Cat sitting on a carpet.


Mucopolysaccharidosis is an inherited disorder that has been documented in Siamese cats. It results from an enzyme deficiency that allows polysaccharide carbohydrates to accumulate within the cells of the body.

The skeletal system is particularly affected, with stricken cats suffering from bony spurs on the vertebrae, arthritis and abnormal formation of the joints, and a generalized osteoporosis, or thinning of the bones themselves.

These cats also have a characteristic “flattening” of the face, resulting from a widening of the facial structure, and, at an early age, can suffer from opacities or cloudiness involving the corneas of both eyes.

Diagnosis of mucopolysaccharidosis is made by physical examination, blood tests, and radiographic X rays of the skeletal system. A special test that detects mucopolysaccharides in the urine can also be employed in diagnosing this disorder.

Unfortunately, because of the inherited nature of this disease, there is no known treatment. Future generations should be protected by neutering those pets affected to prevent passage of the trait.