19 Unusual Genetic Anomalies in Cats

With years of cross breeding and evolution, cats have developed some unusual anomalies that have changed their physical traits over the years. Let’s discuss 19 different, unusual cat anomalies that have changed them genetically over the years.

1. Polydactyly

This is a rather common anomaly that is found in cats of all the breeds. It is a condition in which some cats develop an extra limb either on their front paws or their back paws. It is very likely that if a cat gives birth to kittens, then at least one of them have this condition. It does not affect their health in any way. It just gives an extra thumb to a cat.

2. Vitiligo

A cat’s skin also suffers from lack of pigmentation which is the cause of white spots on their fur. This is common in both humans and cats. It is generally termed as a medical condition vitiligo. It does not really harm the cat in any way and it actually makes them look interesting. Remember not to judge a cat by its fur’s color as it can be something else.

3. Bending ears

The Scottish breed of cats have defects in their ear cartilage which helps them in folding their ears. They might look adorable doing that, but this is actually a genetic anomaly and not normal amongst other cats. This doesn’t really affect their health, but breeding two cats with these genetic traits can cause deformity in their offspring like it can develop an extra nose or ear.

4. Dwarfism

Just like humans, cats also develop dwarfism. Munchkin cats might look cute and adorable with their short and cute legs, but they are actually dwarfs. This condition is actually an issue for them as this inhibits them from jumping, climbing and running which is a cat’s basic way of defending itself. There are rumors that many people breed these munchkin cats so that they are born dwarfs because of their popularity.

5. Tortoise shell cats

A cat with black and orange fur might look normal, but according to scientists, it is not normal amongst cats. Black and orange fur is actually a sign of a genetic anomaly. This abnormality is more of a chromosomal abnormality which occurs from birth. This abnormality does not kill them or hurt them in any way, but it inhibits them from reproducing which is still a problem.

6. Cats without tail

Now, this is an abnormality that is not very common and its chances of occurring are one in a million. In this situation, a cat is born with short tails or no tail at all. There is a breed of cat which has this condition. They are called minx cats. Usually, not all cats are born without tails, but a scar tissue can cause their tail to fall off or not evolve at all. This condition can cause abnormalities in urination and pooping just because their spinal cord is not developed properly, which is the main cause behind this condition.

7. Two faces

Yes, you read that correctly. There is a breed of cat that is born with two faces. This is one of the rarest abnormalities. The breed is called “Janus cats”. But it doesn’t affect their life span. There have actually been cats with two faces that have lived as long as 15 years and that is more than what a stray cat lives.

8. Polycystic Kidney disease

Just like humans, cats also develop cysts in their kidneys. With time, these cysts become large enough to cause kidney failure. This abnormality is totally genetic and depends on the host’s parents. This abnormality generally has some symptoms, so keep an eye on your cat’s urination habit.


Known as Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease, this abnormality generally occurs in cats of mixed breeds. In this, a cat usually pees more frequently than normal. Also, it feels pain in urination.

Scientists say that this is not only the result of genetics, but stress is also a factor. There are no specific tests for this issue, but it can be treated by changing cat’s diet and reducing the reason for their stress.

10. Heart Disease

Now, this abnormality is not seen in many cats and is rather rare. Its cause is a mutation or cross breeding. Cats suffering from this disease have a higher chance of dying suddenly. This abnormality causes heart failure in the early ages of a cat. If your cat is suffering from this then you can always get her treated for that which can lower its risk of premature death.

11. Blindness

Blindness is common amongst cats and it is surprising to hear that when a cat is born, it is blind. The eyes usually develop after a few days or weeks after birth. But if this happens during midlife, then it can be a symptom abnormality. This condition is genetic and there isn’t much you can do about it other than taking care of your cat.

12. Deafness

This genetic abnormality is the reason for deafness amongst cats. There is also a study that says that if a cat is born blind, then it is likely that the cat will be deaf too. The deafness in cats can’t be treated in any way. But it is not deadly or results in premature death. Cats with this condition can actually live long if taken care of.

13. Devon Rex Myopathy

Cats suffering from this genetic abnormality are very rare, but they exist. This abnormality makes the cats weak. Their muscles become weak. Their head becomes weak and they can’t really control their head with ease. This difficulty in managing head movement can make them stressed, which can cause abnormal urination, the behavior of disapproval and sometimes even death.

14. Progressive retinal atrophy

Unlike total blindness, this abnormality works in stages. This abnormality results in complete loss of the retina in cats. But it does not happen very fast. But the process is actually very slow because the cells at the back of the eye deplete slowly and once they are all gone, the cat becomes totally blind. It can be easily found if the cat is finding it hard to walk in a straight path or bumping into objects every now and then.

15. Mucopolysaccharidosis

This condition is another genetic mutation in cats. Usually, the signs of this condition include mental retardation in cats which can sometimes lead to violence. Also, the liver gets enlarged and their overall body growth gets stunted. Also, their vision gets compromised leading to a terrible life in cats.

16. Gangliosidosis

This abnormality is more like Mucopolysaccharidosis in which the liver gets affected and the overall growth is stunted. This abnormality appears when the kitten is very young and its symptoms increase with time. It makes a cat very weak and sometimes cats, even die at a very young age.

17. Hypokalaemia

In this genetic condition, a cat develops a decline in its blood potassium level. The potassium level between body and blood becomes imbalanced leading to poor health. This usually damages a cat’s kidney resulting in kidney failure. The diet also gets affected.

18. Niemann-pick disease

This genetic disorder is dangerous for cats as it leads to imbalance and uncoordinated walking in them. It appears at a rather young age, but it is not very common. It kills a cat in no time. Sometimes cats suffering from this disorder die after one year of birth.

19. Pyruvate Kinase deficiency

This disease results in declining of red blood cell in a cat’s body which is essential for survival. The decline of red blood cells is fast and can reduce the lifespan of a cat in a terrible way. It is inherited and it is very common amongst cats.