Cats with Down Syndrome

Cats with Down Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments & FAQs

One of the most controversial questions about cats is down syndrome. To be honest, it is a trendy question. Many cat owners have shared their pets’ abnormal conditions on social media. They claim that it happens due to down syndrome.

In reality, down syndrome only happens to humans. So, what is the possibility of happening to the cats? Are they real or some fake assumptions? Can cats have down syndrome? Let’s find out the truth about cats with down syndrome.

What is Down Syndrome for Cats?

Down syndrome is a genetic disorder. Usually, humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes. For a down’s syndrome cat, the problem comes with the 21st pair of chromosomes. It comes with an extra chromosome. Thus, it becomes a trisome instead of a paired chromosome. This little difference causes several physical and mental disorders. People who are affected by this special condition are rare. The possibility is 1 in 700 in the U.S. Usually, people with this condition can experience conditions like,

  • Small stature
  • Low muscle tone
  • Deep crease in the palm
  • Upward slant in eyes

Can Cats Get Down Syndrome

Now, here comes the controversial talk. Can a cat have down syndrome? Many cat owners claim that their cats have down syndrome. But, is it true? The answer is no. Till now, there is no proof of cats with down syndrome. Theoretically, it is not possible. Cats have 19 chromosomes. So, there is no way they are being affected by anything related to the 21st chromosome pair. So, whatever disorder or special condition a cat may face, it is not a syndrome down cat for sure. Let’s see some of the common disorders in cats that we assume are down syndrome cat.

  • Walking difficulties
  • Wide-set eyes that are upturned
  • Heart problems
  • Appetite or eating difficulties
  • Hearing and vision difficulties
  • Broad noses
  • Difficulty urinating or defecating
  • Abnormal ear shape
  • Low muscle tone

What Causes Down Syndrome-Like Symptoms in Cats?

As we have mentioned, cats don’t face down syndrome or wobbly cat syndrome. So, what about the physical disorder we see? Indeed, cats don’t have down syndrome. But, it doesn’t mean that they don’t have any special conditions. 

Cats also face different genetic or accidental conditions. Those conditions can affect their appearance in many ways. So, what are the causes behind such down syndrome-like symptoms?

Feline Panleukopenia

It is a type of virus attack that causes disorders in cats. Feline parvovirus causes it. This virus can cause similar effects to the cat downs syndrome. Most of its effects are physical. But, it can also trigger some other abnormalities.

Cerebellar Hypoplasia

This is a neurological issue. It happens when a cat’s cerebellum doesn’t develop perfectly. It also triggers several other disorders. A metabolic disorder, congenital syndrome, neurodegenerative disorder, and more. Speech delay and poor muscle tone are two of their common effects.


Trauma is another reason behind a cat’s disorder. If a cat faces any trauma from its face to its head, it can become a permanent issue. They can experience disorders that may seem permanent from birth. Sometimes, you can identify trauma from the cat’s unusual behavior.

Toxic Chemicals

Toxic chemical causing disorder is really common. Many cats often get exposed to different toxic elements. These elements can cause a neurological disorder. In that case, the cat’s physical or facial shape may change. If the mother cat inhales or consumes toxic elements during pregnancy, the kitten may experience physical or mental disorders.

Genetic Disorder

A genetic disorder in cats is the most common and logical reason for the disorder. You can confirm it through different tests or x-rays. In many cases, you can’t completely cure this issue. Sometimes, you can fix it through surgery. So, you should visit a vet as soon as you discover any abnormality.

How To Care for A Cat with Down Syndrome

A Cat with Down Syndrome

Cats are adorable pets. It seeks care. A cat with a special condition needs a lot of care. They have emotions. Some disorders may not have significant effects. But, some provide a lot of stress in their physical and mental conditions. You should try to check the cat’s health indoors.

If there is an issue, start caring with proper food and space. If it is a mental issue, keep them close and build trust with them. Give them the attention and care they want. If you are not sure about the condition, make sure to visit a vet. They will observe and do necessary treatments. It will ensure the proper care for the special condition.

Frequently Asked Questions

Now that we have explained the down syndrome cats and its speculation let’s hear some questions. People often ask a lot of things out of curiosity. We will provide the best answers we have on hand.

Are cats born with Down Syndrome?

There is nothing like cats with down syndrome. So the answer is NO. A cat down syndrome is not possible because cats don’t get down syndrome by birth. Because they have 19 pairs of chromosomes. But, a cat down’s syndrome happens in the 21st chromosome. So, it is not possible.

Can cats have mental disabilities?

Yes, they can. They can have mental disabilities due to toxic elements. They can also face it due to different traumas.

Does Grumpy Cat have Down syndrome?

No, they don’t. We mentioned that cats couldn’t have down syndrome. The grumpy cat may be dealing with some other mental or physical difficulties.

How long do cats with Down Syndrome live?

A cat with down syndrome doesn’t exist. If your cat has any disorder, visit a vet. They will identify issues and try to solve them. Depending on the cause and condition, you can assume their lifespan.

Final Thoughts

Cats with down syndrome don’t exist. At least for now. We have no scientifically proven or real knowledge of such a condition in cats. But, cats do have different disorders like wobble cat syndrome or down syndrome. We mentioned the possible causes behind them. If you are unaware of their condition, take help from a vet. 

Do regular check-ups, and you can identify the issues. It will help you to take the necessary steps for their special condition. If possible, don’t expose such a cat to social media. Sometimes, they feel uncomfortable and get anxious. It can cause additional mental illness. 

Let them have a calm environment with tons of care. So, keep your cat safe and love them more.

Keep In Touch

Subscribe to our newsletter with stories from our latest blogs

man woman dog are taking hands together

Related Articles

A woman is snuggling her pat cat

Cat Behavior: What Does Your Cat Want

Cats get a bad rap of being independent and not very attached to their owners. Of course, anyone with a feline friend of their own can tell you this isn’t true at all. When compared to dogs, they don’t tend to have the same level of interaction. But that’s also a by-product of thousands of

A cat is being fed

Cat Poison: A Guide to Poison Prevention for Cats

Our curious, furry, feline friends have a habit of getting into mischief by exploring and investigating our homes. However, this can lead to undesired situations where they ingest something toxic. So, it’s essential to learn about cat poison prevention to avoid any potential health risks and problems. The truth is, plants are typical household decorations;

Scroll to Top
Skip to content