Zoologist, media consultant, and science writer, Dr Karl Shuker is also one of the best known cryptozoologists in the world. Author of such seminal works as Mystery Cats of the World (1989), The Lost Ark: New and Rediscovered Animals of the 20th Century (1993; greatly expanded in 2012 as The Encyclopaedia of New and Rediscovered Animals), In Search of Prehistoric Survivors (1995), and more recently Extraordinary Animals Revisited (2007), Dr Shuker's Casebook (2008), Karl Shuker's Alien Zoo: From the Pages of Fortean Times (2010), Cats of Magic, Mythology, and Mystery (2012), and Mirabilis: A Carnival of Cryptozoology and Unnatural History (2013), his many fans have been badgering him to join the blogosphere for years. The CFZ Blog Network is proud to have finally persuaded him to do so.

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Monday, 22 February 2010


The following report on the subject of winged cats appeared online in 2008. Unfortunately, it is written in Turkish, a language that I cannot decipher. However, I would very much like to know what it says as it includes two winged cat photos that I have never seen before (plus one of the famous Chinese winged cat of 2007), and which I include here, that may represent cases unknown to me. Consequently, I am reproducing the article's text below, and would be very grateful if anyone out there with a knowledge of Turkish could send me a translation of it.


Kanatlı Kediler
Kanatlı Kediler, bugüne dek kediler üzerinde yapılmış olan gözlemlerde kimi kedilerde kanatsı eklere rastlanması ile, bu tür kedileri tanımlamak için kullanılan bir terimdir. Niagara Şelalesi yakınlarında bulunan bir kedi iskeleti durumun doğruluğunu kanıtlamıştır.Kedilerde kanatsı eklerin oluşmasında üç sebep dikkati çeker. Bunlardan ilki, uzun tüylü türlerde, tüylerin birbirine dolanarak keçeleşmesidir. Bu keçeleşme sorunu, nadir de olsa kısa tüylü türlerde de görülebilmektedir. Dökülen tüylerin keçeleşen tüylere yapışıp birkaç tüy dökme mevsimi sonunda kanatsı yapılar oluşturabilmeleri mümkündür. Ancak bu durum, kanatların tek açıklaması değildir.İkinci neden, insanlarda görülen Ehlers-Danlos Sendromunun (derinin elastik olması) bir benzerinin (feline cutaneous asthenia) kedilerde görülmesidir. Bu nedenle oluşan kanatsı yapılar omuz, bel ve kalça bölgesinde görülür. Bu tür kanatları olan kedilerin bir kısmının kanatlarını oynatabildikleri görülmüştür.Üçüncü oluşum şekli ise, yapışmış organ veya ekstra organ gelişimidir.Kanat benzeri yapıların oluşumunu tecrübeli kedi sahipleri ve besleyicileri çok çabuk anlayabilirken, acemiler ilk oluşumu sırasında anlayamayabilmektedir.Kanatlı Kedilerin Tarihi1990'ların başlarında, kanatlı kedi olgusunda uzun süren çalışmaları bulunan İngiliz zoolog ve kriptozoolog Dr. Karl Shuker, popüler medyada yayınlanan kanatlı kedi haberleri ile feline cutaneous asthenia arasında bağlantı bulunduğunu gösteren ilk kişidir.1862 yılında Henry David Thoreau bu konuyu raporlayan ilk isimdir: " Birkaç yıl önce ormanlarda yaşıyordum. Lincoln'de gölete yakın, Mr. Gillian Baker'in çiftlik evinde kanatlı bir kedi olduğu söyleniyordu. Haziran 1842'de görmeye gittiğimde, alışkanlığı üzre ava gittiğini öğrendim. Eşi bana onun çevreye kısa bir süre önce geldiğini söyledi, ve Nisan ayında evlerine almışlardı. Onun, koyu kahverengimsi-gri renkli olduğunu, boğazında beyaz bir nokta bulunduğunu, beyaz ayaklarının olduğu, ve bir tilki gibi büyük çalı gibi bir kuyruğu olduğunu; kışın kürkün, kalınlaşıp yanlarından dışarıya doğru düzleştiğini ve 12,5 inçe ulaştığını söyledi."(vikipedi alıntı)


  1. I'am not able to translate it and maybe I'am telling you something you know. But the text is from turkish Wikipedia (http://tr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanatl%C4%B1_Kediler) and as far as automatic translation works this text has nothing to do directly with the pictures as it seems to me.

  2. The bit about Thoreau is an abridged version of this:

    "The earliest currently known report of a winged cat is from Henry David Thoreau: "A few years before I lived in the woods there was what was called a 'winged cat' in one of the farm-houses in Lincoln nearest the pond, Mr. Gillian Baker's. When I called to see her in June, 1842, she was gone a-hunting in the woods, as was her wont ... but her mistress told me that she came into the neighborhood a little more than a year before, in April, and was finally taken into their house; that she was of a dark brownish-grey colour, with a white spot on her throat, and white feet, and had a large bushy tail like a fox; that in the winter the fur grew thick and flattened out along her sides, forming strips ten or twelve inches long by two and a half wide, and under her chin like a muff, the upper side loose, the under matted like felt, and in the spring these appendages dropped off. They gave me a pair of her 'wings,' which I keep still. There is no appearance of a membrane about them. Some thought it was part flying squirrel or some other wild animal, which is not impossible, for, according to naturalists, prolific hybrids have been produced by the union of the marten and the domestic cat." (from English Wikipedia)

  3. The first picture shows a stray cat in the borough of Sivas'ın Zara, Turkey. You will find her story here: http://www.haberaktuel.com/Kanatli-kedi-gorenleri-sasirtiyor-haberi-134160.html and also here: http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/gundem/9121594.asp?m=1

    Automatically translated:

    Winged cat amazes those who see

    Cat on a street in the town of Sivas Zara who amazes. Because the cat's got wings. How to take pictures of the artisans that seems to add a cat?

    A stray cat in the borough of Sivas Zara in the wing-like protrusions of the body, amazes those who see.

    Hilal in the district who esnaflık out of the house in the neighborhood when Şenol Karsiyaka in the garden around the house with 2 cats, one of the streets in the body in the form of wing-like feathers that saw the ledge 2.
    Neighborhood residents also attract the cat with the camera that displays Hilal Şenol, see the animals very surprised when he said, and immediately attracted the cat's image.

    Subsequent images of the cat's Secretary of the Chamber of Sivas Veterinarians Veterinarians cat's status is a strong Kadir and congenital anomalies may be an error said.



  4. Sorry about duplicating the info; when I came here, the comment by Markus was not here yet.

  5. Hi Markus and Mirek, Many thanks for the translations, and especially for the news item re the Turkish winged cat - I'm delighted to have this. All the best, Karl

  6. Hi Karl.

    Unfortunately I can only compare the cat visually and also unfortunately theres no green carpet. So I'am not sure but this maybe is your second cat: http://haber.mynet.com/detay/guncel/kanatli-kedi-korumaya-alindi/351284. Theres also a video of her (please wait some time until the first video has ended the second will play): http://www.haberaktuel.com/news_detail.php?id=127847&uniq_id=1267277485

    The video of this cat was captured in Tunceli. Heres (automatically translated) her story:

    Winged cat in Tunceli

    Who were shocked in Tunceli on winged cats.

    Cafer Kuha citizens named, gave bread to the cat meow at the door. But after a while the cat when you open the wings carried away with the phone displays the cat was young.

    But the young mother next to saw the cat screamed. At that time, the sound of screaming and scared the cat was vanish.

    Tunceli is the subject of cats in the day to find the citizens of each party involved is around confused.

    Winged cat protection

    The topic of the day in Tunceli winged cat, found by a family were under the protection.

    Kuha citizen named Jafar, cats meow in front of the door to the bread and yogurt in the wings during his notice, the cat was on a cell phone display.

    As a result of his mother scream Kuhak'ın saw several cats, calls in the evening hours as a result of vehicles in the streets Moğultay neighborhood Oguz found hiding under.

    Intense interest from the crowd wince and cats, who do not want to be turned on by a family name was taken under protection.

    Source (one of a few others with the same story): http://www.yaprak-forum.com/forum/archive/index.php?t-41167.html

  7. Karl, I've often thought this was an oddly titled blog - until just now, when, as it appeared on my screen, I suddenly found myself singing Cerrone's Supernature as as SHUKERnature, at which point it finally dawned on me, "Of course - LYALL WATSON's Supernature!"

    Hopefully you're NOT on the receiving end of some of the flak he used to receive for supposedly being TOO open minded.

  8. Hi Borky, Excellent - you got it in one! I considered lots of ideas for the blog title, and then someone (I think it was Oll at the CFZ) suggested ShukerNature, as a slight play on Lyall Watson's Supernature, and it just sounded right. I then even toyed with the idea of getting some artwork done based on Supernature's famous front cover image of a plant sprouting from out of an egg, but with my face as the plant's flower! But I wasn't sure that the world was ready to deal with such a horrific image! Receiving flak is par for the course, I'm afraid, when writing on cryptozoological subjects, but happily the majority of comments I receive are good ones, and as in most things in life, they are the only ones that really matter. All the best, Karl

  9. Hello. The "wings" on these cats is composed only of densely matted hair. I had a neutered male long-haired tabby cat that I raised from infancy; an indoor cat only. During two nonconsecutive summers he developed large areas of matted hair, very solid and folded wing shape extending the length of the back, thick and solid. Neither the vet that removed the hair or I had any idea of the cause. None of the other cats in the household showed any signs of the condition.

  10. Hi there, Certain winged cats do indeed owe their wings to nothing more than matted fur. However, the majority of cases are due to a genetic condition called feline cutaneous asthenia (FCA), in which the skin (especially on the shoulders, back, flanks, and haunches) is exceptional extendable and brittle, which readily stretches into wing-like extensions when the cat grooms itself or rubs itself against furniture, trees, etc. Often these wings contain connective and muscle tissue, enabling the cat to raise and lower them, but because they are brittle they sometimes snap off (but without causing wounding or bleeding), giving the impression that they have been moulted. My book Dr Shuker's Casebook (2008) contains the most detailed documentation of winged cats ever produced, and includes testimony from vets confirming this, including an account from one vet who actually owns a cat with FCA. All the best, Karl

  11. Dr. Shuker, I was not aware of FCA. However, I would not consider that the other wings are simply matted hair. In the case of my cat the condition came on so suddenly that on a constantly handled house cat the condition was complete before being noticed. The affected hair was matted as solid as felt and the hair was not separable. The condition began at skin level so close to the skin that I had a vet do the necessary shaving. Except for the "wings" the other hair was completely normal. I have always enjoyed your books and just ordered Casebook. I am the same Anonymous as the above post. Larry

  12. Hi Larry, Thanks for your interesting info and kind words re my books, and I hope that you enjoy my Casebook too. Yes, sometimes this matting of fur to create hard slabs happens very rapidly indeed, and does require the shaving off of the wings by a vet, so it's quite a puzzle in itself. With the true winged cats, conversely, i.e. those with FCA, the fur of the wings can be seen in photos, etc, to be just as sleek and unmatted as the rest of the cat's body fur. Thanks again for your informative comments. All the best, Karl

  13. Dear professor,

    Excellent blog and keep up the good work.
    How can I contact you?I have some photos from a recent Yeren expedition that might interest you.


  14. For more details re the Tunceli Turkish winged cat (the specimen on the green carpet with eyes closed), see my blog posting for 5 January 2011, which also includes a link to a short video of this cat screened in Sweden.

  15. Incidentally, the video in my 5 January 2011 blog is a totally different one from the two cited above by Markus in his comment of 23 February 2010. It depicts the same cat but in a different location and is much clearer, showing the wings very clearly and at several different close-up angles.