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Mystery Cat featured on TetZoo

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I read a blog called Tetrapod Zoology, and the author has recently had a few articles about "mystery" big cats. The most recent post actually includes photos, and I thought you all might be interested. The cat looks large, but there's no scale reference, so a lot of people are conjecturing that it might just be a very strange feral tom. Bobbed tail, strange ears, bizarre facial shape, etc. The color seems unlikely for a domestic cat, particularly a feral, but it's hard to tell with all the filth. I thought that perhaps all you folks would have a better eye for domestic cats than people who are used to looking at wild animals.

Either way, this cat has not had a good life, and he looks like he's probably sick and injured, so don't click if that'll upset you.

post #2 of 11
OH WOW - I'm trying to figure out what it could be. Looks like a mutation of some sort. Its horribly deformed wild/domestic cat. Looks blind to me and may have mange to lose all the hair. From the comments below, most are saying a tom cat that has been in many fights and no medical treatment. But even a battle-scarred tom would have some coat - that cat has no coat at all - has to be mange or something.

I'm surprised that poor thing is still living.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
It does seem like it has some fur, though. In the first photo you can see some fringe along the belly, and in the second along the back. But it's very close-cropped. It seems more like the sort of fur that very short-coated dogs have.

Also, is it just me, or is there faint spotting along the outside of the front right leg in the first photo?
post #4 of 11
I noticed that - could be an indication of a tabby if it had coat on it.
post #5 of 11
Poor thing looks sick and miserable, whatever it is
post #6 of 11
Cats in that part of the world can have very close lying coats. I wonder if he is primarily a white cat, and the dust and dirt around the construction site has colored him that beige/sand tone. I imagine his ears are that way due to fighting. It looks like his eyes have suffered from untreated conjunctivitis--something I saw all too frequently in Turkey's street cat population.

Poor guy. . .
post #7 of 11
But even with a close coat (like an Oriental cat) you still would have more fur around the face. The cat looks like its shaved or missing coat. The head just doesn't look right at all!
post #8 of 11
Yikes. Poor baby!
post #9 of 11
Poor thing - looks like he has the mumps ... someone on TETZOO suggested chronically swollen glands, etc. He does look a little Manx-y in the back.. Manxes can be big cats -- with the hind legs appearing longer than the front and that bobbed tail.

My guess is a sick old tomcat....
post #10 of 11
Really I think it's just an important reminder that the features that can be chosen for selective breeding in pets do not necessarily work in a feral situation - the only reason they are bred for is because there is a need/desire for different types of pet cat, but in a wild situation some of the mutations we choose to perpetuate would not survive very well.

I wouldn't mind betting that as the cat is white and hairless (as GK rightly points out that is not close-lying fur, I have Orientals and they have 100x more fur than that, white OSH/foreign whites still obviously have full coat coverage!) that it may be melanoma causing the swelling around the eyes and face, as those are some of the most delicate skin areas and most likely to be affected, the cat has little or no protection from UV sunlight.

The fact the ears are gone just supports that theory as they would likely be affected before any other area, they may have already been removed through surgery, assuming that someone cared enough about this guy to get him taken for treatment. At later stages that would also cause the lymph nodes to be enlarged.
post #11 of 11
I would have rescued him and taken him straight to the vet. Then if all was ok I would have given him a loving home. Bless his heart
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