Winged Cats

winged catOn the basis that all animal life including human life (and to me we are just the top animal predator) throws up differences and so called defects, all the time, then we should think that winged cats are normal. Many will disagree with me but it is true. And being true we should not have a media scrummage over a poor cat that has a couple of appendage like objects attached to his or her body. Lets leave them alone and simply love them.

I am referring to a domestic cat living in Qingyan province, China. This might not be the location as Google maps can’t find it (I think it is Xianyang city, Shaanxi province – see table). But the truth is that there is a long history of winged cats and a longer history of people being fascinated by such things and exploiting people or animals that have odd appearances. And we should not do this. There are two more points to make about winged cats (a) how often have there been “sightings” and (b) what actually is it?

The sightings (these amount to 138 cases in all – for common sense reasons I have not listed them all below, just a selection which tells the tale that winged cats are not that unusual):

1868Cat in India, shot (of course) by Mr Alexander Gibson
August 1894England – owner charges 2 pennies to see the cat!
1897England Matlock, Derbyshire, Tortoiseshell cat with “pheasant’s wings”
1899 -see picture belowWiveliscombe, Somerset, England, “Can a Cat Fly?” the press asked!
19th centuryCircus cat (freak, I suppose), England
1900England, exhibited in glass cage at fairs.
1926 Portland, Oregon, USA “thrice the size of a house cat” Proposed lynx/house cat hybrid
1933 or 1934Oxford, England
1936Portpatrick, Wigtownshire, Scotland – 6 inch wings
1939Attercliffe, Sheffield, England – sold by owner to a freak show entrepeneur – 2 ft wingspan
1949northern Sweden – shot dead – probably frightened people!
May 1950Madrid, Spain
1966Canada – Rabid cat with matted fur swooping down on farm animals and was shot – typical of us
Many more over the intervening period then……………
2004Central Russia, a winged cat was killed by superstitious villagers – typical – cat drowned because they thought the cat was Satan’s messenger – come on human race!
24th May, 2007Xianyang city, Shaanxi province – this is the famous one, I believe. See picture top right on this page
August 2008China another winged cat – tortie and white

winged cat
Somerset, England about 1899

The Reasons:

doll winged catThese are threefold i.e. three possible causes of this condition:

  • First possibility and one that has accounted for some “sightings” would be simple common matting due to poor grooming. Long haired cats can acquire very large dangling type matts that can look like wings to some people (they are looking for wings, perhaps).
  • A development defect or genetic defect. This would include appendages like vestigial legs. There is a cat with 6 ears and some have 4 ears – similar developmental defect
  • The most likely in my view is a genetic disease that is also found in humans called Feline Cutaneous Asthenia (FCA) or simple Cutaneous Asthenia for humans. It is also referred to as Collagen Dysplasia (Cutaneous Asthenia). Hereditary collagen dysplasias comprise a group of disorders of the connective-tissue resulting in a reduced tensile strength of the tissues affected.

    Source of events of winged cats: Sarah Hartwell

    • Photos: Bottom right – published under creative commons license by Julia Laing
    • Somerset 1899 – in the public domain
    • Chinese winged cat – copyright waived or fair use as this is a site for cat rescue and the image is small and of poor quality.


Winged Cats — 1 Comment

  1. oh i think they are sent by God ,
    are i think they should be left along .
    they are God s lil Angels,
    vets and dog pounds they think if a cat
    come and they are sick or they are skird
    of were they are and if they fit at then they put them down , that it so very very wrong , just like the vet i took my lil
    Angel patches no she didnt have wings but she was my Angel to me,
    he gave her a short of Distamber ,i asked tom Rose ther vet why
    did you do that i didnt want anyshorts for her anymoe ever , now she is a real Angel in Heaven , why do man or pepole think they have the right to hurt Gods lil one of all kinds. you have a Angel cat ,i believe they are sent from Heaven they love you with their Heart they have felling to they cry like we do ,they talk to you in their
    ways dont ever let anyone hurt them and dont give the distmber short it so bad for them , i looked it up .i never let my cat out doors to run ,they are healther in door out doors is so bad .
    well Angel cats are so dear they love you to , i just had to tell you how i loss my lil Angel , it took ny Heart when i had to give her to god that look i got i see it in my eyes .i cry god iam sorry for taking her to the vet she was fine . tell that short bad ,will i better stop now ,i have a lot of cat poems now and gett a book of my poems my Dr. said to keep the good work going to help me hell , it will be 2yrs 8-24-10 and i no she is looking on all of us, god bless you all cece&my patches ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Please try and upload photos that are small in size of max 500px width and 50 KB size. Large images typical of most default settings on digital cameras may fail to upload. Thanks. Comment rules: (1) respect others (2) threatening, harassing, bullying, insulting and being rude to others is forbidden (3) advocating cat cruelty is forbidden. Enforcement: (1) inappropriate comments are deleted before publication and (2) commenters who demonstrate a desire to flout the rules are banned.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.