'World's saddest cat' has condition that causes his face to droop

A very unhappy tail! Feline named Sushi is dubbed the ‘world’s saddest cat’ due to rare skin disorder that causes his face to droop

  • Sushi, five, suffers from connective tissue disorder Ehler Danlos Syndrome
  • The condition causes the feline from Sao Paulo’s face to sag, giving him a sad air 
  • In spite of his sorry look, Sushi is well looked after by owner Larissa Yamaguchi

A cat with a ‘sad face’ due to a rare condition has finally found his forever home.

Sushi, a five-year-old cat from Sao Paulo – whose breed is not known – suffers from a very rare condition called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS).

The genetic condition affects the connective tissue due to a lack of collagen leading to unusually stretchy and fragile skin. Because of the condition, Sushi has loose and sensitive skin giving him a droopy, sad expression. 

Sushi was rescued as a kitten after being found on the street, he was later adopted by Larissa Yamaguchi in 2016, who found out about his condition. 

In spite of his sad air, Sushi lives a happy life, and is well looked after by Larissa.  However, he does suffer with itchy skin, and needs a soft collar to help with his loose skin. 

Due to his condition, Sushi’s skin is always itchy and saggy, and he needs to wear a soft collar and eat a special diet 

Sushi, a five-year-old cat from Sao Paulo – whose breed is not known – suffers from a very rare condition called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS). It causes his skin to sag, which means he always looks sad 

The 24-year-old system analyst and developer said she was moved by his story and wanted to give him a forever home, knowing very little about his condition.

Larissa, who found out that Sushi had EDS just last year, said: ‘My friend who rescues animals sent across some photos of Sushi, he was a tiny black cat and I knew I wanted him straight away.

‘In the first picture I saw he looked like a normal black cat, but when he arrived, I knew that he had a different face. But I didn’t think it could be a genetic condition.’

For four years, Larissa was not aware he had EDS even though she visited several vets as his skin was sensitive.

The cat was rescued as a kitten by his loving owner Larissa Yamaguchi in 2016 who later found out he suffered from the condition. As a kitten, Sushi’s health issues were not obvious 

But after reading a story about a similar cat on the internet, she realised Sushi had the same condition.

She said: ‘It took four years for us to know Sushi had EDS. I spent £800 and he used a lot of different medications but nothing helped.

‘After finding a similar cat online, we found a cat dermatologist and it was quite a shock even for her. She said that the last time she saw a cat like Sushi was more than 10 years ago!

‘I was scared but then we found out that we could handle it and it wasn’t fatal.’

The condition means Sushi has an extremely dry and itchy skin and he requires regular moisturising, a different diet, clothes and soft collars.

Sushi, left, with Larissa’s other cat. EDS can affect organs and joints, but in Sushi’s case, it only affects his external skin

Sushi has to wear a collar so he doesn’t scratch his itchy skin. Larissa revealed she spent £800 trying to find what was causing the cat’s skin to slouch, before coming across the story of another cat with EDS 

The loving owner, who has four cats in total, said people have mocked Sushi because of his looks. Others pity him, or are scared for him 

Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS), the skin condition that causes sensitive, loose skin in both humand and animals

Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS), refers to a group of inherited connective tissue disorders.

It was first diagnosed in humans at the turn of the 20th century. Seven major types were discovered, affecting the joints, skin and blood vessels.

In pets, the disorder has been found in sheep, cattle, mink, dogs and cats.

In dogs and cats, the condition tends to manifest as ‘stretchy’ skin which can be stretched to extreme lengths and may hang loosely in folds, particularly near joints.

The skin is very sensitive and tears easily, even if the trauma is only very small.

The animals need frequent vet visits to treat their wounds. 

Scarring is very common among animals who suffer from EDS.

The condition can be diagnosed via physical observation, and if the animal tends to tear his skin often. 

There is no cure for EDS in pets, and vets recommend the animals do no breed to avoid the spread of the disease, which is inherited. 

Vets also recommend the cats are only walked indoors and are checked regularly. 

It is also recommended cats’ claws should be blunt so they cannot  scratch themselves. 

Source: veterinary-practice.com 

Larissa said: ‘EDS affects each animal in a unique way. Sushi’s face skin is very flexible, especially his cheeks, and his arms too. It can affect organs and articulations but in Sushi’s case, it affects only his external skin.

‘The main issue is the compulsive scratching because syndrome makes his skin dry and itchy, so he often tries to scratch the fragile parts.

‘We have to be very careful or the wounds can turn into a really bad infection that takes a lot of time to get better.’

While Sushi is completely fine otherwise, leading a happy life with his three cat siblings, his appearance means some people either get shocked or scared.

She added: ‘People say he looks sad all the time. Some people get shocked or scared, some love his face at first sight and others laugh at him..’

Larissa now uses social media platforms such as Instagram to spread awareness about EDS and bust such myths. Sushi already has over 2600 followers.

‘I created Sushi’s Instagram some years before we knew about his syndrome.

‘My friends always said that he had a different face and everyone should see it. Now it is our main source to spread knowledge and awareness about EDS!’

Sushi as a younger cat, when his EDS was still developping. The more time passed, the looser his skin got 

Larissa uses Instagram to bust myths about EDS in cats and shares information about the syndrome. She said Sushi is happy as can be in spite of his skin condition 

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