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Dogs are known for being all kinds of different. There are different breeds, sizes, colors, and shapes. There are huge dogs like Great Danes and then you get tiny dogs like Chihuahuas. It’s a little shocking to think that they are, after all, the same species. For cats though, there aren’t a lot of surprises when it comes to genetic anomalies. Most household cats are related in some or other way. That’s why when there is an anomaly, it is all the more surprising. Here are the most common anomalies that are seen in cats.
- PolydactylyThis condition results in extra toes. A polydactyl cat may even have more than just a single extra toe. She may even have a whole set of them! There are many variations to this genetic condition. If you have a cat who is polydactyl, chances are, some of her offspring will be too. Don’t worry about your cat’s health though. Polydactyly is just a fun feature that doesn’t affect her health in any way. Cat owners with polydactyl cats just have to be a little extra careful when clipping their toe nails.
- Cats who have black and orange furAlso known as Male Tortoiseshell cats, they have the coloring of a tortoise shell which has a chromosomal abnormality. This rare cat color only occurs in 1 out of 50 000 animals. While there are no health problems linked to this anomaly, most male tortoiseshell cats are sterile and are unable to reproduce.
- Albinism, Spots, and VitiligoJust like how humans have vitiligo, cats do too. Vitiligo can cause a loss of pigmentation in the skin, which results in lighter patches of skin throughout the body. In cats, it manifests itself in white spots that appear on the cat’s fur. It doesn’t have anything to do with the overall health of the cat. It doesn’t even hurt her, it just simply looks interesting. In certain cases, it might also confuse the color of the cat. For example, if you have a white cat who has black eyelids with green eyes, you might in fact be having a black cat with a giant white spot! Pretty interesting.
- Manx CatsThese are cats who don’t have a tail. They are born with stubby, short tails or none at all. This anomaly requires some extensive medical records to properly identify. Like how would you know whether your cat was born without a tail or simply had it cut off in an incident after birth? There is usually some form of scar tissue if it is the latter.
- Extra Ears or Scottish FoldsScottish folds are ears that bend forward. This genetic trait has gained popularity in the past few years. Although there are no medical problems associated with these weird ears, you should only breed cats with folded ears, with cats who have unfolded ears. Two cats with folded ears can create a litter of kittens who have complications.