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We knew when we agreed to take Harpsie that he was the delicate runt of the litter. However, he didn't seem terribly sickly to us really, so we were hopeful that the breeder would turn out to be wrong about his future health prospects. She wasn't! He had the odd flare-up of cat flu in his first few months with us, but the first major worry appeared when Harpsie went off to get neutered.
Since Harpsie was quite small (his normal adult healthy weight is 10 lbs, about 4.5 kg), we waited until he was eight months old to have him neutered. I dropped him off at the vet, assuming this would be the usual routine procedure. But this is Harpsie. The vet called me later that morning to say that Harpsie had an undescended testicle (cryptorchidism). Not only was it undescended but he had it tucked very high in the abdomen near his lung.
Undescended testicles can turn cancerous, so it was essential to remove this. But of course Harpsie's neutering turned into major surgery as a result, and Harpsie had a large incision and had to stay at the vet's overnight. But he did make a full recovery, and it was good that we caught this early before it could have turned cancerous (which could have happened within a year).
The vet did whisper that Harpsie was probably sterile, but that has never stopped Harpsie enjoying the company of his feline harem (in a clean-living kind of a way, of course).
Undescended testicles are more common in Persians and Colourpoint Persians (Himalayans), so Harpsie qualified in that regard.
Cryptorchidism in the cat is a helpful article by Dr Susan Little.
Pet Place has some information on undescended testicles in cats.
The Hyde Park Veterinary Centre also has some information.
This page last updated: 11 February 2008
Links on this page last checked: 31 July 2008
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