Scientists are on the hunt for a pathogen they say may be causing a mystery condition afflicting cats: they are starting to walk like robots.
Felines in Scotland and possibly northern Europe have been affected.
Walking with an odd gait with stiff, extended tails, the animals – dubbed robotic cats due to their movements – are a veterinary oddity unseen before, scientists say. Cats with a slightly different but possibly related condition have been spotted in Sweden and Austria, where it has been referred to as “staggering disease.”
Veterinarians have published a report on the phenomenon, centering on 21 cats seen from 2001 to 2010 at Strathbogie Veterinary Centre, Huntly, and Morven Veterinary practice, Alford, both in northeastern Scotland. The report appeared Jan. 11 in the advance online issue of the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery.
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