Chediak-Higashi syndrome in the feline: the alteration of the hair of the cat

Does your furry friend have a discoloration of his coat? It could be Chediak-Higashi syndrome in cats.

Chediak- Higashi syndrome in cats is a very rare genetic disease. This disease consists in the alteration of the color of the cat’s fur which is lighter than usual.

This pathology has also been found in humans, cattle, rats, the ancient fox and the orca. Let’s see together what are the symptoms and causes of Chediak-Higashi syndrome in cats and what needs to be done about it.

Chediak-Higashi syndrome in cats: symptoms and causes

Chediak-Higashi syndrome consists of a lack of melanin in parts of the cat’s body such as the skin, eyes and coat also known as oculocutaneous albinism.

This syndrome can be found above all in a specific breed of cat, namely the Persian with smoky gray fur.

Felines with this pathology have prolonged bleeding in case of minor injuries. Other symptoms of the syndrome are:

  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • Tears in the eyes
  • Chronic infection
  • Kidney injury
  • Low immune defenses
  • Cataracts in cats

Being a genetic disease, Chediak-Higashi syndrome occurs in cats from birth or soon after.

This syndrome is caused by a recessive gene, so if a cat has this disorder it is because both parents are carriers.

Chediak-Higashi syndrome in cats: diagnosis and treatment

To diagnose this syndrome, your vet will start evaluating your kitty’s medical history.

Then it will carry out various analyzes such as:

  • Blood analysis
  • Urine analysis
  • Genetic test

In addition, to be sure of the diagnosis, the specialist may also perform a tissue biopsy.


There is no specific treatment for Chediak-Higashi syndrome in cats. However, the vet may give the feline vitamin C to improve the functioning of the platelets and blood.

In addition, the specialist may also suggest a bone marrow transplant if necessary to help your furry friend.

On the other hand, you should also do something for your cat.

In fact, once the Chediak-Higashi syndrome is diagnosed in the cat you should make sure that the cat lives in a safer environment, in order to avoid that it can cause injuries.

It is also necessary for the feline with this syndrome to live in the house due to its photosensitivity. Finally, it is advisable to periodically bring the cat to visit.

With a little forethought and following everything the vet will tell you, your cat, despite suffering from Chediak-Higashi syndrome, will enjoy a good quality of life.

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