WINGED CATS - RECENT REPORTS
Over the years there have been many reports of "winged cats" and these have frequently been treated as cryptozoological phenomena. Many people would like to believe in flying cats, but the real explanation is medical, not mystical. By and far the vast majority of winged cats are the result of poor grooming. A few are due to a developmental defect or an uncommon hereditary skin condition, although these causes tend to be hyped, probably they seem so much more exciting than the mundane cause of matted fur.
Note: This is not, as some blogs suggest, a fake site akin to Bonsai Kittens. The rare medical condition is called "Cutaneous Asthenia" and is related to the human Ehler-Danlos Syndrome (described at the end of this page). These conditions are documented in medical and veterinary journals. The impression of "wings" is most commonly due to matted fur in longhaired cats. Viewers of the UK's "Animal Hospital" will have seen several cases of this (e.g. "Shaun" the badly matted silver Persian).
Winged Cats - Recent Reports
Winged Cats - Historical Reports
Winged Cats - Myth, Legend and Fakes
Winged Cats - Vet Reports, Causes and Medical Issues
RECENT REPORTS OF WINGED CATS
In 1986 a winged cat was noted in Anglesey, Wales and later moulted its wings. In April 1995, Martin Millner spotted a fluffy winged tabby in Backbarrow, Cumbria, England. The following was reported in "L'ARGENTEUIL" on Monday 4th October 1993:
Who has ever seen a cat with wings? Here is one cut down (killed) last Tuesday evening in Ayersville by Mr. Conrad Larocque of Hammond Street. The animal leaped forty feet and, after having attacked a cat and a dog, it went to take refuge under Mr. Claude Larocque's porch. Mr. Larocque had shoot seven 22 gauge bullets to kill the 20 lb animal. One is lost in thought about the source of the anomaly which gave this cat wings.
Online source: Petits et Grands Mysteres de ce Monde (Jean Morisette)
In 1986 a winged cat was reported in Anglesey, UK. Shortly after being photographed it shed the wings, suggesting they were mats of fur.
In 1998, a black winged cat was to be found in Northwood, Middlesex. The wings were 2-3 inches back from the shoulder blades about 8 inches long, 4 inches wide and an inch thick. They flapped as the cat ran.
At Bukreyevk (near Kursk), Central Russia, a winged cat was killed by superstitious villagers in 2004. According to the local Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper locals drowned the deformed cat after believing it was a messenger of Satan. The stray cat had entered the yard of Nadezhda Medvedeva. She said it stood up and "just like a chicken" stretched out two wings. This made her hair stand on end and local people were in no doubt that the cat was a messenger of the devil. Medvedeva had initially heard a soft meowing and poured some milk into a bowl. The cat - a ginger tom cat "twice as big as normal" drank greedily meowed for more. She continued to feed the stray, but after a couple of days her daughter became scared, claiming the cat had wings. Nadezhda Medvedeva observed the cat slowly move its wings just like a chicken. She immediately concluded her visitor was some sort of demon. However the daughter had already named the cat Vaska and claimed he was affectionate and had obviously been someone's pet. The rumour of the winged cat soon reached Kursk, but by the time a reporter heard it and reached the village, the unfortunate cat had been drowned by a local drunk. A sack contianing the cat's body was later recovered from a pond near the Medvedev's home. Although decomposition had already set in, the reporter from the local Komsomol newspaper confirmed the cat did actually have wings. There are no reports of the body being sent for further analysis to determine what the wings were. The Russian news article was illustrated with a grainy copy of the Manchester winged cat from the 1960s.
According to the Huashang News (China) on 24th May, 2007, in Xianyang city, Shaanxi province grandmother Mrs Feng's tom cat grew a pair of 4 inch long furry wings. Mrs Feng said the wings began as 2 bumps, and grew quickly, becoming wings in just a month. Mrs Feng says the wings contain bones and claim they grew after her cat was sexually harassed by the many females in heat. The cat doesn't look unkempt so this appears to be a genetic mutation rather than matted fur. Although it is unlikely to have bones in the wings, it may have scar tissue (from stretching) and connective tissue which makes the wing tissue feel firm. Another winged cat from China hit the news in August 2008. Increased instances of winged cats inthe area were attributed to the earthquake. This second cat was described as a tomcat, but was tortie-and-white (making it either a chimera or an XXY cat). The images are suggestive of skin flaps rather than fur mats.
In May 27, 2009 A previously normal cat in Chongqing, China developed "wings" when he was 1 year old. He began growing wing-shaped appendages on either side of his spine. The wings are said to be bony and speculation on the cause includes a mutation, a Siamese twin growing inside the cat or even a genetic change caused by chemicals (teratogens) ingested by the cat's mother while she was pregnant. According to the owners, he isn't inconvenienced by the wings and enjoys the attention he receives because of them.
CANADIAN TWO TAILED CAT
The following possible case involves a tail-like appendage rather than a wing. It hasn’t been possible to handle the cat or confirm the cause. Cam (Skipper Bartlett) sent several photos of a neighbourhood stray that appeared to have 2 tails. It has been seen a few times in August 2007, early in the morning, in Brantford, Ontario (about 100 miles SW of Toronto). The cat’s gender wasn’t known and it was timid, possibly due to harassment by local children, and had a visible skin condition. The second “tail” hung down limply and was non-functional. It may be possible that the cat had a second tail due to a developmental abnormality. It might be an elongated flap of skin attached to the rump rather than to the side or it could be an unusually long section of matted fur.