Harvey the cat

Photo: Cats Protection Glasgow Branch/Facebook

A kitten born without bones in his front legs will have metal pins implanted to help him get around normally and spare him pain later in life.

A good Samaritan saw the weeks-old kitten on Gumtree, a website similar to Craigslist, and brought him to the Glasgow branch of Cats Protection, a feline welfare charity, in January.

Harvey kittenCats Protection named the little white cat Harvey, and took him to a veterinarian, where his X-rays revealed that he was born without ulna and radius bones, a rare condition known as radial agenesis.

Harvey was placed with “foster mom” Liz McCulloch who has been impressed by the kitten’s ability to run around and play like any other cat.

"He’s a lovely little thing," McCulloch, told The Sun. “Because Harvey was born that way he doesn’t know there’s anything wrong with him so he runs around on his elbows and happily plays with my other cat and dog."

But although the kitten gets around just fine on his elbows, without surgery to replace his leg bones with pins, he could experience severe pain as he grows and the pressure on his neck and spine increases.

The surgery comes with a hefty price tag of $4,700, so Cats Protection Glasgow set up a fundraising page for Harvey and raised the necessary funds in just a few days.

Harvey can’t have the metal pins implanted in his legs until he’s 6 months old, so for now he’s spending his time with McCulloch, chasing toys and taking cat naps like any other kitten. After he recovers from surgery, he’ll be placed in a forever home.

Check out a video of Harvey below.

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Laura Moss writes about a variety of topics with a focus on animals, science, language and culture. But she mostly writes about cats.

Kitten born without leg bones to get life-changing operation
Harvey has no bones that connect the upper half of his front legs to his paws, but he's learned to get around just fine on his elbows.