Cats come in all sizes, colors and shapes. While genetics create a line of common expectations, there are peculiar felines with imperfections or mutations that make them unique. White spots in fur, extra limbs and uniquely small stature- these are some of the genetic anomalies in cats that make them extra special.
Cats with added toes
A rather common genetic anomaly found in cats is having more limbs on their paws. This condition is called polydactyly. Usually, felines with this condition would look like they’re wearing mittens due to that extra one or two toesies on their front or rear paw. Fortunately, this does not affect a cat’s health in any way.
Cats with white skin or fur
Like humans, cats can also fall victim to a medical condition called vitiligo. This causes lack of skin pigmentation which results to white spots on a cat’s fur or a completely white fur. But just like polydactyly, this won’t harm a cat’s health besides adding an extra white to a kitty.
Cats with no tail
Among the genetic anomalies in cats, this is far from common and chances of a cat having no tail is purportedly one in a million, unless it’s a Manx cat. Manx cats are the specific type of breed that takes up the percentage of tailless cats. It’s a natural anomaly that caused these felines to have short, stubby tails like rabbits or no tails at all. Supposedly, having less or no tail can affect a cat’s sense of balance but can be naturally adapted with by a kitty. However, this condition can cause spinal problems with cats, so it’s important that cat owners get their tailless feline checked.
Cats with unique ears
Scottish Fold cats are known for their bent ears and owlish looks. While they may have distinct adorable looks, their ears are actually a result of a cartilage defect. Breeding these cats remain an issue as they have health problems related to the genetic problem that also caused their bent ears. Another kind of ear-related genetic anomalies in cats are felines with four ears. These cats don’t actually have four ears but due to the additional appendages on their real ears, it gives an illusion of having four ears. Fortunately, these added “ears” don’t cause health problems.
Cats with tiny stature
Another breed specific genetic anomalies in cats is dwarfism. Referred to as Munchkin cats, these are felines that have short, stubby legs and small stature. There is also the appearance of Teacup cats that are bred as small as possible. While these genetic anomalies in cats can be natural, deliberately breeding these felines just for their “cute” looks and size remain an issue. The number of health problems purportedly associated with this natural mutation remain a huge factor for people to consider on whether breeding Munchkin and Teacup cats are ethical or not.
These cats with extra physical traits caused by genetic mutations are both a cause and not a cause for concern. What is important is for cat owners to take note of the possible health problems these cats may have. But generally, these felines are healthy and their differences don’t make them any less from their normal kitty peers.