Every cat has a trait that makes them stand out. It might be a tabby’s cinnamon bun swirl, a tuxedo’s curly whisker, or maybe even a certain flick of the ear by precocious ginger. Toby the cat is no exception, but his unique look is caused by a little-known condition that affects animals as well as people.
Toby’s sagging skin is a result of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome or EDS. When dealing with cats, EDS is also known as Feline Cutaneous Asthenia, simply put FCA.
Toby’s mom, Georgina Price, told Love Meow, “It means that his body doesn’t produce collagen properly. It doesn’t heal as well as it should and scars very easily.”
Improper collagen production can affect the body’s joints, connective tissues, and, in Toby’s case, the skin. His skin lacks elasticity and hangs quite heavily. Georgina and her fiancé, Christopher Lardner, are concerned about how the natural progression of age will affect Toby’s mobility. In the meantime, the six-year-old tabby is a dapper cat in his special collars and shirts.
More than a Fashion Statement
Since Toby’s skin tears easily, normal grooming can cause painful lacerations. His adorable outfits and puffy collars help to minimize damage. From making Toby’s wardrobe to performing wound care on the squirmy cat, Georgina and Christopher go to great lengths to ensure Toby stays healthy and happy. A recent post on Instagram reveals they are considering nail caps to keep Toby from tearing open his skin.
Whatever the fur parents are up to, their main focus is doing what’s right for Toby.
“Despite whatever it is that may make them ‘special needs’ they are still beautiful animals with their own amazing personalities, likes, dislikes, and the ability to love you back,” Georgina said in an interview with Meow.AF.
Toby and his brother, Quinton, have lived a good life since finding theirs forever home with Georgina and Christopher. Adopted from the RSPCA of England, both handsome cats have special needs. Quinton had to have his teeth removed upon rescue and Toby’s skin adds a degree of difficulty to life, but according to Georgina, “It doesn’t take anymore to love them.”
Though Toby the EDS cat is often mistaken for a sad cat, he is truly the happiest of cats. In fact, he told his social media fan base, “I thought I better show you my beautiful smile so you can see how happy I am!”
Living with special needs cats isn’t always easy, but together the family overcomes one obstacle at a time, always keeping love in their hearts. Judging by Toby’s smile, his parents are taking amazing care of Toby and Quinton.
Animals and People Alike
Animals and humans can both suffer from EDS. In fact, Lena Dunham recently spoke out regarding her battles with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, becoming one of the few celebrities who have opened up about their journeys with the genetic disorder. No offense to the celebrities, but Toby brings a new level of cuteness to EDS awareness.
Follow Toby and Quinton on their journey to show the world what love and support can do for those battling chronic conditions, furry, and human alike.