Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Skin: congenital and hereditary defect - overview

Contributor(s): David Godfrey, David Scarff


  • The scientific literature consists of small numbers of reported cases for most conditions.
  • In most conditions the animals should not be used for breeding.
  • Disorders of the surface and follicular epithelium:
  • Disorders of hairs and hair growth:
  • Disorders of pigmentation - hyperpigmentary disorders:
    • Lentigo simplex in orange cats.
    • Tricoloration can be considered a congenital defect.
    • Nevi.
  • Disorders of pigmentation - hypopigmentary disorders  Skin: pigmentary disorders:
  • Disorders of collagen:
  • Behavioral disorders:
  • Atopy Skin: atopic dermatitis:
    • A criteria for the diagnosis of atopy in other species is that it has a hereditary component. Although atopy is thought to occur in cats currently little evidence of heredity has been published.   
  • Dermatophytosis Dermatophytosis:
    • Persians and Himalayans are predisposed to dermatophytosis and to granuloma dermatophytosis.   
  • Idiopathic facial dermatitis:
    • Persians and Himalayans, dirty face syndrome.     
  • Urticaria pigmentosa:
    • Himalayans and Sphinx.
  • Histiocytic mast cell tumours Mastocytoma:
    • Siamese.


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Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Alhaidari Z, Thierry O, Spadafora A et al (2005) Junctional epidermolysis bullosa in two domestic shorthair kittens. Vet Dermatol 16 (1), 69-73 PubMed.
  • Noli C, Colombo S, Abramo F et al (2004) Papular eosinophilic/mastocytic dermatitis (feline urticaria pigmentosa) in Devon Rex cats: A distinct disease entity or a histopathological reaction pattern? Vet Dermatol 15 (4), 253-259 PubMed.   
  • Bond R, Curtis K, Ferguson E A et al (2000) An idiopathic facial dermatitis of Persian cats. Vet Dermatol 11 (1), 35-41 VetMedResource.
  • Tomoko M, Masahiko N & Tsuneo S (1999) Urticaria pigmentosa in the mother and a daughter of Sphinx Cats. Japanese Journal of Veterinary Dermatology (4), 37-39 J-Stage.     
  • Vitale C B, Ihrke P J, Olivry T et al (1996) Feline urticaria pigmentosa in three related Sphinx cats. Vet Dermatol (4), 227-233 VetMedResource.  
  • White S D, Dunstan R W, Olivry T et al (1993) Dystrophic (dermolytic) epidermolysis bullosa in a cat. Vet Dermatol (2), 91-5 VetMedResource.      
  • Cowles B E, Meyers K M, Wardrop K J (1992) Prolonged bleeding times of Chediak-Higashi cats corrected by platelet transfusion. Thromb Haemost 67 (6), 708-12 PubMed.
  • Guaguere E & Alhaidari Z (1990) Pigmentary disturbances. Advances in Veterinary Dermatology 1, 395.
  • Paradis M & Scott D W (1990) Hereditary primary seborrhea oleosa in Persian cats. Feline Practice 18 (1), 17-20 VetMedResource.
  • Wilkinson G T & Kistenson T S (1989) A hair abnormality in Abyssinian cats. JSAP 30 (1), 27-28 VetMedResource.
  • Bourdeau P, Leonetti D, Maroille J M et al (1988) Generalized hereditary alopecia in cats; three cases in a litter of Sacred Burmese. Rec Med Vet 164 (1), 17-24 VetMedResource
  • Chastain C B, Turk M A, O'Brien D (1988) Benign cutaneous mastocytosis in two litters of Siamese kittens. JAVMA 193 (8), 959-60 PubMed.
  • Freeman L J, Hegreberg G A, Robinette J D (1987) Ehlers-Danlos syndrome in dogs and cats. Semin Vet Med Surg Small Anim (3), 221-7 PubMed.      
  • Prieur D J, Collier L L (1987) Neutropenia in cats with the Chediak-Hagashi syndrome. Can J Vet Res 51 (3), 407-408 PubMed.  
  • Scott D W (1987) Lentigo simplex in orange cats. Companion Animal Practic1 (2), 23-25 VetMedResource
  • Geary M R & Baker K P (1986) The occurrence of pili torti in a litter of kittens in England. JSAP 27 (2), 85-88 VetMedResource.
  • Wilcock B P, Yager J A, Zink M C (1986) The morphology and behavior of feline cutaneous mastocytomas. Vet Pathol 23 (3), 320-4 PubMed.
  • Thoday K (1981) Skin diseases of the cat. In Practice 3 (6), 22-35 PubMed.
  • Collier L L, Leathers C W, Counts D F (1980) A clinical description of dermatosparaxis in a Himalayan cat. Feline Practice 10 (5), 25-36 VetMedResource.     
  • Counts D F, Byers P H, Holbrook K A (1980) Dermatosparaxis in a Himalayan cat I. Biochemical studies of dermal collagen. Journal of Investigative Dermatology 74 (2), 96-9 PubMed.   
  • Holbrook K A, Byers P H, Counts D F (1980) Dermatosparaxis in a Himalayan cat II Ultrastructural studies of dermal collagen. Journal of Investigative Dermatology 74 (2), 100-4 PubMed.
  • Scott D W (1980) Feline dermatology 1900-1978: A monograph. JAAHA 16 (3), 331-459 VetMedResource.  
  • Kramer J W, Davies W C, Prieur D J (1977) The Chediak-Higashi syndrome of cats. Laboratory Investigations 36 (5), 554-62 PubMed.  
  • Patterson D F & Minor R R (1977) Hereditary fragility and hyperextensibility of the skin of cats. A defect in collagen fibrillogenesis‚Äč. Laboratory Investigations 37 (2), 170-9 PubMed.
  • Robinson R (1973) The Canadian hairless or Sphinx cat. J Heredity 64 (1), 47-9 PubMed.
  • Munday B L (1970) Epitheliogenesis imperfecta in lambs and kittens. British Veterinary Journal 126 (12), xlvii PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Kociba G J (2000) Leukocyte changes in disease: Chediak-Hagashi syndrome. Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine.5th ed. Philadelphia, W B Saunders Vol 2, pp 1848.  
  • Bettenay S V (1998) Feline atopy approach to diagnosis and management. In:Proc 14th Ann Mtg Am Ass Vet Dermatol American Coll Vet Dermatol, San Antonio 21.
  • Scott Miller & Griffin (1995) Congenital and Hereditary defects. In: Scott, Miller & Griffin Small Animal Dermatology. 5th ed. Saunders, Philadelphia pp 745.
  • Casal M (1993) Congenital hypotrichosis with thymic aplasia in nine Burmese kittensACVIM Abstract No 68, Washington.
  • Gross T L, Ihrke  P J & Walder E J (1992) Vitiligo. In: TL Gross, PJ Ihrke & EJ Walder Veterinary Dermatopathology, Mosby Year Book, St Louis, pp150.
  • Johnstone I (1992) A hereditary junctional mechanobullous disease in the cat. Proceedings of the World Congress of Veterinary Dermatology 2, 111.