Radial Hypoplasia

Radial Hypoplasia

The well known Squitten cat suffers from this congenital condition which provokes controversy. Why use a congenital defect to create a breed?

I’ll break down the phrase radial hypoplasia. The word “radial” refers to the radius bone of the foreleg. It is one of the long bones in the arm of the cat.

The word “hypo” is a medical term which means decreased or not enough of and the word “plasia”, in veterinairy language, means development or formation. So hypoplasia refers to an incomplete development which is what you see in the picture. The forelimbs are shorter than normal and twisted, often. They’re not straight like a normal foreleg would be. As a consequence, the cats adopt a squirrel stance or meerkat stance which takes the weight off their forelegs. They develop, I suspect, strong backs and strong hind legs to compensate.

It is a congenital defect. It is an anatomical defect present at birth. Some people think these cats look very cute which is why it was proposed that they be developed into a cat breed – Squitten cat – which is unethical by any standards.

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