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Polydatcyls and brain damage?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I recently heard that polydactly cats tend to have "issues". Apparently the genetic deformity that causes the multiple toes also causes brain problems. The person described it to me as "it's like they're always 15 degrees off".

Anyone else have a poly with issues so we can sample this? Also, does anyone know about the genetic deformity that causes this.

For the record, my polydactly is definitely more than 15 degrees off.
post #2 of 16
i ve owned a couple and always felt like they were not the smartest lol
post #3 of 16
An ex bf of mine had one, a great big grey tabby tom with 7 toes on three paws and 6 on one rear paw. He actually had thumbs that he would use to pick up and hold his food with, as he preferred to eat from his paw.

He was a very smart cat, and very compassionate. I think if brain issues are a rule with the poly cats, then he was the exception.

Last I heard, he ran away after a move to a different city, and was never seen again. I miss that great big kitty more than I miss the ex bf.
post #4 of 16
Polly (who is polydactyl; it's hard to tell from my siggy pics) doesn't seem to have any brain problems whatsoever. I even taught her to sit on command. She also learned to use the scratching post very quickly.

She just has bladder problems.
post #5 of 16
I've never heard it tied to brain damage. Though this mutation can occasionally be tied to a lethal gene, so if bred they may not have a viable litter. Also a poly to poly might result in more extreme deformities than just multiple toes. This is why you rarely see a polydactl purebreed because they do not like this in breeding programs.

I actually looove polydactl cats. I think they are adorable and have never known one to not be on par with other cats. If you know one then most likely the condition is seperate from the polydactl trait.
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Yeah, the person who told me had read about it somewhere. However, it seems there are two forms of polydactyl, one causes serious problems when homozygous, but the other is fine. If I understood correctly, thumb foot cats are fine. Hamburger foot cats are the ones that cause problems when bred poly-poly. Maybe this person knew only hamburger foot cats?

Puppy is totally adorable, just very strange. I still think he's got FHS, but I figured I'd check on this lead.
post #7 of 16
My upstairs neighbour has a polydactyl calico girl who is smart and pretty and alpha cat (lording it over a 26 pound giant boy and a smaller female.) I've not noticed anything unusual about this cat other than that she is willing to eat all things, all the time.
Polydactyl cats were some of the original cats brought by the English settlers to the USA, so they're relatively common here. Some cultures consider them lucky. I pity the poor cat when she has her extra toenails cut...I can hear the howls all the way down stairs.
But mentally challenged? Never.
post #8 of 16
I believe she has extra thumbs. Is a 'hamburger' foot one with extra pinkie toes?
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Yeah, hamburger is extra pinkies. It causes them to have one giant hamburger patty foot, rather than the extra pad where a thumb would be. Apparently hamburger is associated with other physical deformities. Haven't found anything else about mental problems, so I think the person who told me gave me wrong information. I guess my cat is special in his own way, unrelated to the extra toes.
post #10 of 16
All the polydactyls I've seen have had extra thumbs. I was wondering why they were never registered as a breed; I guess the birth defects explain this.
post #11 of 16
I have a rescued polydactyl cat. He has the "hamburger" foot mentioned above. 5 toes all around, no dewclaws. He is also bob-tailed. He is plenty smart. He also had a retained testicle, but after neutering has no spraying or other tomcat behaviours.
I did read somewhere, while trying to learn about this kitty, that there are at least 2 mutations associated with polydactyly. One is harmless, the other can cause deformities of the front limbs, creating pitifully crippled cats. There are sick or misguided folks out there breeding this on purpose, they call them "twisty" cats or some such thing. The cats are missing an entire segment of their forelimbs and have to hop on their hind legs to get around.

I think this is why the extra toes are banned in all breeds but the Pixie-Bob, as regards showing/breeding the cats. Many times, extra toes are just a harmless variation.

I never heard that it caused any brain damage...but my pinkie toes are crooked as all get-out, and I have brain damage, so maybe cats, too???
post #12 of 16
My Monique is a Poly, (thumbs), and she's no dummy. However she is one of the grumpiest cats I've ever seen. Hates to be picked up and held. All of my other cats learned real quick to give her wide berth because she's liable to start growling, chasing and swatting without provocation.

Monique is a declawed rescue though and I rather think that her high strung moodines has more to do with the declaw than anything else. At night she loves to lay on my chest for lovin' and sleeping. If there are too many other cats on the bed though she will find a spot nearby because she does not share well.
post #13 of 16
I've never heard that either. My first poly cat Tiger was deffinately off...she used to walk into walls on purpose! She could see just fine. I loved that cat! Olivia is not necessarily off, but she's kinda odd. She always looks grumpy! We love her anyway too!
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurrPaws View Post
Polly (who is polydactyl; it's hard to tell from my siggy pics) doesn't seem to have any brain problems whatsoever. I even taught her to sit on command. She also learned to use the scratching post very quickly.

She just has bladder problems.

Same with Zoey. I dont think Zoey is 'off' at all but she does have bladder problems! Do you mean crystals? She's on a special diet.
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sicycat View Post
Same with Zoey. I dont think Zoey is 'off' at all but she does have bladder problems! Do you mean crystals? She's on a special diet.
Yes, Polly has been diagnosed with cystitis. The diagnosis became official about 2 months ago. She had crystals initially, but since going on rx diet, they have not recurred. I don't think it has anything to do with her being polydactyl, though.
post #16 of 16
Yeah I dont either lol.
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