While searching Instagram for a special cat to feature, we came across Aslan, an adorable tabby cat who was born with four ears. We reached out to his mom, Swati, and she graciously agreed to share this special boy’s rescue and adoption story with us! Not only did she share how Aslan went from a large cat colony to her home in Philadelphia in June 2020, but Swati also told us about she went from fostering this incredibly unique cat to adopting him just a few months later.
We also discovered that Aslan has an extremely rare genetic mutation that causes him to have four ears, as well as other physical anomalies. We really enjoyed finding out more about this super special cat, including his love of the (supervised) outdoors and wand toys! We hope you enjoy learning about Aslan as much as we did, and don’t forget to follow this awesome cat on social media!
Meow As Fluff: How did you end up meeting Aslan?
Swati: I foster for Animal Safe Haven and Adoptions. I was requested to come to pick up some newly rescued kittens by Jessica (our CEO). When I went, she told me there was a kitten with four ears. It was dark, and I took him and two others home to foster sight unseen. When I pulled him out of the carrier, it was love at first sight, but to be fair, I fall in love with all kittens I foster.
He was pulled from a cat colony. He was one of 14 kittens pulled. He did have a sister with a similar face but no extra ears. However, a few weeks into foster care, she suddenly passed away.
He was about six weeks old when he came to live with me. He was the runt of all the kittens pulled.
MAF: Can you tell me the story behind his name?
S: My rescue partner Jessica and I were looking for lion names because he looked like a liger (lion and tiger) cub.
Aslan the Lion from Narnia seemed to fit him, although I call him Bubba.
MAF: Do you know why Aslan was born with four ears?
S: Having four ears is a mutation — it is a mutation like having extra toes. However, this mutation affects the facial features, including jaw structure and eye shape and size. There are very few articles on this type of mutation. However, since I have had Aslan, I have found several cats, past and present, around the world that have varying degrees of this mutation.
MAF: What are some of the challenges you and Aslan have faced due to his genetic mutation?
S: His jaw structure makes it difficult for him to eat. He tends to push food and treats around, as he isn’t always able to pick them up on the first try.
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Additionally, he has an inflamed GI tract. He has had an ultrasound. This causes him pain and discomfort pooping. So he tends to poop outside his litter box. The vets have said a cat his age shouldn’t have this condition. Although without more invasive testing, they cannot determine the extent of his condition and if it relates in any way to his mutation. For right now, we are managing with medicine and a special prescription diet.
MAF: What made you decide to adopt Aslan?
S: Because he was so unique, not just in his looks but his personality. He is truly fearless. As a kitten, he wasn’t scared of new dogs, cats, or people.
MAF: What do you wish more people knew about special needs cats?
S: Cats with special needs are just like healthy cats. They play, they love, they fight, and they are just as naughty. I wish more people would give special needs cats more opportunities for adoption.
MAF: What are some of Aslan’s favorite activities?
S: Aslan loves to go for daily walks on a leash. If I cannot take him (for some reason), he loves to take the matter into his own paws and darts out.
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He loves to hunt his favorite wand toy. He goes crazy for this particular toy. He jumps and leaps and will play for 20-30 minutes straight. He also loves to attack his doggy brother.
MAF: What does he mean to you?
S: Aslan came into my life right after I lost my dog of 13 years to cancer. I did not think I would ever heal from the loss, and no one could ever find space in my heart. But here comes Aslan, who, with his cuteness and purrsonality, turned my world around.
To learn more about this adorable cat, you can follow Aslan on Instagram.