This sweet kitten with a rare condition looks as though she has two noses

A rare kitten named Bonsai was rescued at only a couple of days old, she was so tiny that she had to go straight into an incubator.

Bonsai is a mix between a Maine coon and a highland lynx, but it’s not her breed that makes her so unique. She has a rare condition: a congenital cleft in her nose.

Which is what makes Bonsai look like she has two noses.

A gray kitten with a cleft nose.
Bonsai with her eyes open one week after she was rescued. Pic credit: @wolfie_smiles/Instagram.

Born like this

It is more common for a congenital cleft to affect the lip or palate, and it is thought that a cleft in the nose is the result of an extended cleft lip; where the cleft of the lip reaches upward to the nose.

A cleft happens when two parts of the skull don’t form together during pregnancy, leading to a divide in the affected area.

In its most severe form, clefts can produce holes in the skull which negatively impact the health of many animals; cats, dogs, and humans included.

So as little Bonsai began to grow, her rescuers had to be on full alert for any complications that might arise from her condition.

Thankfully, she didn’t have trouble latching for feeding, which can be a problem for kittens born with cleft palates.

But that didn’t mean she was out of the woods just yet.

A gray kitten sleeping in an incubator.
Bonsai sleeping in her incubator at two weeks old. Pic credit: @wolfie_smiles/Instagram.

A close call

Unfortunately, one of the complications that can occur with a kitten like Bonsai is that they can aspirate, which is when a foreign particle enters the lungs and impacts the ability to breathe.

After a trip to the vet and a prescription for antibiotics given to her for an upper respiratory infection, Bonsai was left to sleep and was found unresponsive a little while later.

It is thought that she had aspirated while she was sleeping, but after great effort, Bonsai was rescued a second time.

Thanks to her attentive and devoted carers, Bonsai made a full recovery!

A gray neonatal kitten.
Bonsai survived her close call and came back stronger than ever. Pic credit: @wolfie_smiles/Instagram.

As she started to grow bigger, she was seen by a specialist about the possibility of surgery for her cleft.

The specialist decided that for now there was no need to operate, but her condition will be monitored in the coming months in case her case changes.

A fluffy gray kitten with a cleft nose.
She really started to show her Maine Coon breeding! Pic credit: @wolfie_smiles/Instagram.

Bonsai won’t be up for adoption until after she is around six months old, but it doesn’t look like her rescuers will have any trouble finding her a good home. They had to make a post explaining that they are not taking applications yet due to the demand for her!

Grey kitten with heart-shaped nose
Her little cleft nose looks like a heart. Pic credit: @wolfie_smiles/Instagram.
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