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Is there such a thing as dwarf cats?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I'm not talking about Munchkin cats. I was wondering if there is actually a gene that can cause a cat to have dwarfism. I'm asking this because one of my cats has abnormally short legs, a large head, short stubby neck, short stubby "fingers" and short tail. His middle is regular size though. To me he reminds me of what someone with dwarfism would look like it they were a cat.
I'm just wondering if there is a gene that can actually cause cats to be dwarfs, like in humans, or if he just looks like that for no reason in particular.
post #2 of 28
Thread Starter 
Oh, I also thought I might add that his teeth never really developed. (he's past a year and a half and still has a milk tooth. He only had one canine, and a few molars grow in, and had to have 5 baby teeth removed a few months ago). His jaw also developed badly, and he now has a really bad case of what alot of people call 'parrot mouth'. Not sure if this means anything.
post #3 of 28
I am sure there is something like that due to birth defects or in breeding. I honestly can't say a definate yes or no though.
post #4 of 28
Actually, Munchkin cats are the feline form of dwarfism in humans. I can't remember the details on which type of dwarfism though, there are a couple.

There is another disease though that cause the type of defects you are noticing. My brain is failing me now though...acromegaly maybe? Definitely a birth defect.
post #5 of 28
I'm sure there is - genes can be deformed. I do hope this male is neutered - you don't want him breeding other cats and passing this on.
post #6 of 28
Thread Starter 
Oh God of course he's neutered! I could only imagine what the poor kits would look like it he were let to breed.
I've always been curious if he was considered a dwarf. I've tried looking it up online, but I can't really get any information.
I am just looking for a reason as to why he has all the problems he has, both skeletal and developmental. The vet says he's just like that, but it doesn't make sense to me for one animals to have to many health problems without there being something genetically wrong with him that would cause it.
I was just wondering if there were other cats like him out in the world.
post #7 of 28
If he's a stray, he's probably a product of extreme inbreeding. Thank goodness he is neutered
post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 
Yes, he was a stray. We found him in a ditch when he was 2-3 weeks old. He looked just like a regular cat until he was 4 months old. Then we started to notice the short legs, fat head, and stubby toes and tail.
I'll have to take some pictures to show everyone, since it is kind of interesting.
post #9 of 28
I bet he is beautiful Would love to see photos!
post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 
I cant' find my USB cable, but I do have a few pictures that arn't too old, and a few from when he was younger (so you can see his short legs)
This one was taken last week. He's playing with his catnip mouse on my bed.


Here's another one that's not too old.


This one shows his short, stubby legs very well, lol. This one's was taken when he was 8 months old.


Here's another one. He was around 8 months in this one too. The other crazy one is Angel. She lives with my sister now.


This one's my favorite. Zorro and Pig!

And this one!
post #11 of 28
Thread Starter 
And just because I can, and because people love them, here are a few baby pictures for everyone to enjoy!




post #12 of 28
Awww he really is a sweet and flashy marked cat. Can see why you fell in love with him. He does look Munchkin like with the sort legs.
post #13 of 28
He's so cute! He looks like a little corgi kitty . There are multiple types of dwarfism caused by different mutations, so it wouldn't surprise me at all if that's what caused his stubby legs and such. I have a friend who has a "dwarf" Border collie with the same sort of short limbs. Too cute!
post #14 of 28
I agree with GK45, he looks like a Munchkin, which is dwarfism in cats. The think in the breed was created from a naturally occuring genetic mutations. So this kitty may really be a "natural" munchkin. He looks just like one.

I have a "non-standard" or long legged muchkin. His legs are not as long as the other cats though. He also has bad teeth. He just had to have 8 removed.

Your boy is darling, and certainly looks very healthy. What a beautiful shiney coat!
post #15 of 28
Do some reading on inbreeding cats. Search the web. If the owner was a breeder of some type of cat, -a back yard breeder, they may have seen he was a runt, and was not good enough to sell for, many bad breeders put down cats that they don’t think will make it rather then take them to the Vet, or hand feed if needed, this breeder may have just got rid of it. very crule.

You are so lucky you found it, because that is by far the most beautiful/cute cat ever. And I’m glad you have the ability to care for his delicate needs.
post #16 of 28
Thread Starter 
I always thought he was a munchkin when I first got him, but the vet told me that his legs were (only a little) too long to be considered munchkin.
I then decided to research the breed to see if maybe they had some of the same traits Zorro does. I found out however, that munchkins can jump (zorro can't jump at all...needs stairs to climb up onto the bed, lol) and are just as agile as regular cats.
I never thought that maybe he was just a naturally occurring munchkin. That would explain all the other defects he has. God knows what kind of defects the purebred munchkins had at the beginning which were then bred out. My little guy is only 1 1/2 years old and he's already needed two ex-rays (for different things), 5 teeth removed(baby teeth which were impacted in his jaw), one rotten tooth removed, medication for numerous infections that he's always getting, was diagnosed with intravertebral(sp?) disk disease (when the vet said he's never seen before in a cat. Apparently its not that common????), he needs to go in again next week for another infection in his paw, and in a month to get more teeth pulled (just had the 5 pulled in january).
The vet also has given him an estimated life span of 4-5 years. I think I'll be lucky to get that out of him since already he's starting to show signs of old age, but you never know...

He is adorable isn't he? Whats even funnier though is that he thinks he's a toy poodle! lol. He grew up with my mother's dog, and actually thinks he's a dog. (Acts just like one too. Its great to have a dog that can't make noise except for a little "brrr?" sound.)

He is actually my reason for being against breeding (not good breeders, just stupid people). I never gave the breeding problem any thought at all (since I actually didn't like cats before I got Zorro) but I started to realize after a while that as much as I love him, he should never have been born. I am completely against people not spaying/neutering their animals now, because I don't want another Zorro coming into this world. Not only is it a hard, sometimes painful life for him, but its been emotionally tramatizing for me to have to sit there and watch everything happen to him and know that eventually, I'm going to have to make the decision to put him down. I don't want anyone to ever do through something like this. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy.
post #17 of 28
Thread Starter 
Oh, and the shinny coat is a result of the Omega 3-6 fatty acid supplement he gets every day. If not his coat goes dry and flaky. This stuff is AMAZING and lasts for a long time! It started working in 4 days!
post #18 of 28
Quote:
He is actually my reason for being against breeding (not good breeders, just stupid people). I never gave the breeding problem any thought at all (since I actually didn't like cats before I got Zorro) but I started to realize after a while that as much as I love him, he should never have been born. I am completely against people not spaying/neutering their animals now, because I don't want another Zorro coming into this world. Not only is it a hard, sometimes painful life for him, but its been emotionally tramatizing for me to have to sit there and watch everything happen to him and know that eventually, I'm going to have to make the decision to put him down. I don't want anyone to ever do through something like this. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy.
I know, I found here, there are a lot of good breeders, but IRL I haven’t met one, some are my good friends and I hate to think of them as poor breeders, but if its not the money they are after it’s the type and they will do anything to get it. And when people just let them get pregnate with out homes lined up, that is poor too. Or can’t spay, poor.. Like my roommate has cats and she has only tested one cat to see if it was healthy, but I think they all should be tested regularly. And one male she has is sick, and I keep seeing in my head what happened to my girl is what is happening to her boy.
The one purebred I ever got died at 5 years old. I was refunded, but what I went through had me thinking all breeders are bad. And at first she refused to refund me. Said the cat did not get this from her cattery, but I know it did because I tested her the moment I brought her home for EVERYTHING. Cost me lots of money too. I got her from the US, but I will not state her name that would be rude. She just kept falling apart as your cat is. I fed her the best food and tried to cure her the holistic way, but at 5 years the vet and my family told me it is time to let her go, she is in pain. My mother called the breeder and was quite angry.
And my other cat who is half purebred is not sick, but she is not healthy either. She is 4 now and she is always itchy, and has cat acne. Gets eye infections regularly. Bloated. Joint pain. And always visiting the vet. And very moody, and I don’t blame her. She has FIP and was spayed when I first got her, which made her more happy, but I also see her age fast. she has a weak immune system and I was told by the vet that one day her organs will fail. but she may live a good healthy life before it attacks her. I think she was born with this, but I got her from a breeder friend who can’t even tell me who the parents are. So I don’t know how much inbreeding she has had or what. So I know how you feel, but I don’t know how to stop bad breeders, other than reporting them for sick living conditions. But I have tried and tried to talk to them, and nothing works they SWEAR their cats are healthy and great. Oi. They can just be blind. So now I will not accept cheep purebreds and I will not accept them without all information. And sometimes I wonder how easy it would be to give false info to the buyer.
post #19 of 28
But look at humans too, we are just as bad, we are soooo unhealthy and we keep having children and passing it on to them, and more and more people are unhealthy. like I am so sick, and I bunch of it from my mom, and a bunch from my dad. But we can’t say, “your sick you can’t have kids,” but we try to treat it. For me I can’t have kids, and I am thinking about treatment to have them, but I wonder even how long I will live… what may show up in my future? What would I pass to my kids… Would it be responsible for me to have kids… or is god trying to say no.. there are so many with out homes.. so its hard to really judge.
post #20 of 28
There are good and bad breeders out there. The bad ones who don't care about defects, inbreeding, etc. give the good ones a bad name and make it so much harder on everyone.

Good breeders strive for years to create healthy, long lived cats without harmful defects.

Anyway, I've never seen a Munchkin in person, but cannot imagine them being able to jump like a normal cat. The Munchkin people would have to prove to me otherwise Think about it - short legs vs the long legs of an oriental/rex????? I highly doubt a Munchkin could jump like one of those. There is no real "spring" in the back legs of a short-legged Munchkin.

Compare to a doxie (short-legs) to a Great Dane. You're gonna tell me the doxie can jump as well as a Dane?????


When I was breeding rexes, I met good and bad breeders. Some of the "bad" ones had many Grand Ch cats but the lines were ones with heart defects (found that out with 2 of the cats I got from her!) Both did not live long; first one died less then 10 yrs old. A female I had lasted 3 weeks - she blamed me on the kitten's death (long story). But I learned to do more research. Found 2 other breeders that had VERY long lived cats - 15-19 yrs when they died. Not as inbred, lines did not go back to the cats I knew were heart problem carriers. Spooky was 15 1/2 when he died last October; his litter sister just turned 16 in April. Their parents/grandp were 16-18 yrs when they died. My other rex will be 18 in July.

So by doing homework, finding out good/bad breeders, studying pedigrees you learn who to avoid and who to go to.

Someone on here was looking for a cornish rex and I cautioned her on certain lines to avoid - those with known heart problems.
post #21 of 28
Thread Starter 
I agree with breeders who are trying to make healthy, long-lived cats with the fewest amount of health problems. Although I don't agree with the breeding of bulldogs, pugs, persians, or any other animal with a pushed in face or that can't move around properly due to the way they are put together, but that's just my feelings on the topic. I don't bash people who breed those types of animals if they do so in the best possible way, I just don't agree with bringing animals into the world that are known to have problems like walrus babies, stenotic nares, and so forth.
post #22 of 28
Hmm...kinda reminds me of our Doc (I'll post pics if I can figure out how ), who is a blue & white munchkin with a white snout/nose and white glovies. Even though he's only about as tall as his Drinkwell fountain, he can jump! We got him the Super Tiger Post from Angelical Cat Furniture, and he can jump to the top in one leap (50 inches!).
post #23 of 28
Thread Starter 
Lol. I wish mine could jump. He has a hard enough time getting up the stairs that I made him so that he can get onto the bed. Spoiled Spoiled Kitty!
post #24 of 28
Does he still have his claws, because that is so important to have if they can’t jump, is to be able to climb up. Older cats who are de-clawed have a very hard time getting up things, where as cats who were never declawed are much healthier. Can stretch properly, if they fall they can catch themselves. So I really hope you have not de-clawed since that could be adding to her pain and problems.
post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by gothicangel69 View Post
I'm not talking about Munchkin cats. I was wondering if there is actually a gene that can cause a cat to have dwarfism. I'm asking this because one of my cats has abnormally short legs, a large head, short stubby neck, short stubby "fingers" and short tail. His middle is regular size though. To me he reminds me of what someone with dwarfism would look like it they were a cat.
I'm just wondering if there is a gene that can actually cause cats to be dwarfs, like in humans, or if he just looks like that for no reason in particular.
Yes!! It can be inherited and it can also be caused by a gene mutation. I found out about it while doing research on my youngest daughters' dwarfism a long time ago,which is officially known as Achondroplasia. Do a google search of Achondroplasia in cats and you will be amazed!
post #26 of 28
Thread Starter 
Yes, he still has all of his claws (although he may need to get one of his front "thumbs" de-clawed because of a bone infection. Hopefully the antibiotics will work!) I am completely against de-clawing (I volunteered for a vet clinic for the summer, and after seeing numerous de-clawings and ear croppings, I am strongly against both of them. Its a cruel thing to do)
I found a few good sites about dwarfism in cats. He does show the personality of a munchkin. (very affectionate, loves people, likes to hide things...like my glasses so I have to go looking for them all the time! lol) All of the websites say that munchkin's don't have lots of health problems though. Could this be because good breeders have bred all of the bad traits out of the breed, and since Zorro is just a regular cat that got the gene, that he has all of those health problems?
I did find a few other types of dwarfism, but I havn't had the time to look them up yet. I'll probably do that today.
post #27 of 28
Thread Starter 
He used to be able to climb a little bit until he collapsed a disk in his back. What he would do is put his front two paws up onto the couch, do a couple 'up and down' squats with his back legs, then push like mad, claw with his front paws and kick with his back to get up onto the couch. It looked like it would take alot of effort, and he was always so proud when he made it up, lol.
Now I just make sure that there are stairs leading up to all the couches and bed since he's not supposed to jump or climb anymore.
post #28 of 28
My grandma had a litter of kittens in which one was half the size of its brothers! At 3 months it was the size of a hand. We thought he was a dwarf, but he ended up growing to normal size later on. Dwarfism in cats is possible, but very, very, rare.
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