Hereditary greasy seborrhoea

Hereditary greasy seborrhhoea is an hereditary skin disease of cats.

This autosomal recessive condition has been described in Persian, Himalayan and Exotic shorthair breeds in North America[1].

There appears to be no sec predilection with this disease, which often manifests from 2-3 months of age. In affected cats, there is a greasy, matted appearance to coat with keratosebaceous deposits on the skin and covering hairs. Often there is an associated alopecia which sometimes progresses over the skin. Concurrent otitis externa is frequently observed[2].

Diagnosis is based on clinical symptoms supported by histological findings of orthokeratotic hyperkeratosis, papillomatosis and mild perivascular dermatitis. This disease needs to be distinguished from dermatophytic pseudo-mycetome, Cheyletiella sppMicrosporum spp and Malassezia spp infections and Cushing’s syndrome[3]. In humans, there appears to be an intimate relationship with Malassezia spp infection but this has yet to be determined in cats[4].

Miconazole/chlorhexidine shampoo may be affective at managing this condition in the short term, but the long-term prognosis is usually poor. In severe cases, removal of entire coat by clipping may alleviate the disease together with broad-spectrum antimicrobials.

Due to the heritable nature of this condition, sterilization of affected cats is mandatory and euthanasia is a common endpoint of therapy.



  1. ↑ Guaguere, E & Prelaud, P (2000) A practical guide to feline dermatology. Merial, France, pp:16.1
  2. ↑ Paradis, M & Scott, DW. Feline Practiose 18:17-20
  3. ↑ Ahman SE & Bergström KE (2009) Cutaneous carriage of Malassezia species in healthy and seborrhoeic Sphynx cats and a comparison to carriage in Devon Rex cats. J Feline Med Surg 11(12):970-976
  4. ↑ Faergemann J (2000) Management of seborrheic dermatitis and pityriasis versicolor. Am J Clin Dermatol 1(2):75-80

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