just like that. Oh so cute

  121. Amstel is just adorable. I love polydactyls!

    Funny enough, my uncle and aunt have a an extremely friendly poly; his name is Hemmingway. 😀

  122. My kitty has toes like that. He has 7 toes on one foot and 8 on the other, so yes, it is like having 1.5 feet on each leg 🙂 He has one extra toe on each back foot as well.

  123. grrr-

    Polydactyl kitties aren’t caused by inbreeding.
    Do the research before you nuff.

  124. Hurray, a kitten with mittens!

  125. You think this is gross? If you live near Monroe, WA go see the two-headed turtle. BTW yes I know a polydactyl cat, over ten years old and perfectly healthy, grouchy SOB though. From New England originally, so perhaps descended from those seafaring rat-killers.

  126. Lauo and Grrr — *sometimes* polydactyly does indicate inbreeding (e.g. barn cats).
    Really, though, it ain’t no thang.

  127. So cute. Did she remind anyone else of Meet the Parents?

  128. Michelle! Clyde is adorable!!!!!!!!!!!!

  129. Did I say this was so effing adorable yet? I love how it looks like a kitten in mittens.

    I want one! 😀

  130. awwwwwwwwww *melts*

    i just love this kitten.

  131. Awwwwww!! this is the best picture Ive seen in months

    1,000,000,000 thumbs up