Whaaat? I don't know how I got to be this age and one of the world's biggest fans of the felines and only just learn about this yesterday. It certainly piqued my curiosity so I did some internet research looking for at least one credible source of information. I did not find one so I decided to go with the quasi-credible and share the story anyway.
The white cat below looks like an angel, doesn't it? And the kid couldn't get any cuter if he was trying. There are three suggested causes for this phenomena. One is matted fur. They say these wings occur more commonly in long haired cats, so that would make sense. Next is something called feline cutaneous asthenia, FCA for short, which is similar to Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (elastic skin) in humans. These cats are said to be able to move the wings. The third explanation is extra limbs.
If I were forced to choose one, I would have to go with extra limbs. Matted fur in my experience does not grow that far out from the body. I don't think elastic skin would stand out that far from the body either. I can see how a birth defect like extra limbs might be misinterpreted as wings.
All I can say is thank the Lord they cannot fly! The bird population would certainly be in serious trouble. Not to mention, it is enough to deal with when they hide and jump out at us as we pass by. I cannot imagine one swooping down on me from above!
I have frequently told my cats they should have "little kitty wings" because they are such angels. I had no idea it was a real possibility.