Inherited traits are passed down through an animal's genetic code which is found in the animal's DNA—a long molecule that is present in every cell in the body. The DNA contains thousands of genes. A gene is a specific DNA sequence that leads to the expression of an inherited characteristic. For example, there are genes that determine eye color, coat color, and other body characteristics.

And while we're used to, for example, cats with 18 toes and puppies with 2 ears, sometimes an animal's genes decide to play a trick on us, and it comes to this world with more (or less!) of these features. Continue scrolling and take a look at this Bored Panda list, compiled to show you what genetic surprises some of our beloved creatures possess!

#1

Frankie Was Born With Four Ears And An Eye Deformity But He’s Still Purrfect

Frankie Was Born With Four Ears And An Eye Deformity But He’s Still Purrfect

Missy-Andry Report

Boopie Dew
Community Member
6 months ago

Maybe its just a way to make up for the lack of 1 eye, 2 extra ears!

Piper McLean
Community Member
6 months ago

Awww he looks like a cute mythical creature

Katherine Heasley
Community Member
6 months ago

Exactly what I was thinking! Love the username, too. HoO is my favorite of Rick Riordan's series.

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Carmen Elena
Community Member
6 months ago

I see no deformity here. <3

Lorelai Purvis
Community Member
6 months ago

he is perfect things like this make me wish i wasnt allergic to cats

Sasha Kuleshov
Community Member
6 months ago

Whoa, he looks like an elf :O

Denki/Shinkami
Community Member
6 months ago

He looks so ADORABLE!!!!!!

Artoonist Corine
Community Member
6 months ago

Such a cute SMILE

The Redhead
Community Member
6 months ago

Weird question can he hear in all 4 ears?

Rebecca
Community Member
6 months ago

Can he hear with the extra ears?

tw 72
Community Member
6 months ago (edited)

I need to kiss his little face and boop his nose - right NOW!

Jaime
Community Member
6 months ago

He looks like a mythical creature! Like a fairy cat or something!

jenjie.newt
Community Member
6 months ago

4x perfect!

Bobatea22
Community Member
6 months ago

Diamond in the rough❤️

Charlie Anderson
Community Member
6 months ago

He is soooo cute!!!

glowworm2
Community Member
6 months ago

Frankie is one of my favorites. Look how cute he is!

Christy Smith
Community Member
6 months ago

Those ears are freaking adorable af!

*sigh*, The Yellow Teletubby
Community Member
6 months ago

"Oh grandma, what big.. wait wha t"

FifiPanda
Community Member
6 months ago

He's absolutely beautiful!

BoredDragon
Community Member
6 months ago

Awwww sooo cuuteeee

Joan Humphreys
Community Member
6 months ago

Frankie is absolutely adorable! So glad that you have each other!

Stephanie Keith
Community Member
6 months ago

Such unique beauty.

Lorelei
Community Member
6 months ago

Awwwwwww

Lara Verne
Community Member
6 months ago

He's cutie

Linda HS
Community Member
6 months ago

Afreakindorable🥰

Caleb Lumpkin
Community Member
6 months ago

awww hes soo cuuute

Harry Potter pandas = great.
Community Member
6 months ago

Aww!

Serenity Kinney
Community Member
5 months ago

good boi

Ashley Dunbar
Community Member
5 months ago

aw!

Sharon Kapon
Community Member
5 months ago

Frankie is so cuteeee

Faith Nicole
Community Member
5 months ago

🥰 Oh my gosh, I love Frankie & the uniqueness to him, and that bright pink nose is so cute❣

Sue Clifford
Community Member
6 months ago

I see only purrs and love.

Mare Freed
Community Member
6 months ago

Look at that beautiful face!

Elaine Mattingly
Community Member
6 months ago

I heard that.

Valerie Anne
Community Member
6 months ago

Frankie is the cutest!

Nancy Bernard
Community Member
6 months ago

cute!!

Mary Dellenbusch
Community Member
6 months ago

Too adorable!

Lisa Pockat Bork
Community Member
6 months ago

Adorable!

Catherine Brady
Community Member
6 months ago

What a sweet face.

Johanne Trudeau
Community Member
6 months ago

Oh god, he's really cute!!!!

Lise Archambault
Community Member
6 months ago

wow how unique

Daniele Ribolla
Community Member
6 months ago

cute!!!! OX

Suzie McDaniel
Community Member
6 months ago

How cute!!! 😀😍

Marlene St. Amand
Community Member
6 months ago

He is cute :)

Rikke Hackner
Community Member
6 months ago

All the better to hear you with

Ninja Nonna
Community Member
6 months ago

What a sweetheart!

Cynthia Marrs
Community Member
6 months ago

And adorable.

Pili
Community Member
6 months ago

Adorable. Very special cat.❤

MrsGodezira
Community Member
6 months ago

Love the extra ears and Frankie’s just all around adorable!

Ivy Stockstill
Community Member
6 months ago

I love him.

Teresa Spanics
Community Member
6 months ago

AWW 😻💖

LaurieAnne Smith
Community Member
6 months ago

Still cute

Jaybird3939
Community Member
6 months ago

The better to ignore you, my dear.

Mandy Renn
Community Member
6 months ago

He's extra special!

BILL CIPHER!
Community Member
6 months ago

Hi dere cutie pie 😍

Princess Toadstool
Community Member
6 months ago

Awww 🥰

ENEDELIA Soto
Community Member
6 months ago

"i hear everything"

TexasWoman
Community Member
6 months ago

Still a lil cutie

Dawn Vradenburg
Community Member
6 months ago

He's perfect just as he is.

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One of the most frequent congenital physical anomalies we see in this list is polydactylism, which causes animals to be born with more than the usual number of toes on one or more of their paws.

Interestingly, the condition seems to be especially common in cats along the East Coast of North America (in the United States and Canada and in South West England, Wales, and Kingston-upon-Hull.

Polydactyl cats have been extremely popular as ship's cats as well. Even though there is some controversy over the question of whether the most common variant of the trait originated as a mutation in New England or was brought there from Britain, there seems to be agreement that it spread widely as a result of cats carried on ships originating in Boston, Massachusetts, and the prevalence of polydactyly among the cat population of various ports correlates with the dates when they first established trade with Boston.

#2

Cat Named Yoda Was Born With An Extra Set Of Ears

Cat Named Yoda Was Born With An Extra Set Of Ears

Report

Steph
Community Member
6 months ago

Horns, those are horns

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Sailors have been known to value polydactyl cats especially for their extraordinary climbing and hunting abilities as an aid in controlling shipboard rodents. Some even thought they bring good luck at sea. The rarity of polydactyl cats in Europe might be explained by the fact that they were hunted and killed due to superstitions about witchcraft.

The legendary Nobel Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway was an aficionado of polydactyl cats too. His love for these animals began after one ship captain gave him a six-toed cat he named Snow White.

Upon Hemingway's death in 1961, his former home in Key West, Florida became a museum and a home for his cats, and at one point it housed approximately fifty descendants of his cats (about half of which were polydactyl). Because of his immense love for these animals, polydactyl cats are sometimes referred to as "Hemingway cats".

"The things that make me different are the things that make me," one very special animal said. And the animals in these pics are very special too.

#3

Ren Is A Polydactyl With 6 Toes On Each Foot

Ren Is A Polydactyl With 6 Toes On Each Foot

Aliendiaperbaby Report

Lord Mysticlaw
Community Member
6 months ago

Sooo many beanssss! 😍

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#4

I Adopted A Stray Dog With 2 Mouths, One Where The Ear Should Be

I Adopted A Stray Dog With 2 Mouths, One Where The Ear Should Be

Toad is about 6 years old, she found her way to the shelter that I worked at several years ago. The whole staff was kind of in shock at her appearance. She was also highly aggressive when she came in. A shelter officer muzzled her and carried her to the vet clinic and while she was there being examined, it sounds goofy but literally, we made eye contact and she immediately relaxed.

That day I took her into my office to evaluate her and she immediately crawled into my lap. This big scary, insane-looking dog, just climbed into my lap and rested her head on my shoulder. I adopted her and we have been inseparable ever since.

toadsearmouth Report

Rosa Rose
Community Member
6 months ago

I don't know, wouldn't it be better for him if it's closed up? It seems so easy to infect or something now?

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#5

My Sister Found This Adorable Guy With Extra Toes

My Sister Found This Adorable Guy With Extra Toes

TorchedBannana Report

Catlady6000
Community Member
6 months ago

Opposable thumbs! One more step towards total takeover

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#6

This Is Skadi, The Norwegian Lundehund Puppy

This Is Skadi, The Norwegian Lundehund Puppy

This is one of the oldest breeds in the world and is recovering from near-extinction - in 1963, only 6 remained. Now there are 1600. They are naturally polydactyl, can close their ears to water, and bend their heads back 180 degrees.

twenafeesh Report

A.J Milne
Community Member
6 months ago

That sounds cool, I want one, name her Owl.

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#7

This Unicorn Puppy Named Narwhal Was Found Abandoned With An Extra Tail On His Forehead

This Unicorn Puppy Named Narwhal Was Found Abandoned With An Extra Tail On His Forehead

Mac the pitbull Report

A.J Milne
Community Member
6 months ago

Can he wag it? That would be dope.

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#8

Too Many Peets

Too Many Peets

RickMcFlick Report

Martine Remmelzwaal
Community Member
6 months ago

Omg those feet! I can't help but wonder if it is a case of over (in?) Breeding. I could be wrong but as far as I know those round curling backwards ears are not natural (unlike the no tail) and a trait specifically bred for.

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#9

Polydactyl Maine Coon

Polydactyl Maine Coon

robert_sijka Report

Jo Johannsen
Community Member
6 months ago

He looks so regal.

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#10

Sansa Is A Special Needs Rescue Princess With Feline Hyperesthesia, Different Colored Eyes & More Toes Than You

Sansa Is A Special Needs Rescue Princess With Feline Hyperesthesia, Different Colored Eyes & More Toes Than You

sansa.thecat , sansa.thecat Report

Iggy
Community Member
6 months ago

Gorgeous!

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#11

A Cat With An Opposable Thumb. I For One Welcome Our New Cat Overlords

A Cat With An Opposable Thumb. I For One Welcome Our New Cat Overlords

cronkgarrow Report

Martine Remmelzwaal
Community Member
6 months ago

Now they can finally tell us if we (their servants) are doing a good job!

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#12

Met This Cat Today With Two Tails

Met This Cat Today With Two Tails

Fulcrum71 Report

htbq
Community Member
6 months ago

i hope they named him tails.

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#13

My Cat Is Polydactyl And Has 26 Toes. So I Named Him Toes

My Cat Is Polydactyl And Has 26 Toes. So I Named Him Toes

Papa-Wu Report

Charlotte
Community Member
6 months ago

"Toes" was my daughter's first word :)

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#14

Meet Phoebe, The Polydactyl Highland Lynx Complete With Curled Ears And A Bobtail

Meet Phoebe, The Polydactyl Highland Lynx Complete With Curled Ears And A Bobtail

kaykykelkip Report

Dorothy Parker
Community Member
6 months ago

The paws and ears are what's supposed to be noteworthy, but that face...

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#15

Doubled Fangs Of a kitten

Doubled Fangs Of a kitten

iceage2012 Report

Bole Perishon
Community Member
6 months ago

These are cat's baby teeth. All it needs is a vet to remove them.

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#16

Amelia And Her Two Faced Cat

Amelia And Her Two Faced Cat

GallowBoob Report

Rosa Rose
Community Member
6 months ago

Wouw! I wonder how that works for the kitty. Can both heads eat and/or smell? Sooo many questions !

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#17

Got My Cat Wholesale And He Came With 75% Extra Beans

Got My Cat Wholesale And He Came With 75% Extra Beans

sobraticmethod Report

Martine Remmelzwaal
Community Member
6 months ago

Can he like fold them inward like we do with our thumb? So fold his paw around something and grasp it?

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#18

This My Nugget At 2 Months Old And 1 Year Old. She's My Stunted Growth, Cross Eyed, Head Tilted, Polydactyl, Special Kitty

This My Nugget At 2 Months Old And 1 Year Old. She's My Stunted Growth, Cross Eyed, Head Tilted, Polydactyl, Special Kitty

Sikarum Report

Martine Remmelzwaal
Community Member
6 months ago

Sweet expression :) kind hearted intelligent introvert. (Could be totally missing the mark but that is how she looks in the pic atleast)

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#19

Say Hi To Our New Kitten Maximillion! He's A Polydactyl Siamese

Say Hi To Our New Kitten Maximillion! He's A Polydactyl Siamese

damatt09 Report

Andrew Gibb
Community Member
6 months ago

derp!

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#20

The Cat At Our Warehouse Gave Birth To A Kitten Who Has An Extra Tiny Paw That Functions As A Thumb

The Cat At Our Warehouse Gave Birth To A Kitten Who Has An Extra Tiny Paw That Functions As A Thumb

Bragapple Report

Charlotte
Community Member
6 months ago

When you say it "functions as a thumb" what exactly are we talking about here? Can the kitten pick things up with one paw? Hold a pen? Hitch a lift? How is it with child-proof safety caps? To what extent do we need to start worrying about highly dexterous cats taking over the world?

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#21

Sleepy Polydactyl Kitten With An Extra 6 Toes

Sleepy Polydactyl Kitten With An Extra 6 Toes

highrollerbipolar Report

Martine Remmelzwaal
Community Member
6 months ago

Omg almost doesn't look real. Like bear feet or actually those slippers for warm feet you can get in weird designs.

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#22

Polydactyl Peek-A-Boo

Polydactyl Peek-A-Boo

Cynthiadawn Report

Martine Remmelzwaal
Community Member
6 months ago

Puss in boots! ( extra broad boots..)

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#23

This Kitten With 7 Beans!

This Kitten With 7 Beans!

Triceratons Report

Evgeniya Khon
Community Member
6 months ago

And seven sharp weapons

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#24

Here Is My Rescue Baby

Here Is My Rescue Baby

SayianPrincess19 Report

Community Member
6 months ago

It has a little goatee! So cute :D

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#25

I Drove Over An Hour One Way To Pick Up My Purrito With Extra Beans From A Shelter In The Middle Of Nowhere. Meet Zula

I Drove Over An Hour One Way To Pick Up My Purrito With Extra Beans From A Shelter In The Middle Of Nowhere. Meet Zula

Daiiga Report

Rachel Adams
Community Member
6 months ago

Zula is beautiful

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#26

Joey

Joey

eimeardelarosa Report

Tomasz Jackowski
Community Member
6 months ago

How you doin'?

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#27

My Polydactyl Kitty Stella

My Polydactyl Kitty Stella

jene-brooke Report

Martine Remmelzwaal
Community Member
6 months ago

Wow somebody has been playing with the inkbottle :)

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#28

Polydactyl Kitten In Clinic Today

Polydactyl Kitten In Clinic Today

DrySheckles Report

Catlady6000
Community Member
6 months ago

All I can see is that tummy :)

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#29

My Friend's Polydactyl Half-Lynx Kitten. Her Name Is Nimh

My Friend's Polydactyl Half-Lynx Kitten. Her Name Is Nimh

BaronVonDouchebag Report

Lorelai Purvis
Community Member
6 months ago

i would get a kitty like THAT

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#30

Our Little Ginger Polydactyl Kitten

Our Little Ginger Polydactyl Kitten

We rescued him and his calico sister from under a neighbour's deck when they were ~2.5 weeks old. We had to bottle feed them at first, and now they're eating machines. And super playful and healthy!

StreetSpiritFO Report

Martine Remmelzwaal
Community Member
6 months ago

Haha he still has to learn how big his feet are, he is standing on his own paw

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#31

At Work Today We Literally Had A Mutant Cat Come Through... Extra Canine Tooth, Strongly Rooted

At Work Today We Literally Had A Mutant Cat Come Through... Extra Canine Tooth, Strongly Rooted

saintlindsay Report

Martine Remmelzwaal
Community Member
6 months ago

Kind of like a cyclops but different. Dentops? Or unident :) Is his nose unusual as well or is it the picture quality?

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#32

Leg Broken In 2 Places But Still Got Sexy Legs And Thumbs

Leg Broken In 2 Places But Still Got Sexy Legs And Thumbs

Pemigewasset Report

Julia Atkinson
Community Member
6 months ago

I'm too sexy for my cast...

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#33

Found A Kitty With Extra Beans At The Lake. Meet Pawla Abdul

Found A Kitty With Extra Beans At The Lake. Meet Pawla Abdul

unlimitedJUICE Report

Boopie Dew
Community Member
6 months ago

Pawla Abdul awesome name!!

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See Also on Bored Panda
#34

My Kitten Showing Off Her Polydactyl Toe Beans

My Kitten Showing Off Her Polydactyl Toe Beans

ChunkyBlowfish Report

Laila Hernandez
Community Member
6 months ago

She looks like a princess :)

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#35

Friend's Cat Has Black Chin, So It Always Looks Surprised. It's Also A Polydactyl And Had Thumbs

Friend's Cat Has Black Chin, So It Always Looks Surprised. It's Also A Polydactyl And Had Thumbs

placeboob Report

mynoseisaherring
Community Member
6 months ago

it looks like the surprised pikachu meme.

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#36

My New Love! She's A Polydactyl She Has 6 Toes On Each Foot! Any Names?

My New Love! She's A Polydactyl She Has 6 Toes On Each Foot! Any Names?

ladygargoyle Report

Frog
Community Member
6 months ago

Bean (for the name)

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#37

Extra Beans

Extra Beans

smartas Report

Iggy
Community Member
6 months ago

Ah, such cuteness!

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#38

This Is Migi, Our Polydactyl 6-Year-Old Cat

This Is Migi, Our Polydactyl 6-Year-Old Cat

Adopted another older, shy girl from the shelter. When we met her, she looked sad, wasn’t food motivated and poor girl still needs some dental work done.

chomps44 Report

Lorna Morley-Medd
Community Member
6 months ago

Love pic 2 that makes it look like she has a pompom tail1

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#39

Skippy’s Toes. He Was A Kitten I Fostered Last Year Who Had Radial Hypoplasia And A Lot Of Toes

Skippy’s Toes. He Was A Kitten I Fostered Last Year Who Had Radial Hypoplasia And A Lot Of Toes

youngestoldcatlady Report

Martine Remmelzwaal
Community Member
6 months ago

Imagine seeing these paw prints in the snow and go like huh uhh what?? Wait....

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#40

This Cat Has Both Heterochromia And Extra Toes

This Cat Has Both Heterochromia And Extra Toes

sansa.thecat Report

Martine Remmelzwaal
Community Member
6 months ago

Haha spread em all :) ✌

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Note: this post originally had 132 images. It’s been shortened to the top 40 images based on user votes.