Cryptorchidism in cats is a condition in which one or both of the testicles fail to descend properly into the scrotum. Cats with only one descended testicle can still produce offspring, but those with two undescended will be sterile. You may be wondering what causes this condition.
Cryptorchidism is present at birth. This means that the trait can be passed down through family lines. That’s why it’s a good idea to ensure that cats with the condition never produce offspring, or their descendants may be affected also. All breeds can be affected. However, certain breeds such as Persian, cocker spaniels, and chihuahuas are usually more affected than other breeds.
The veterinarian will have to palpate the scrotum in order to detect the absence of one or both of the testicles. However, if you don’t know your cat’s entire medical history, it could be difficult to diagnose cryptorchidism in cats easily. Instead of having two undescended testicles, your cat may have just been castrated already.
In these cases, the veterinarian will have two options. He can perform an abdominal ultrasound to look for one or both testicles. He can also measure the level of testosterone in the blood.
With cryptorchidism in cats, the undescended testicle is non-functional and not developed properly. However, cats with an undescended testicle are much more likely to develop a certain type of cancer later in their lives. Therefore, it’s best to have the testicle removed. Also, you know that one properly descended testicle allows the cat to produce offspring. It too should be removed because any descendants will carry this trait in all likelihood.