Is Pollution in China Causing Cats to Grow "Wings?"

By Allison Bond | May 28, 2009 11:50 am

kittyNo, he’s not Supercat, but apparently a fuzzy feline in the southwest Chinese city of Chongqing began sprouting triangular, fur-covered “wings” out of his back when he was about a year old.

Some speculate the strange growths are the result of a mutation caused by chemicals the cat’s mother was exposed to before giving birth. It’s certainly possible, since the heavily industrialized city of Chongqing is packed with chemical, metal, and automobile factories pumping out acid rain and air pollution. In fact, as of 2004 the city was the second most polluted worldwide. And it’s taking its toll: Environmental authorities suspect chemical contaminations were behind the deaths of thousands of fish in the Fujiang River in Chongqing a few months ago.

Others say the so-called wings are actually growths from an embryo that never completely separated from the cat before birth – in other words, the cat’s, er, Siamese twin.

We’re holding out on a verdict, but one thing’s for sure: There’s no need to keep an eye out for flying kitties. A cat’s heavy bones and muscular body mean that even with wings, there’s no way it can ever take to the sky.

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Image: China Foto Press/Barcroft Media

MORE ABOUT: cats, china, genetics, pollution
  • Chris

    i for one welcome our flying cat overlords.

  • Anthony

    its an interesting mutation i cant help but ask are we seeing evolution first hand here???

  • Jason

    bigger more powerful wings are required. lolcat. must. take. flight.

  • Jo

    They look more like ears to me. Sonar kitty?

  • http://www.aliceingalaxyland.blogpsot.com Alice

    Poor thing! :(

    If it’s an individual, though, and there aren’t any parallel cases around, there’s probably not too much point worrying about some kind of epidemic. When you start seeing lots of poor kitties with strange growths, not to mention other species, then you should start worrying.

  • Alice

    Apologies. The above website is not mine, so don’t bother to follow the link. I don’t know what happened.

  • Grant H

    @ Anthony: No you’re not. Evolution of large mammals is constantly happening right before our eyes. It never stops, it just happens at a rate that can not be measured in real time. Perhaps in several hundred years, scientists might detect some very tiny evolutionary changes in some species when comparing with historic records dating back to now, or looking through historic DNA banks. This cat has a mutation or perhaps an unseparated twin, it’s not sporting evolving wings.

  • Pingback: China Has a Cat with Wings – The Blogs at HowStuffWorks()

  • rhon

    I want one!

  • Ubu7

    Too heavy to fly perhaps, but gliding…

    Cripes, it’s bad enough getting your ankles ninja’d upon by kitteh, but now you’ll have to look out for your head…

  • LuLu

    Can’t be evolution. These flaps, whatever they are, would be a distinct disadvantage to the cat if it were in the wild, not living in a home eating out of bowls…predators could more easily catch it, they’d cause rustling in brush, alerting small prey, aerodynamically unsound, etc.

  • MM

    It’s only evolution in the sense of microevolution, that is genes rearranging themselves. No new genetic information is being picked up and no new animal is evolving. That’s why micro-evo does NOT prove the whole molecules-to-man thing.

  • Luke

    The idea that man has come from randomness is foolishness at best. Look around. Things don’t go from disorder to order. Mutations ALWAYS cause problems. Micro evolution is selection of already existing DNA.

  • Pingback: Pollution Making Winged Cats! « OrganicAuthority.com - Organic Blog()

  • Pingback: To China’s Internet Filter, Garfield is Pornography, Porn is Not | Discoblog | Discover Magazine()

  • Douglas J. Bender

    I’ll believe cats can develop wings when pigs fly.

  • Douglas J. Bender

    Beware the Teenage Mutant Ninja Cat.

  • http://www.siberianhuskysale.com husky training

    thats pretty interesting lol. thanks for the info. -rick

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  • justin

    everyone knows that all cats ever wanted to do is fly. that’s why they kill and eat birds.
    jealousy.

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  • Tikkinni13

    wht on earth un real

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