This site advocates an end to the purposeful breeding of Twisty Kats
and provides many useful links in the campaign to raise awareness
and to protest this sad situation.
A New Breed of Cat or Cruelty to Animals?
From time to time cats suffer from deformities which occur as an accident of nature.
This site was established to make people aware of, and hopefully stop breeders
who are PURPOSELY interbreeding cats with front leg deformities in order
to produce a cat with non-functional front paws.
A breeder in Texas has dubbed this type of cat a "Twisty Kat,"
which is why this has become the Twisty Kat Debate.
There are several things you can do now. You can read all the information available, and decide for
yourself if there's something you'd like to do to help find a solution to this heartbreaking situation.
This controversy began with one web site, the original Karma Farms site promoting Twisty Kats.
Please read thru the site, and look at the pictures for yourself.
Make a Decision
Decide for yourself. Do you think these cats need to be neutered and cared for - not bred? Then do something about it. There are many suggestions below that outline possible steps you can take to help raise awareness and stop the breeding of Twisty Kats.
From what's evident on the original Karma Kats site, this breeder does take good care of her cats and probably loves them very much.
Nature, however, didn't intend cats to walk around on their wrists, so it seems illogical, cruel even, to breed for this specific trait. Plus, Karma Farms is just one cattery. There may be more out there promoting this deformity.
Learn the Facts
Vickie Ives Speir developed the Twisty Kats trait (deformed front paws) in her cattery, Karma Farms in Texas. She also published a web page on GeoCities that promoted Twisty Kats and her cattery.
After an intense writing campaign, the original Karma Kats site was removed from its location on GeoCities. The original Karma Kats site contained much information that is no longer included on Ms. Speirs more current pages, listed below.
Ms. Speir has a growing number of sites on the Internet:
- Meet the Karma Kats
- Karma Kats: Kittens for sale
- Cats Missing or Stolen from Karma Farms
- Karma Kat Application for Registration which states "Over 100 Karma Kats are already recorded."
- "Pictures of polydactyl cats from the Karma Kat Registry, the first registry for digitally enhanced felines."
- Digitally Enhanced Felines which includes a statement that "Here at Karma Farms we have several new litters, and some are almost ready to go home."
- One Cute Cat--and THE TRUTH!
- Karma Farms Mares For Sale
- Stallions and Stallion Prospects For Sale
As you will see on these pages, the published address for Karma Farms is:
7929 US Highway 59 N
Marshall, TX 75670
Another Potential Breeder
In a separate issue, there is couple in Oregon who were sent two cats from the Karma Farms cattery. There have been rumors that this couple is considering breeding Twisty Kats themselves. Their site is called "Polydactyls R Us". Within the site is a specific page, written from the cat's point of view, in which the cat states that he may be bred to his sister - the other cat from Karma Farms - in the spring.
Since these two cats were bred from Twisty Kats, mating them could continue the Twisty Kat traits.
It's important to point out that these cats have not yet been mated to each other, and there's a good possibility that we can encourage the owners not to breed one Twisty Kat to another. The cats do not display the deformed paws of typical Twisty Kats. However a mating between the two may result in kittens that do have deformed paws, since both cats are descendants of Twisty Kats.
There is a guest book available on the main page of the "Polydactyls R Us" site. This is a good opportunity to encourage this couple not to breed their Twisty Kats.
Read Published Articles about the Twisty Kat Controversy
- Watch for a full-length feature article ("DNA for Play?") in the March issue of Magazine written by Ed Kane, a consultant to the pet industry. (This issue will become available on February 1, 1999!)
- Article in the National Examiner (12/22/98)
- Listen to Chris Ford's (Editor, Cats Magazine) live radio Internet interview (recorded 12/26/98) on the VANF Weekly Show.
- "The Fur is Flying" in The Dallas Morning News (12/10/98)
- Featured on "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central (12/10/98)
- "Breeder Defends Mutated Cats" on WFAA News 8 (11/30/98)
- "Pets: Mutant Strain of `Twisty Kats' Breeds Controversy on the Web" in the Wall Street Journal (you must be a member with a username and password to read the article).
- EXPRESSEN.SE - a Swedish newspaper (no translation available)
Contact the Media
Contact your local newspaper, radio and television stations in order to raise awareness about this unfortunate situation. It's sweeps time for many TV stations right now, so that might be a good approach to take. (Does anyone have a sample press release that I can post here?)
Humane Societies are great champions for an animal in need. You can write to your local shelter, or to the Humane Society closest to the Karma Farms cattery in Texas to express your concern about the Twisty Kats.
You can also use this address to make donations. If the animals from Karma Farms were to be surrendered to the Humane Society, any money you send might be used as part of a spay/neuter program to end this tragedy.
Humane Society of Harrison County
P.O. Box 155
607 East End Blvd, South (Highway 59)
Marshall, TX 75671
Other Groups that Support Animals in Need
- Best Friends Animal Sanctuary
Kanab, Utah 84741-5001
Phone: (435) 644-2011
Fax: (435) 644-2078
Read a reply from "Best Friends" to one person who wrote.
- The International Cat Association (TICA)
P.O. Box 2684
Harlingen, Texas 78551
- Read the Cat Fanciers' Associations position on Twisty Kats.
- Last Chance for Animals
- Texans for Animals
- The Doris Day Animal League
- Syracuse & CNY Animal Abuse Cases Home Site
- Psychologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals - Ken Shapiro, Executive Director
- The Brigitte Bardot Foundation
- Betty White
- A list of Animal Protection Groups and Agencies in Texas
- CLAW Animal Rights Guild
- The HELPING PAW Society
- Animal Legal Defense Fund
- Feminists for Animal Rights
- Animal Protection Advisory Network Of Texas (214-528-4935)
- Texas Humane Legislation Network (214-357-2250)
- VOICE for Animals
SAMPLE Letters that can be sent to Animal Organizations:
Sonya McClendon, DVM, MAY be the vet who supports the breeding of Karma's Twisty Kats. This is currently unconfirmed, however.
Join a List and Stay Informed
You can join an email list established by Angela Holderby in protest of Twisty Kat breeding. You can easily subscribe by following this link to the site. For anyone interested, here's a copy of the list description you'll find there:
"This list is maintained to educate and encourage those who are working to ban the practice of breeding deformed cats and exploiting their malformations. These cats, known as 'twisty cats' are being bred for their deformed front legs which resemble limp, useless flippers. While not illegal, the practice is highly unethical and cruel. Anybody is free to join if you are truly interested in seeing this practice banned."
Remember to always use caution when giving out your email address on the Internet!
Other Concerned Individuals
The Twisty Cat Debate which includes a very nice chart of the Twisty Kat bloodline
KFI AM 640 - All Us Guys site
News & updates about Karma Farms Twisty Cats
Isabel and Dalton's Message Board
"Our World's" Pet Care
WORLDPET NET FORUM
The Parris and Miso CAM
Maine Coon Polydactyls Cat Article
Another Individual's Awareness Site
"What to do if your cat produces a deformed kitten" by the Feline Advisory Bureau of the UK
Animal Hope Petition
Stop-Promoting-Animal-Deformaties web ring
Site by Xymex Internet
The Extreme Feline Breeding Information Center
Write to Government Officials
In order to effect a permanent solution, you can write to the following government agencies and individuals to voice your thoughts on this type of breeding program:
- Govenor George W. Bush
Office of the Govenor
P.O. Box 12428
Austin, TX 78711-2428
- Mr. Richard Berry, Jr.
Harrison County District Attorney
200 West Houston Street
Marshall, TX 75670
(903) 938-9312 - fax
- Attorney General Janet Reno
- Texas House of Representatives
- The Texas Senate
- City of Marshall, Texas (city where Karma Kats is located)
- Harrison County, Texas (county where Karma Kats is located)
- The Honorable Dan Morales, Attorney General of Texas
Please feel free to use this sample letter as a template:
Another Point of View
Letters from people who feel that Twisty Kats, and the surrounding controversy, should be left alone:
A Joke - not to be confused with the Twisty Kat controversy
Thank you very much for taking the time to read all the pertinent information relating to this controversy and making an informed decision. Special thanx to the many people from around the world, and particularly to Diane Burman and Kathy Littman, in helping gather information for this page.
There is no group or organization behind this web site. It is an individual undertaking with volunteer support from friends across the world.
You are visitor number since March 16, 1999.
This page was last updated on Wednesday, March 22, 1999 at 4:20pm EST.