Six-legged stray cat

2015 – there is an update 2023: A stray cat, with six legs, abandoned on the streets of Edmonton, Canada has been rescued and plans are afoot to amputate the two extra legs which are non-functioning and attached to his chest. Pauly also has hip dysplasia (the ball and socket hip joint is defective). And he has an extra kidney. Poor guy. He is in good hands now, though.

Six-legged cat
Pauly: Six-legged cat.
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The Little Cats Lost rescue society have started a fundraising appeal to pay for the extensive surgery.

For a cat to have six legs is very rare. Dr Mahmoud from Oxford Animal Hospital said:

“Most likely there were two kittens (in utero) and this cat absorbed the extra.”

Six legged cat
Six-legged cat Pauly.

After the surgery Pauly will be fostered and then found a permanent home. He’ll need a quiet environment said Virginia Marando of Little Cats Lost.

Six legged cat
Six-legged cat, Pauly

Although Pauly is a bit lost and anxious, at present, he is friendly and responds well to being petted. He is about seven-years-of-age. He has been carrying these extra legs for a long time. I should think he’ll be very relieved to be without them and have his hip fixed. At the moment his walking looks a bit clumsy. You can see the hind leg hip dysplasia in the photo above as well as the extra legs.

Update November 2023

I feel I need to update on this page that was published in 2015. I wanted to find out if Pauly had received the operation and how he was doing. Of course, it is eight years later and I don’t know if he is still living but here’s an update anyway.

He received surgery paid for through an online fundraising campaign organised by the Little Cats Lost Society. Pretty Amazing.

His extra two legs came out of his chest and they were just getting in the way and not hurting him it appears. He was also neutered at the time of his operation.

In fact, he underwent three sessions of surgery to remove the legs which appeared to be back legs rotated through 180°. As you might imagine they were not functional and they just dragged along the ground.

Roxanne and Pauly after the operation.
Roxanne and Pauly after the operation. Photo: Kim Nakrieko/CBC

The photograph above shows Roxanne Kolmatycki, an adoption coordinator with Little Cats Lost Society who appear to be the main organisation to help Pauly.

And as you can see in the photograph his legs have gone and only two small scars remained. The news was that he was recovering well.

Veterinary checks indicated that “he absorbed a twin, so [the legs were] actually part of a twin that he had absorbed. He also had three testicles. He was hospitalised for approximately a week after [surgery] to be monitored and then he came to my house and we started socialising with him,” said Roxanne.

He was adopted and Roxanne said that “he should live a happy, healthy life.”

So, I conclude that he lived a good life for the rest of his life which is a good ending and it is thanks to the generosity of a lot of people and the efforts of Roxanne and her organisation.

Cats being born with extra legs, also known as supernumerary legs, is an extremely rare occurrence.


Source: Pauly the six-legged stray cat to have extra limbs removed

17 thoughts on “Six-legged stray cat”

  1. I don’t think these cats are a result of some freakish experiment. Conjoined twins can occur in humans as well as animals and it’s thought to be caused by the malfunction of certain genes during the development of the embryo. In most cases, severely deformed fetus die in the early stages of pregnancy and are reabsorbed by the mother’s body.

    If Pauly was dumped for financial reasons, I don’t know why the owner didn’t think of setting up a funding page asking for help towards the costs. I’m sure a lot of people would have been happy to make donations.

    Given how rare a 6 legged cat is, it seems very strange that no-one has comforward to identify who Pauly really is. He doesn’t look underweight, so someone has been feeding him. Did his owners never have visitors who saw Pauly? If he lived as a stray then surely he’d have been picked up and taken to a rescue before now?

    Reply
    • The story has some blanks. I’ll do a bit of digging on the internet and see if I can come up with something on his background.

      Reply
  2. It’s curious that Pauly should be found in Edmonton, because in 2005 a 6 legged, ginger tabby was collected from Edmonton A.C. by a cat rescue organisation.

    Willoughy was around 1 year old and appeared to be a well cared for pet, but no-one came forward to claim him. He had 4 front legs, two of which had fused together on one side. The two on the other side were shorter and so deformed that they were a hindrance when he walked. Willoughby made a full recovery from the surgery to amputate the 2 deformed limbs and settled in well with the other residents at the Hervey Foundation for Cats.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Pauly is not neutered and has probably never been seen by a vet. I’m sure any vet would have recommended amputating the non-functioning limbs a long time ago. Or they would come forward now to provide the name of the owner to the rescue. The potential cost of fixing Pauly’s medical problems, may be what led to him being abandoned by his owners. I hope the surgery goes well for him and that he finds a lovely new home in the not too distant future.

    Reply
    • I think your assessment of Pauly’s plight is correct, Michele.
      But, in 100 degree weather here right now, mating is suspended until, perhaps fall season, when the temp may drop below 90 degrees. I’m sure that other areas, that experience real seasonal changes, have a different experience. But, today, no cat would have any interest in procreating at all.

      Reply
        • I so wish that our nights would cool off enough; not so much really. But, very, very few cats around me aren’t neutered.
          When I awaken at 2 AM to prepare for my rounds at 3 AM, it’s not so cool outside. I’m talking scalp soaked and droplets from the very ends of my hair, as well as soaked clothing when I return home.

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    • What a coincidence that Willoughy comes from the same place. I makes me wonder if it is a coincidence. Some sort of Frankenstein-like failed breeding programme going on in someone’s back room!

      I think your assessment is quite possibly correct. You wouldn’t have abandoned him, though, would you?

      Reply
    • Yes, that is a good point. Most of the world’s stray cats and feral cats are in warm climates. I think the climate plays a very big role in the number of feral and stray cats that one sees outside. So for example in Britain we rarely see feral cats but apparently in America at least in the warmer parts of America a lot of people see them a lot of the time and certainly in the Mediterranean countries the same applies.

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      • Exactly. They’re everywhere here in Florida, ie. every abandoned building, vacant parking lot, bushy area… If people would only stay alert, maybe more would be helped.

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        • You experience something that we in Britain do not. We just don’t see feral cats. They don’t exist to us. Just occasionally, perhaps, we might see one or it is a stray. But true feral cats are hardly ever seen and that applies to the whole of the UK.

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      • Cats are long-day breeders. As there are more daylight hours in sunnier climates, the cat breeding season goes on for longer than it would in cold climates. This also contributes to the increased numbers of feral and strays in some regions.

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    • Yes, I despair sometimes. I was listening to the radio this morning and there were two cases of cat cruelty mentioned in the UK. One stabbed and one poisoned. The presenter could not understand why people do these things. Evil people.

      Reply
  3. I wonder where he’s been all this time, and what happened to his guardian. I’m glad to know that he will be given the care that can enhance his life.

    Reply

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