Cats With Down Syndrome

Cats With Down Syndrome


Many people wonder there are cats with down syndrome, actually, pet health professionals and vets are responsible for answering. However, cats cannot have down syndrome, but there are some down syndrome-like symptoms that they can possess, which include quirky physical appearances and unusual behavioral features. Take a look at the down syndrome-like qualities that can cat possess because of genetic mutations that can occur, as well as how to deal with and offer help to your cat if it exhibits such symptoms.


Down Syndrome-Like Symptoms in Cats


Generally, what makes any cat special is that any cat cannot be the same as any of other cats of the same breed. However, there are many down syndrome-like symptoms variations that can cat share either mental or physical including:

  • Vision loss
  • Hearing loss
  • Heart problems
  • Motor dysfunction
  • Difficulty in excreting
  • Clumsy walking
  • Upturned eyes: eyes are widely spaced on the face
  • Perpetually saddened face
  • Flat or squished nose.


If any symptoms that we mentioned there exhibits in your furry friend, do not hesitate to contact the veterinarian to find out the root cause. Yet, these symptoms cannot tell that your cat has down syndrome, but they show some illnesses or genetic disorders which are similar in nature.


What Causes Down Syndrome-like Symptoms in Cats?


Many disabilities in kitties happen because of different genetic disorders. Behavioral and physical anomalies of cats with down syndrome can be a signal of a host of other issues like trauma, congenital abnormalities, infections, and neurological diseases. Kittens can be affected by different congenital malformations. This is because many breeders may expose their mothers to certain toxins, that may affect the neurological system as well as the facial structure.


Baby cats that experience any kind of trauma to the head and face can have physical injuries and permanent neurological damage. Vets can do many tests to determine if your cat has any genetic disorder or a disease, such as:

  • run genetic
  • or X-ray scans

However, cats which are diagnosed with the genetic disorder would be close to having down syndrome-like, as they are similar in nature.


Why Cats Can’t Have Down Syndrome


Down syndrome means to have an extra copy of a chromosome in the 21st pair, humans have 23 chromosomes, while cats only have 19 chromosomes, so cats cannot technically have down syndrome.


However, we cannot deny the fact that cats can have genetic mutations. But many symptoms like unusual physical traits, aloof behavior, or poor muscle tone cannot tell clearly that there is a correlation with an extra copy of chromosomes.


On the contrary, dogs have a chance of having an extra chromosome copy in the 21st pairing as they own more chromosome pairings than humans. However, dogs cannot experience down syndrome either.




In a nutshell, genetic structure and neurological cannot cause feline down syndrome. However, they might be responsible for similar qualities. Anyway, you have to head your cat to a competent veterinarian if it exhibits any similar symptoms to down syndrome. Then, you can diagnose your cat and treat it.


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