Kittens with rare genetic condition meaning their CLAWS are fused together rescued from burnt out car

Bert and Ernie have a rare genetic condition called Syndactylism, which means their claws are fused together. Pictures: Julian Brown
Bert and Ernie have a rare genetic condition called Syndactylism, which means their claws are fused together. Pictures: Julian Brown

Two kittens rescued from a burnt out car after being abandoned by their mum are searching for a new home.

The adorable brothers, who have been affectionately named Bert and Ernie after the Sesame Street characters, are being nursed back to health after their ordeal.

Bert and Ernie have a rare genetic condition called Syndactylism, which means their claws are fused together. Pictures: Julian Brown

Bert and Ernie have a rare genetic condition called Syndactylism, which means their claws are fused together. Pictures: Julian Brown

But Bert and Ernie are not your typical baby mogs. If you look closely, you'll see they are two of a kind.

The felines have an extremely rare genetic condition called Syndactylism, meaning their little kitten toes are fused together.

The Cats Protection Society, who rescued Bert and Ernie, think this may be why their mum abandoned them, as cats are known to live by the 'survival of the fittest' mentality and kittens with any sort of deformity can sometimes get left behind.

Brothers Bert and Ernie have been taken on by the charity's Gildersome Homing Centre after they were discovered in a burnt out car in Wakefield in May.

Bert the kitten. Picture: Julian Brown

Bert the kitten. Picture: Julian Brown

Due to their condition, vets worried they wouldn't make it. But it seems the two are little troopers and have pulled through.

Luckily, the condition does not leave them in any pain.

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Jennifer MacVicar, Cats Protection’s Central Veterinary Officer, said: “Although very rare, complex Syndactylism – the form which tends to be seen in cats - appears to cause minimal to no discomfort so treatment is generally not recommended.

“The condition is unlikely to cause problems but Bert and Ernie will need to be monitored as they grow for any sign of lameness. Syndactylism is potentially inherited and could be passed on to their offspring so, like all the cats in our care, Bert and Ernie will be neutered when they reach four months.”

Ernie the kitten. Picture: Julian Brown

Ernie the kitten. Picture: Julian Brown

Gildersome Centre Manager Rob Wilkinson said: “We weren’t sure Bert and Ernie were going to make it but they’re growing into two lively boys.

“All the staff have taken it in turns to hand rear and they’re now being looked after in a volunteer’s home. They both seem perfectly happy and mobile.”

If you would like to donate towards the care of Bert and Ernie, you can find out how here.