**Update: Baxter and Suzie have been adopted**
Special Kittens Require Special Accommodations
Fifteen-week-old Baxter and Suzie recently came to the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) as owner surrenders and are like typical kittens in many ways. They’re energetic, spunky, and are just starting to learn their way in the world. However these siblings are also unlike many other kittens, as they were born with a rare congenital defect that prohibits normal ambulation; and will need to be adopted into homes able to accommodate their limitations.
Radial Agenesis is an orthopedic condition were the radius — the bone that goes from our elbow to our wrist — did not form properly. These kittens are essentially missing bones in their front limbs, as well as one hind leg. The condition results in bowed-in front legs, where the kittens walk on their wrists instead of their paws. Click here to see video of these siblings in action!
While little can be done to correct this condition, many cats, including Baxter and Suzie, with Radial Agenesis can have an excellent quality of life and have no idea that they are not “normal”. Potential adopters will have to keep the following accommodations in mind:
- Carpeted Floors. For Baxter and Suzie, carpets give them the necessary traction to get around — especially stairs.
- Easily Accessible Basics. Providing food and water dishes that don’t tip over and a litter box with a lowered opening are key.
- Indoor only. Baxter and Suzie should be indoor animals only, as they lack the ability to quickly flee from outdoor dangers.
- Weight Management. Because of their abnormal gait, there is a greater risk of developing osteoarthritis later in life. Keeping them at a healthy weight along with regular veterinary visits is recommended.
A Home for the Holidays
Suzie and Baxter have done well in separate foster homes, and will soon be ready to find their forever home so stay tuned! If you are ready to open up your heart and home for an animal in need this holiday season, please check ARL’s adoption page to find your perfect match or visit our Boston, Dedham, or Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Centers to meet your next furry friend in person.