Spinal Muscular Atrophy in Maine Coon Cats

The best book on cat health problems (Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook) says on page 345 (latest edition at the date of this post) that this is "a genetic defect in Maine Coon cats".

Spinal nerves die off that control the "skeletal muscles". The disease is evident at 3-4 months of age. The rear end of the cat sways and at about 5 months of age the cat cannot jump.

There appears to be no pain and there is no treatment. The muscles decrease in size.

The illness is carried by an autosomal recessive gene. See more at Maine Coon cat health.

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