Are there Animals With Down Syndrome? Examples that went Viral!

Don’t we all just adore animals? We can not understand their language but one way or another, we understand everything they are trying to tell us. 

Animals are also living creatures like us humans, which is why it is completely normal for them to have traits, diseases, and disorders like we have. 

People have been very interested in knowing if animals have down syndrome. There are many pictures over the internet of some animals who have attributes of down syndrome. You will be surprised to know that these animals have a social media fan following!

This article has all the information about the animals that have attributes of down syndrome and what is the real reason behind it. 

What is a Down Syndrome Disorder? 

There are chromosomes in our body which have all the genetic information. Our DNA makes up the chromosomes which is derived from the genetics of our parents. 

Down syndrome is a condition in which a person has an extra chromosome 21 in the body. It is a genetic disorder. 

Normally, humans are born with 23 pairs of chromosomes. Half of these come from the mother and the other half comes from the father. 

So, what the extra 21st chromosome does is that it effects the development of the person. The development flaws are seen physically in a person who has down syndrome.

They include small upward slanted eyes, a flat face, and weaker muscles. It is not necessary that a down syndrome person will have all these features, he could have one of these and he could also have all of these. 

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If we talk about statistics, one in every 700 babies has a down syndrome disorder in the United States. The reason why this extra chromosome appears during pregnancy is not known for a fact. 

Researches have analysed that down syndrome is somehow connected to the maternal age. It is found that women under the age of 35 have a lesser chance of giving birth to a baby with down syndrome.

A woman who is 40 and above has a high risk of giving birth to a baby with down syndrome. There is still no proper evidence for this because 80% of babies born are born to women who are under the age of 35. 

Do Animals Have Down Syndrome?

A direct answer to this is No, animals do not have down syndrome. But, they do have a chromosome disorder which is mistaken by people as down syndrome. 

As previously mentioned, animals can also get disorders like humans do but the game of genetics is entirely different. The chromosomal structure of animals is different from that of humans. Even if an animal has an extra chromosome, the effect would be different on him than on a human. 

For example, cats only have 19 pairs of chromosomes so if one of the cats has an extra chromosome 20, it would have a distinctive impact on him.

Therefore, one should not get confused between down syndrome and other chromosomal disorders. 

Social media has taken some animals and regarded them as animals with down syndrome when they have other disorders. However, associating other disorders with down syndrome is just not right and is not ethical as well! 

Animals Have Chromosomal Abnormalities

There are animals that have chromosomal abnormalities and people associate them with down syndrome. The only time a case came the closest to being a down syndrome was the case of apes. 

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Us humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes while apes have 24 pairs. When in down syndrome there is a presence of an extra chromosome 21, many apes are said to be born with an extra chromosome 22.

As of 2017, a chimpanzee had an additional chromosome and showed signs of a down syndrome. These signs included development deformities and heart problems. 

It was concluded by scientists that although these signs are like the ones in down syndrome but it can not be labelled as a down syndrome just because there is an extra chromosome pair. 

Viral Social Media Animals With Down Syndrome 

1. Kenny (The Tiger)

Kenny is one of the famous internet animals that has attributes of down syndrome. What Kenny really has is a deformation caused through inbreeding. 

Kenny is a white tiger which are very rare in today’s time. They are known for their amazing fur which is why there is forced reproduction of white tigers. 

This is where inbreeding comes into action in order to stop the white tigers from going extinct. 

People think that he is a syndrome animal because of his facial appearance. Social media thinks he looks cute which has brought him a lot of sympathy and popularity. 

Since the process of reproducing the rare species has been banned by the authorities, now inbreeding will not cause further abnormalities in animals. 

2. Monty (The Cat) 

“Monty the cat” by Etnytnavn is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

Monty is also one of the hyped animals of social media. All of its fan following think that he is a victim of down syndrome which is false news.

The owners of the cat adopted him from a shelter when he was three years of age. They created his social media accounts to gain popularity. 

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Monty now has more than 400K followers on Facebook.

The cat has a problem with its facial features and that is how people associate the irregularity with down syndrome. 

He has a depressed nasal extension due to a chromosome irregularity. He was born without the nasal scaffold bone which actually makes his face look adorable! But in reality, it is a genetic defect. 

3. Lil Bub (The Cat) 

Lil Bub is also a cat with abnormality that became famous on the web as a down syndrome cat. Her stardom did not stay just on the web, she was made to appear on many TV shows as well. 

Some of the most renowned shows that she appeared on included the Today show, The View, and her own special show called Lil’ Bub and Friendz. 

This cat lived her life with a genetic mutation, which included having extra toes. She also suffered from feline dwarfism which caused her tongue to always stay out of the mouth. 

Unfortunately, Lil Bub passed away in December 2019. At the time of her death, she was suffering from an aggressive bone infection.

Cats with their tongues out is something that people adore and think they look cute. This is what made Lil Bub an internet sensation in such a little time. 


The bottom line is that animals do not have down syndrome. They suffer from chromosomal abnormality and irregularities which is why there are genetic problems in the development of some animals. 

Everything you see on social media is not true. People gain sympathy and popularity using these animals with deformities.

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