A cat with a facial deformity has delighted internet users with a hilarious video after becoming a star on social media.
Nine-year-old feline Peanut was adopted by warm-hearted student Sydney Benham, from Michigan, in September 2020 after he was left in a local shelter when his previous owner died.
The cat is partially blind and deaf and though his owner isn’t sure of the reason for his condition, Sydney suspects it is due to either a birth defect or an abnormality as the result of abuse when he was a kitten.
Peanut has become a sensation online after owner Sydney began sharing clips of her “wonky kitty”, with the cat having racked up 553,6000 followers on TikTok and 118,000 followers on Instagram.
In one TikTok clip, which racked up a massive 17million views, the cat can be seen taking part in a viral trend where his owners encourage him to blink as he stares blankly back at her.
The footage gained over three million views and 35,000 comments, with one user writing: “There isn’t a single thought running through that mind.”
“You know how TikTok lets you upload 10 minute videos now? I just want a staring contest with peanuts,” said another.
“I want peanut to become the most famous cat on tiktok and for him to be verified,” commented a third.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, an estimated 6.3 million companion animals enter US animal shelters nationwide every year, 3.2 million of which are cats. Each year, approximately 530,000 cats are euthanized across the United States.
Explaining about Peanut’s birth defect in a previous Instagram video, Sydney said: “‘When we adopted him the shelter had said it was either going to be a birth deformity or defect that kind of thing.
“He could have been abused when he was younger. He came from a hoarding situation with about eight cats in the house and the owner had died. So he had to get abandoned at the shelter and that’s just how he looks, they said he was perfectly healthy.
Sydney, who also has cat Apollo, explained that aside from a “few issues”, Peanut’s facial condition does not have a massive impact on his overall health.
“The vet said he was healthy. The head shape doesn’t affect him that much. They think the lack of hearing and eyes are an effect of the head shape, but he’s pretty healthy otherwise. He had some issues when we first got him , we had those taken care of and he’s doing really well.”