The Premier Online Magazine devoted to Persian & Exotic Shorthair Cats
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The Premier Online Magazine
devoted to Persian & Exotic Shorthair Cats

Close this search box.


The Premier Online Magazine devoted
to Persian & Exotic Shorthair Cats

Close this search box.

Photos Of Kittens Born With Twisted Legs

Occasionally a kitten is born with one or more legs that appear to be “twisted” due to a condition called Contracted Tendons. It is thought that if the kitten’s legs were crowded when it is enclosed in its amniotic sac inside its mother, or if the legs lay in the wrong position while the kitten is developing, the legs can grow twisted.

A kitten can have just one leg twisted, although more often two front or two hind legs are affected. The degree of twisting of the leg can vary from mild to severe, from only a slight twisting of the leg to a twist of almost 180 degrees. The leg may just turn inward or it can actually turn AND twist upon itself.

Photos Of Kittens Born With Straight, Stiff Legs

The mildest form of a contracted tendon results in a kitten born with over-extended, straight legs. There is no or little evidence of twisting or turning of the limb. The legs do not appear deformed or misshapen, however the joints do not bend.

This kitten was born with over-extended, straight, stiff hind legs but shows very little twisting.

Photos Of Kittens Born With Normal Legs But Paws Curled Under

Another mild form of contracted tendons involves the curling under of the paws. The paw resists being straightened into the normal position. The curled paw may be the only thing wrong with the leg or it can also be associated with stiffness or twisting in the rest of the leg.

This photo shows a newborn kitten with a normal, flexible hind leg however the paw is curled under and resistant to movement.
Kitten with normal hind leg but with a curled under paw.
Newborn British Shorthair kitten with paws on hind legs curled under.
Newborn with curled paws on back feet.

Photos Of Kittens Born With Stiff Legs & Curled Under Paws

Even if a kitten is born with straight, stiff legs AND curled under paws, this is still considered a mild form of contracted tendons.

This kitten has stiff, straight hind legs with the paws curled under.
Stiff hind legs with left paw more severely curled than right paw.
One day old kitten with stiff hind legs and curled paws.

Photos Of Kittens Born With Twisted Front Legs

The twist in a front leg is almost always at the “wrist” with the leg twisted inwards. It is as if the leg was bent normally down at the wrist, and then twisted inwards. The bend and twisting can be less than 90 degrees (mild to medium) or more than 90 degrees (medium to severe).

This African Serval kitten’s left foot is twisted less than its right foot.
A newborn with a moderately twisted front leg.
This kitten’s front legs show severe twisting.

Photos Of Kittens Born With Twisted Hind Legs

Contracted tendons on a hind leg usually affect the leg from the hock joint down to the foot. The leg can be twisted inwards from the hock towards the center of the body or it can be twisted backwards.

Mildly twisted hind legs.
This kitten has one hind leg twisted sideways.
This kitten has a 60 degree twist to a single hind leg.
This photo clearly shows the hind leg with a 90 degree twist inward from the point of the hock. This kitten was also born without a tail.
This kitten’s hind legs are severely twisted back from the point of the hock.
Newborn showing the classic “yoga” position from extreme inward turning of the hind legs at the hock.
These back legs have a 180 degree twist. Because of the severe twist, the hock (which should be at the back of the leg) is turned to the front of the leg which makes the paws appear upside down.
These back legs have a 180 degree twist at the hocks and are locked in a yoga pose.
This 7 week old kitten has severely twisted hind legs that had not been treated.

Photos Of Kitten Born With Four Twisted Legs And A Bobbed Tail

If a kitten is born with other conditions in addition to what appears to be contracted tendons, it may have a congenital deformity rather than contracted tendons. An x-ray will confirm whether the kitten has a bone or developmental deformity. If it is a congenital deformity, physiotherapy will probably not correct it although bracing and/or surgery may improve the condition.

This kitten was born with all 4 legs twisted plus a bobbed tail. The joints were stiff and twisted on the front legs but loose and twisted on the hind legs.
Because of the shortened tail combined with all four legs being affected, x-rays were necessary to ensure the kitten did not have a congenital deformity.

Request A Custom Treatment Plan For Your Kitten 

If you have a kitten born with twisted legs and would like to receive a Custom Treatment Plan:

  • Click on Request For Custom Treatment Plan. This will take you to a form.
  • Fill out the form with details about your kitten. Be sure to add several large, sharp photos of your kitten’s legs to the form.
  • Click on Submit to send the completed form.
  • After you submit the Request Form, you will be taken to a page to make a minimum donation of $50 in US funds.
  • You will be emailed a personalized Treatment Plan for your kitten within 24 hours.

Support Our Efforts to Help Kittens Born With Twisted Legs

We are dedicated to saving the live of these precious kittens born with twisted legs. They can grow up to lead perfectly normal lives if given proper physiotherapy. Too often veterinarians mistakenly think the kitten has a permanent deformity and recommend that the newborn baby be put down.

Please print out this article and share it with your veterinarian.

You are also encouraged to support our publishing more articles to help these kittens by making a donation. You can be part of helping these unfortunate newborns to overcome their rocky beginnings and to grow up to be healthy, strong felines.

Article copyright © All Rights Reserved. Photos copyrighted by the individual photographers.
Copying or redistribution of this article is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of

“Cats will outsmart dogs every time.”
*John Grogan (author, Marley & Me)