Update On Kittens Born With Twisted Legs
Published August 2014

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Article copyright © PandEcats.com. All Rights Reserved.
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Kittens Born with Twisted Legs

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In 2001, we published a Member article titled "Born with a Twisted Leg".

Since we are now officially into the "kittening" season, I thought this would be a good time to share with you the response we had to this article.

  • Since the article was first published, I have received over 4000 emails from breeders who have had kittens born with this condition.
  • I have corresponded with each of these breeders—and in the majority of cases the kittens have grown up to be perfectly normal adult cats.
  • Because many of the first kittens born with twisted legs that were discussed publicly were from rescue shelters, it was originally assumed that the reason for their twisted limbs was due to poor nutrition. With the revelation of how widespread the condition was in pedigreed cats as well as the ferals, it became obvious that poor nutrition was not a contributing factor.
  • Besides many mixed breed cats, we have received emails from breeders of most breeds of pedigreed cats.
  • Twisted limbs have been reported in other domestic animals, including horses, cattle and goats and in zoo animals including both small and big cats.
  • We have received emails from breeders from around the globe who had kittens born with twisted legs.
  • Approximately 1/4 of the breeders who contacted me had their veterinarians examined the kittens and advised putting the kitten down because the vet thought what they were looking at was a permanent deformity. In several cases, the kittens were needlessly euthanized.
So . . . let's all print out the article below and pass it along to our veterinarians and fellow breeders, so that no baby will be mistakenly put to sleep just because it is . . .

Born with a Twisted Leg

But a picture is worth a thousand words . . . so let's look at three typical case histories of kittens born with malformed legs.

    1. A Bengal kitten with curled paws and stiff hind legs
    2. An Ocicat kitten with one hind leg mildly affected and the other severely affected
    3. A Korat kitten with severe bilateral tendon contracture

Case History # 1: Bengal Kitten
photos courtesy of Tracy Painter, DFRBengals

(above) The Bengal kitten was born with both hind legs that were stiff and
unbending and with the back paws curled severely under.

(above) By 5 weeks of age the paws and hind legs appear almost normal
(below) At 2 months, the kitten now named "DFRBengals Asian Twister"
can look forward to a successful show career.

Case History # 2: Ocicat Kitten
photos courtesy of Rich and Stephanie Schlossberg

(above) This kitten was born with the left leg mildly affected
and the right leg quite severely mis-formed.
(below) By 8 days the left leg has corrected entirely
and the right leg was almost normal

Case History # 3: Korat Kitten
photos courtesy of Dr. Susan Little,
Carine Risberg & John Ypma, Klahz Korats and Tonkinese

(above) This newborn Korat has severe contracture of both hind limbs
resulting in the "lotus position" often seen with the bilateral condition.
(below) Steady improvement resulted in a adult with perfectly normal legs.

As you can see, if you have a kitten born with this problem, there is no need to panic. The chances are good that the kitten will totally outgrow the condition. Just give it a little time. And a little love.

Please support our continued efforts to help
Kittens Born with Twisted Legs

by sending a small donation.

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