Dogs, when compared to cats, have a range of genetic variation, resulting in different colors, sizes, and shapes. In the case of cats, as there isn’t much genetic variation, genetic anomalies stand out quite easily. Pet owners and veterinarians have seen all types of genetic anomalies in cats. Here are four genetic anomalies that are common in cats:
- Albinism, Spots, And Vitiligo Just like human beings, even cats can suffer from vitiligo, where their lose their skin pigmentation. In the case of cats with vitiligo, their fur will have white spots. However, this genetic anomaly won’t hurt them at all.There are cases where cats come in different colors due to spots. For example, if a cat that is predominantly white has black eyelids and dark gold or green eyes, then it is not a white feline but a black cat that has an enormous white spot.Sometimes cats can also suffer from albinism. For example, if a white feline has extremely pale blue eyes, then it is an albino, not a white cat.
- Dwarfism When cats have this condition, they become a feline version of Corgis. They have short legs and look cute at the same time. While dwarfism looks harmless, it can have an impact on overall health of felines. Dwarfism decreases their ability to climb, jump, and run. As a result of this, these cats are more vulnerable to health problems such as arthritis.
- Male Tortoiseshell cats Cats that have black and orange coloring on their fur are known as male tortoiseshells. The X chromosomes in cats can carry only one color, which is black or orange. However, when male cats have black and orange fur, it means that they have genetic anomalies. In general, male cats have XY chromosomes. On the other hand, male tortoiseshells have XXY chromosomes, which are genetic anomalies. While there isn’t any health problem associated with this genetic anomaly, it makes male tortoiseshell cats sterile.
- Polydactyly Polydactyly is a common genetic anomaly found in felines all around the world. When cats have this condition, they will have extra toes. In most cases, the front paws of cats will have extra toes. However, it isn’t necessary that they will have only an extra pair of toes. There have been recorded cases where cats have a complete set of toes. As polydactyly is a dominant trait, it can be passed on to the offspring. Sometimes, the extra set of toes are not attached to the bodies of felines. As a result of this, it is possible for their claw to get stuck and hurt them.
These are the four common genetic anomalies that are visible in cats. If you have any queries regarding this subject, leave a comment below!