Three eyed kitten breaks hearts online after being born with a rare defect

three eyed kitten on Reddit
(Image credit: Reddit / @boostme253)

The tragic story of a three eyed kitten has broken the hearts of animal lovers everywhere after its former owner shared an image of the poor feline to the Subreddit, Oddly Terrifying.

The general consensus amongst Reddit users was not that the photo of the tiny newborn was terrifying, but that it was adorable and members queried what had happened to the small ginger cat.

Unfortunately, the original poster, boostme253, explained that it was also born with a cleft palette and had to be put down, writing that “along with its deformed eye it had a cleft palate, there was nothing I could do to help it.”

When pressed further, the original poster explained that "He would have needed surgery for removal of the eyes and to fix the palate, not only would it have totaled around $10,000 but I would have had to take an extended vacation from work so I could shove a tube down its throat so it could eat every two hours since it could not feed because of the palate." 

Boostme253 then added that they “certainly showed love to this little guy the best I could, I loved him in the short amount of time he was alive."

my_newborn_kitten_was_born_3_eyed from r/oddlyterrifying

Despite believing they did the best they could for the little animal, the OP faced some backlash with numerous Redditors commenting that euthanasia was unnecessary, citing that a cleft palette is fixable and many humans survive with such an abnormality. 

However, user SixteenSeveredHands did some digging, reporting that “it looks like even in the absence of other deformities, the cleft palate alone often leads to ‘fading syndrome’ in kittens, where the inability to nurse and the complications of artificial feeding often cause their health to rapidly deteriorate until they die." 

“Part of the problem is that they usually can't undergo corrective surgery until they're about 3 months old, and the feeding problems that occur in those 3 months are often fatal (and painful). And that's when there's just a cleft palate -- this kitten obviously has other congenital deformities, so yeah it probably had internal anomalies, too."

“So it had a very poor chance of survival, and attempting to subject it to a battery of painful and difficult medical treatments would have been cruel. Poor little thing. But at least it wasn't forced to endure any more suffering.”

Manitoberino added: “They have a lot of trouble eating. They can’t suckle properly, the mother usually abandons them so you have to try to bottle feed them. It’s very hard to get the milk down the correct tube due to the deformity."

"They tend to aspirate (inhale the milk into the lungs) which causes pneumonia if they don’t just drown immediately. It has at least two deformities so chances are it has internal deformities as well. Rather than live a short life of suffering, OP did a very kind thing in ending its suffering.”

Weeepingwillow commented that she felt the eye deformation was likely “diprosopus” which “usually causes pretty severe defects in the heart and brain”, adding that cleft palate would be fatal without surgery, and explaining that the poor little feline “was probably so fragile that if it even survived surgery I doubt it would live long after. It would have a lifetime of medical issues too.“

Either way, many hearts were touched with numerous Redditors expressing love, sentiments of sadness and prayers that the kitty rests in peace.