Utterly charming Maine Coon is a "Twisty Cat" with radial hypoplasia

Well, this is a really beautiful Maine Coon cat behaving in a way which makes him even more beautiful in my opinion. He appears to be at a veterinary clinic and he is sitting up in the meerkat position supporting himself by his strong back. 

He has a strong back because he has to have one because his forelimbs are distorted due to an inherited condition called radial hypoplasia. 

Note: I believe that this condition is radial hypoplasia. There are other conditions affecting the forelimbs of domestic cats which are rare but I have seen a video of this cat when he was a kitten and it does look very much like radial hypoplasia to me. If I'm wrong then please correct me.

Maine Coons suffers from radial hypoplasia but copes brilliantly well and looks super handsome
Maine Coons suffers from radial hypoplasia but copes brilliantly well and looks super handsome. Screenshot.

Cats with this condition are sometimes referred to as "twisty cats" and at one stage somebody somewhere, I have fortunately forgotten the name of the person, decided that they would make an interesting new cat breed and they called that breed the "Squitten". It was a completely misconceived idea obviously because you do not make a new breed out of a major disbality.

RELATED: Squitten. And there is another page I have on twisty cats - click here.

Cats don't regard this kind of distorted limb as a disability

Although, we do not call disabled cats "disabled cats". We call them 'differently abled' because of the simple reason that domestic cats with disabilities get over them so beautifully that it's impossible to describe them as disabled.

Asking for attention or something else?

And this is a really handsome cat anyway who likes to behave as you see in the video. He sits up on his haunches and waves his forelegs around. It looks as though he's asking for food or seeking attention (has he lost his voice or does he have a problem vocalising?). He behavior makes for a very ethereal and unusual video; I think that you will agree.

There's no doubt that this special type of behaviour has come out of his radial hypoplasia. The point is it wouldn't be there if he didn't have this inherited genetic problem.

He appears to have a black smoke type coat. This adds to his very interesting and impressive appearance.

His movements are balletic. They are beautiful and he is beautiful. I believe that he is a rescue cat. The video comes from TikTok ("The Fur Moms"). She describes him as her precious boy. "Not disabled, just differently abled".


She's right. There's one thing I don't like about this video and I don't like myself for using it on this website. I do not think that the lady should have made a video of him. She might even have rescued him because he had in mind making TikTok videos which were bound to be successful because he so interesting.

I don't know if that is true and if I am wrong, I apologise. But it does feel to me as if he is being exploited in a kind of Victorian freak show way. Do you feel the same way about the video? Nobody has commented on the video in this way. They just see a charming Maine Coon cat and they fall in love with him.

But when I put my other hat on and look at the video objectively, I do detect a hint of exploitation. And, regrettably, I am participating in that mild form of exploitation. I freely admit it. 

A rare negative side-effect of polydactylism

It appears that radial hypoplasia in cats is linked to polydactylism which, as you might know, affects a quite high percentage of Maine Coon cats. Specifically, it is related to one form of polydactyly. Normally polydactylism is a benign anatomical abnormality due to a genetic mutation by which I mean there are no negative side effects but it appears that on occasions, rarely, it can cause this "disability" which obviously affects the cat a lot.

An added problem as I see it is that a relatively high percentage of Maine Coon cats suffer from hip dysplasia. This might mean that this cat suffers from that condition as well and therefore if that is the case, he would have two serious conditions to deal with and as he places a lot of emphasis on his hind legs and back it would be a major issue I would suggest.


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