INTERNATIONAL: Rare condition leaves cat looking like a dog
Meet the freakishly furry 'werewolf' cat that is constantly mistaken for a dog - due to a rare condition which means its whiskers never stop growing.
Meet the freakishly furry 'werewolf' cat that is constantly mistaken for a DOG - due to a rare condition which means its whiskers never stop growing.
Snookie, a three-year-old Persian, was diagnosed with hypertrichosis at six weeks, which means she has lots of hair and thick nails.
The congenital defect, known as ‘werewolf syndrome’, has only been seen in a handful of felines globally and is caused by an abundance of hormones.
Human sufferers see thick hair grow all over their bodies and in Snookie’s case, it means the fur on his face and legs grows rapidly while in other cats it doesn’t at all.
Owner Julie Duguay, 43, said people often mistake her adorable cat for a DOG because her round face and whiskers make her resemble a Shih Tzu.
The mom-of-five, of Sainte-Rosette, Canada, said: "Snookie's hair grows excessively on her face and extremities and if I don't groom her regularly it gets out of control.
"The hair will get in her mouth and eyes and she can't really see where she is going.
"Even when she was a baby you could tell she would have this condition because she had little whiskery hairs coming out of her ears.
"Her hair is very soft, like a normal Persian cat's hair, except it grows and grows and grows."
Julie and husband Denis, 42, first heard about hypertrichosis when they read about another cat with hypertrichosis, internet famous moggy, Atchoum, from Montreal.
They contacted the breeder and met Snookie, who has the same father as Atchoum and also inherited the condition.
Dog groomer Julie, who has two other cats including one with no hair at all, says she loves Snookie's hair because she can dye or decorate it her in daring styles.
Last Christmas she painted a festive green tree on her back and she even carefully cuts Snookie's tail to make it look like a string of pom poms.
The proud owner added: "I give her all these cuts and she doesn't mind it at all - she enjoys it.
"Every time I post pictures of her I get people ask if she is real or if she is a dog because of her round face.
"She gets a lot of attention and everybody thinks she is so pretty and cute.
"If we didn't groom her she would look like a werewolf."