Why Down Syndrome Cats Don’t Exist

Humans are blessed with 23 different chromosomes. The cat has 19. So being able to have an additional chromosome 21 evidently not possible for cats. However, that doesn’t mean that cats shouldn’t be able to have additional chromosomes.

In actual fact, a 1975 article released in American Journal of Veterinary Research discovered a unique male cat with a chromosomal defect that creates an extra one chromosome, which results in the same condition as Klinefelter disorder for humans. The cats are particularly notable because the extra chromosome is carrying genetic material that influences the color of their. This causes male cats to appear tricolored (“calico” (or “tortoise-shell”), a color pattern that is typically only seen in female cats.

Abnormalities That May Resemble Those of Down Syndrome

There are a few notable cats on Instagram which became viral after their parents declared that their pets have unusual looks due to additional chromosomes. It’s still unclear whether these claims about the chromosomal disorder have been confirmed through genetic tests.

Despite the shaky claims and the factual nature of it, “feline Down syndrome” is now a widely used word. It is vital to know however that the veterinary profession does not consider the feline Down syndrome as being a medical condition. It also is not in favor of the transfer of human ailments to animals based on physical appearance or behaviour. This could be seen as insensitive to those living with these conditions.

However, there are certain characteristics of behavior and physical that could cause well-meaning individuals to believe that human problems belong to felines. The so-called “Down syndrome cat” typically exhibits distinct characteristics, for example:

  • Wide noses
  • Eyes that are turned up (which could be set apart)
  • Tiny or odd ear
  • Muscle tone is low
  • Walking is difficult
  • Problems in elimination (urination or defecation)
  • Hearing or vision loss
  • Heart issues

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