Veterinarians are often asked, “Can cats have Down syndrome?” The short answer is noCats cannot have Down syndrome. But there are many other medical problems a cat could have that appear to be similar to the condition.
Remember, if something is medically wrong with your cat, Always seek advice from a veterinarianregardless of the symptoms.
Here’s what you need to know why cats can’t have Down syndrome, and what other conditions a cat might have instead.
Why can’t cats have Down syndrome?
In humans, Down syndrome is a congenital disorder that occurs due to the presence of an extra 21st chromosome. Humans have a total of 23 pairs of chromosomes.
This can cause birth defects that affect a person both physically and mentally. Common symptoms in humans are a shorter neck, decreased muscle tone, and a smaller head, mouth, and ears.
Why can’t cats have Down syndrome? Well the answer is that cats only have 19 pairs of chromosomes, so there is no way they actually have the condition since they don’t have the 21st chromosome.
What conditions in cats may be similar to Down syndrome?
Since the advent of social media, there have been many reports of pictures of cats going viral, with the original poster indicating that their cat had Down syndrome. This is not possible, but there are times when a cat could seem to be as they have it.
Some of these symptoms are:
- Have a bruised nose
- Seems clumsy when walking
- Wide apart eyes or upturned eyes
- Problems with motor dysfunction
If a cat has any of these conditions, chances are the cat has been infected with the panleukopenia virus, which occurs in the uterus. The cat could also have cerebellar hypoplasia, which is a neurological disorder.
A kitten who has head trauma at a very young age may also appear to have Down syndrome. In some cases, when the mother cat interacts with a variety of toxic substances, it can produce a litter containing kittens with compromised neurological systems.
As always, if you suspect something is worrying your cat, it is imperative that you identify the cause, no matter what you think Talk to a professional veterinarian before taking any further remedial action or action.
Have you ever thought that your cat has Down syndrome? Did your vet figure out what was really going on with your cat instead? Let us know about the experience in the comments below.