Osteochondrodysplasia in Scottish Fold Cats

by kaziah@q.com

Bobbi in his fish face

I went through a rescue site 2 yrs ago and got my male fold. I was taken advantage of as the man that had this cat originally had purchased him when he had a genetic condition that also affects the rear legs and hocks. My poor boy seems as though he struggles to walk at times and I want to know if there is any kind of supplement I can give him for this osteochondrodysplasia.

He is only a little past 2 yrs old and I want to know what to expect and how I can care for him. Will this totally cripple him. I love this cat so much and it pains me to see him trying to be as normal as he can with his cat mates.

Sometimes (rarely) he plays and tries to run, looking like he is kind of hopping. I need to know all I can about what to expect and do to help my boy, Bobbi, out. Can you give me any info on who I might contact about my folds problem?

Rita Bartlett

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Osteochondrodysplasia in Scottish Fold Cats

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Jul 03, 2010
Educate yourself about the breed!
by: Anonymous

As a breeder of Scottish Folds I would like to say that an experienced reputable breeder will not produce kittens with Osteohhdrodysplasia. An experienced breeder knows this is a genetic mutation that occurs when two cats are bred that both have the folded ear mutation, the correct method is to breed a folded ear Scottish Fold with a straight eared Scottish Fold. The fold in the ear is a mutation that does not occur in every kitten & by the way the folded ear mutation does not affect the cat's hearing in any way whatsoever! This is a very special breed & make wonderful pets. Reputable breeders will only sell to people they feel will provide loving homes & always insist the cats are spayed or neutered to insure inexperienced breeding that often result in osteochondrodysplasia does not occur. Good luck with your precious cat!

Dec 16, 2009
by: Anonymous

Last comment: love to read about that sort of thing. It is the vulnerable who need this sort of tenderness.

Dec 15, 2009
by: Anonymous

I to have a Fold, he has more problems than your little man BC also has a fused spine as well a the leg problems. Some heartless person dumped him as a tiny kittie (this problem is first noticed by a short inflexable tail) He came into the vets where I work and has lived with me ever since, i know he is going to have a shorter life but at the moment he is very happy.

Oct 21, 2009
i LOVE scottish folds
by: lauren from nj

i'm only twelve but i love all cats. when i am older i plan to have a large cattery like my mom had with Himalayans. something about there big adorable eyes and little bent ears make me want to take one home,only if my blue persian wouldn't get jealous.

{note: PoC Admin moved this comment from a submission as it was too short to be a page on the site - to Lauren - I couldn't contact you as you didn't leave an email address - hope you see this}

Oct 06, 2009
bobbiboy - another picture
by: Rita Bartlett

I have sent a picture of Bobbi with the fold mutation problem. Thought I would send another taken recently and also one of Lola that does not have any genetic defects.

Enjoy as I love them so very much.

{note: the Lola pic is to follow hopefully..}

Oct 06, 2009
comments for people who care to write
by: Rita Bartlett

I want to thank all of you for your input on my Scottish Fold (Bobbi). The article I read up on was saying the same as the writer that knew about the different alternatives and I believe the study came out of specialist in Israel.

If anyone knows where I can inquire about the surgery on the bony growth in the ankles and other places effected please let me know. I know of the chemo drug and I am not willing to go that route. The condritin is not very effective but the surgery may be an option. Thank you for taking the time to write to me.

For you that have always wanted a Fold and the breeder will not sell to you, I do not understand but If you would like to write to me here is my address: kaziah@q.com.

If there are any Vets writing to me that are familiar with folds please write to me personally. I would really appreciate it. I live close to the Vet school and hospital at the University of Washington. I have not contacted them as of yet. I agree with the person that said as did the writers from Israel that folds should not be bred. This is a wonderful breed with too many risk and exposure to the obvious of which is pain and suffering.

With this knowledge I am surprised it was excepted as a proven breed. I love him all the more I just hurt for him and feel bad that he has as well as I am sure many other folds have to suffer. I have another fold but she was a cross between a domestic common tiger cat and a folded mother so she is fine. Breeding fold to fold is a real problem and should be stopped. These breeders know better!

Rita B.

Oct 05, 2009
your kitty
by: Anonymous

give cold liver oil by Nordic Natural...it taste very good.....high quality diet......http://www.drcarol.com/

email this vet and she will have some recommendations.....I'm sure it can be managed,,,,,I know your kitty would love a massage....stay away from diet food......try and do organic...She will advise....Good luck

Sep 18, 2009
Wishes (cont'd.)
by: Anonymous

Ah, and I forgot to mention, maybe check with your vet and see if human joint health supplements could be an option, like glucosamine and chondroitin.

Sep 18, 2009
by: Anonymous

Poor baby. I don't know about the condition, but I want wish you good luck. Scottish Folds are so adorable, with or without the folds; it's a shame about their health. I'll pray for your kitty.

Sep 08, 2009
Scottish Folds
by: Alphrid smith

MMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmm scotish folds are so sexy. They make me all warm inside me, wish i could own one but the our local breeder will not sell me one not quite sure why? So for now viewing them on this website does it for me.


{note: Admin put this submission here as a comment as it was too short for an article}

Sep 02, 2009
Some Thoughts
by: Michael

You have probably read up on the disease osteochondrodysplasia so I won't go too much into it. However it is a disease that is caused by the cartilage not maturing properly and it is therefore defective.

Scottish fold osteochondrodysplasia is a hereditary disease that affects bone growth and the formation of articular cartilage. It causes progressive bony abnormalities and a crippling lameness.

As I understand it, the "defective" gene that causes the signature Scottish Fold ears also causes this disease. They are part and parcel of the same "problem" and therefore all Scottish Fold cats suffer from it to some degree. And if we are honest a cat with ear flaps that do not stand up has a problem in a strict sense as it affects hearing. It is a negative trait that we find endearing.

I believe that the specific abnormalities include:

  • the size and shape of the bones in the "ankle" and "wrist" are irregular
  • narrowed joint spaces
  • progressive bone formation around joints of hind limbs and a decrease in bone mineralization of adjacent bone

How bad the disease is and how fast it appears varies from cat to cat.

A Pubmed article (and other articles) says that the condition can sometimes be made less debilitating (improved) by:

  • giving pentosan subcutaneously (under the skin? -- presume this means by injection). As I understand it pentosan is a chemotherapeutic drug.
  • giving oral glycosaminoglycan preparation (this has proved to be not very effective)
  • ****radiotherapy - palliative irradiation this is called. Palliative irradiation of Scottish Fold osteochondrodysplasia. This appears to be the preferred treatment and appears to be effective when a course of treatment is undertaken. See also this article: Bone Disease Scottish Fold
  • surgery, for example the insertion of bone plates.

Obviously these treatments need to be discussed with a good veterinarian. The scientists who did the research said that the best cure is not to breed Scottish Fold cats.


  • ksvm.agri.huji.ac.il/
  • ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in a many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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