Showing posts with label inherited condition. Show all posts
Showing posts with label inherited condition. Show all posts

Thursday 31 August 2023

Boy adopts rescue cat with the same odd eye colour and cleft lip as himself

There is a nice symmetry in this relationship. The boy was bullied at school because of his cleft lip and odd-eye colour but he found his soul mate in a bicolour cat - grey tabby and white. The piebald gene causes the bicolor coat and that gene made one of the cat's eyes blue and the other yellow. And as it happens the cat has a cleft lip. Both of these conditions are fairly rare in cats.

Heterochromia iridium is the scientific name for on-eye colour. It was probably inherited by the boy although it might have been caused by trauma. For the cat, it was also inherited because the cat inherited the piebald or white spotting gene which gives him his coat and his odd-eye colour.

The boy's cleft lip is inherited as well. It may be a genetic mutation and deficiency or it might have been something that the mother came into contact with in her environment or what she ate or drink or the medications that she took during pregnancy.

This is obviously a great relationship because both the boy and the cat benefit tremendously from it. The boy can mentally process the fact that he was bullied by interacting with his cat. He can find solace there and some comfort. And of course, the cat will benefit tremendously as well.

It is possible to operate on a cat with a cleft lip. The boy has already undergone that operation quite clearly. I remember funding a cleft lip operation of a cat in Malta. The cat was rescued by a charming woman, Martha Kane, and she didn't have the money to pay for an operation so I used monies acquired through advertising on my website to pay for the operation. I'm proud of that. Although I forget about it most of the time and it has just come to my mind while writing this article.

Tuesday 21 February 2023

TikTok vet Ben says 'Dear God, never get a Munchkin cat'. He explains why.

TikTok vet Ben says 'Dear God, never get a Munchkin cat'. He explains why.
TikTok vet Ben says 'Dear God, never get a Munchkin cat'. He explains why. Screenshot.

Here is Ben the Vet on TikTok explaining why people who love cats should shun the Munchkin, the founding dwarf cat. 

I wrote about the diseases that these cats tend to inherit many years ago. The health problems are linked to the dwarfism which makes them cute. This is due to a genetic mutation. To the problems that he mentions I can throw my knowledge into the ring and say that they can inherit: Lordosis and Pectus excavatum. You can read about them by clicking on this link.

If we are honest there is a moral dimension too. It is unacceptable really to breed dwarf cats. It is what the Germans would call torture breeding. Funnily humans see dwarfism as not cute in humans but cute in cats. It sheds light on the human-to-cat relationship. #stitch with @Margie the growing popularity of Munchkin cats is a great animal welfare concern #catsoftiktok #veterinary #animallover #learnontiktok ♬ Puff - Hany Beats

Please note that the video above does not have a super-long lifespan as its presence here depends on its presence on TikTok. If it is deleted on TikTok it disappears here as you can expect and I have no control over it.

There are no studies on these diseases in dwarf cats regrettably. They are very cute cats and are still quite popular despite the potential health issues. 

This is because humans tend to place appearance above all other aspects in many walks of life. For example, during Covid-19, in the UK, people adopted French Bulldogs in large numbers in the knowledge (or they should have had the knowledge) that they suffer from health issues. 

RELATED: 21 genetic diseases inherited by the French bulldog. Are they always in pain?

And that they were often imported from European puppy mills. They just loved the appearance. There is a bit of a backlash now as they understand that pet health issues are in fact more important than appearance at the end of the day.

Monday 14 June 2021

Fedya, the cat with a permanently startled face and chunky cheeks

Fedya lives in Rostov, Russia with his human caretaker Natalia Zhdanova, 40. She found him as a poorly stray kitten in her garden, took him in and nursed him to good health with the help of her neighbour's cat, Handsome, who looked after Fedya, nursed him and licked him and now they are the best of friends.

Startled Fedya. It's permanent and he isn't startled!
Startled Fedya. It's permanent and he isn't startled! Photo: his Instagram page.

The point of this short post is that Fedya has a permanently startled expression which is a nice change from a permanently grumpy expression. Grumpy Cat started off the grumpy cat look and there were one or two after her who did very well on social media.

What I noticed about Fedya is that he looks like a male cat who has not been neutered with his chubby cheeks. This is a typical non-sterilized male cat look. I don't know whether he has been sterilised but except for his started appearance he looks like a fully intact male, blue British Shorthair, which he isn't because he was a stray cat in Russia. His coat is definitely a classic blue (grey in non-cat fancy parlance).

When she found him, she said that he was "very weak and was dying". He turned into a very playful, intelligent, sweet and gentle individual who purrs very loudly and who is inseparable from Handsome. As expected, he has an Instagram page which I can't find but he's gathered together about 4,000 followers at the moment which no doubt will grow rapidly as his fame spreads far and wide!

Natalia and Fedya
Natalia and Fedya. Photo: Instagram/Natalia.

The best guess is that the startled look is simply the way his face is built. You get this sometimes. It's about facial anatomy and is just in the lap of the gods as to whether cats end up with these fixed expressions which are quite rare. All the former cat celebrities have some sort of facial deformity. It is a inherited skeletal condition. It does not affect his health as far as I know.

Neighbour's cat called Handsome helped nurse Fedya back to health when he was a rescued stray kitten
Neighbour's cat called Handsome helped nurse Fedya back to health when he was a rescued stray kitten. Photo: Instagram/Natalia.

Apparently, when he was found he also had "wonky legs". And his eyes were misaligned. That is why they say that he looks permanently startled but that isn't the reason in my opinion because his does not look cross-eyed like a Siamese cat. His eyes look quite well aligned to me. They just look wide open, very round and stuck in the middle of his very large round, chubby-cheeked head!

Sunday 25 February 2018

Split Foot Cat

A stray cat who has been named " Clawdia" has a very rare congenital condition called split foot. The medical terminology is ectrodactyly. She is an ectrodactyl cat (a cat with less than the normal number toes), the opposite to a polydactyl cat (a cat with more than the usual number of toes).

Photos: PH

She is in the care of Cats Protection, UK. As you can imagine she is very popular because she is so unusual (and her character is great). At the date of writing this article (25/02/2018), I believe that she is still available for adoption and if you are interested you can visit the following website:

I'm told that she has four weeks of prepaid pet insurance and she is spayed, vaccinated and micro-chipped. She is also wormed. She is a great looking cat in good health and ready for adoption.

Apparently, every effort was made to find her owner but the search has now been exhausted. She is believed to be about 11 years old. She was found as a stray in the Great Sankey area of Warrington.

The usual number of toes on each front paw is five (the fifth is the dewclaw). Therefore she is missing three on each front paw.

She was born with some of her toes fused together. You can see that the central digits are missing giving a claw-like appearance. It is a rare form of congenital disorder. This disorder is seen in humans as well. In humans it is seen with other congenital anomalies. As far as I'm aware Clawdia does not suffer from any associated congenital anomalies.

This is the first time that I've seen a cat with this condition.

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