Pelger-Huet Anomaly in Cats: A Closer Look Signs and Management Options for Pelger-Huet Anomaly in Cats

Pelger-Huet Anomaly in Cats: A Closer Look

feline Pelger-Huet Anomaly is a hereditary condition that tells on catsโ€™ bone structures. In this article, we will examine the signs to look out for and the management process.

Pelger-Huet Anomaly is a genetic condition that affects the bone structure of cats. It is a rare condition that is characterized by a unique appearance of the bone cells. This genetic abnormality has been observed in a variety of cat breeds, including domestic shorthair cats, Siamese cats, and British Shorthair cats. The Pelger-Huet Anomaly can lead to a number of health problems in affected cats, including joint problems and mobility issues. 

In this article, we will explore the symptoms, causes, and treatment options for Pelger-Huet Anomaly in cats, as well as the impact this condition can have on a cat's quality of life.


The cause of Pelger-Huet Anomaly in cats is a genetic mutation. The condition is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner, which means that only one copy of the mutated gene is required for a cat to develop the condition. The Pelger-Huet Anomaly is caused by a genetic anomaly that interferes with the growth of bone cells, giving the bones their peculiar look. The risk of this disease being handed down from one generation to the next can be increased by inbreeding and close-line breeding. Genetic testing is available to detect whether a cat carries the defective gene, which has been identified as the mutation causing the Pelger-Huet Anomaly.


Depending on the severity of the disorder, the symptoms might change. Some of the typical signs are:

  • Abnormal bone shape: The bones of affected cats may appear elongated, misshapen, or abnormally shaped.

  • Joint problems: Some cats with Pelger-Huet Anomaly may experience joint problems, such as arthritis, due to the abnormal shape of their bones.

  • Mobility problems: Cats with aberrant bone structures may have trouble moving around, which can cause mobility problems.

  • Lameness: Due to issues with their bones and joints, affected cats may exhibit lameness or a limp.

  • Pain: Cats with Pelger-Huet Anomaly may experience pain due to the pressure placed on their bones and joints by the abnormal bone structure.


The prognosis of Pelger-Huet Anomaly in cats can be done through a combination of physical examination, radiography (X-rays), and a genetic test. The veterinarian may search for distinctive symptoms during a physical examination, such as irregular bone form and movement problems.

Radiography is an important diagnostic tool in cases of Pelger-Huet Anomaly as it provides a clear image of the bones and allows the veterinarian to see any abnormalities in their shape and structure. The X-rays can help to confirm a diagnosis of Pelger-Huet Anomaly, as well as determine the severity of the condition.

Finally, a genetic test can be performed to determine whether the cat has the mutated gene that causes Pelger-Huet Anomaly. The test is quite simple and involves collecting a sample of the cat's DNA, which can be done through a blood sample or a cheek swab. The results of the genetic test can provide a definitive diagnosis of Pelger-Huet Anomaly and can also be used to know whether a cat is a carrier of the mutated gene.

Treatment Options

Unfortunately, there is no cure for Pelger-Huet Anomaly in cats. However, there are several treatment options that can help to manage the symptoms of the condition and improve the cat's quality of life. Depending on the condition's severity and the particular requirements of the cat, a personalized treatment plan will be developed. Some of the most popular forms of treatment are:

  • Pain management: Cats with Pelger-Huet Anomaly may experience pain due to the pressure placed on their joints by the abnormal bone structure. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs), for example, can be used to treat pain and increase a cat's level of comfort. There are two which are FDA-approved - MELOXICAM and OSNIOR.

  • Physical therapy: Physical therapy, such as gentle exercise, mild play, and massage, can help to maintain muscle mass and improve mobility in affected cats.

  • Joint support: In some cases, orthopedic devices, such as braces or splints, can be used to provide support to the joints and help to alleviate pain. Muscle relaxants may be prescribed to also ease pain in muscles and joints.

  • Weight management: Maintaining a healthy weight can help to improve the cat's general health and lessen the load on its bones and joints.

  • Surgery: In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair or replace damaged joints or bones.

Can Feline Pekger-Huet Anomaly Be Prevented?

No, Pelger-Huet Anomaly in cats cannot be prevented as it is a genetic condition caused by a mutated gene. However, ethical breeding techniques can aid in lowering the prevalence of this illness in cats of the future. The probability of passing on the defective gene that causes Pelger-Huet Anomaly can be decreased by avoiding inbreeding and close-line breeding. Additionally, genetic testing can be performed on breeding cats to determine whether they are carriers of the mutated gene, allowing breeders to make informed decisions about breeding.

Remember that not all cats with the mutated gene will display symptoms of Pelger-Huet Anomaly, and some cats may only display mild symptoms that do not affect their quality of life. Therefore, it's important to consider the individual needs and characteristics of each cat when making breeding decisions.

Was this article helpful?