Instagram | @atchoumthecat

Cat With 'Werewolf Syndrome' Looks Like He's Straight Out Of Jim Henson's Workshop

Amy Pilkington 9 Feb 2020

I've featured a lot of cats in a lot of articles and yet every time I stumble upon a new (or new-to-me) kitty with a distinctive feature, it becomes my new favorite.

I can't help it. Sure, if they're all special, then nobody is special, but I don't care. They are all my favorite.

And right now, this cat named Atchoum is my life.

Instagram | @atchoumthecat

In my defence, I was a child that watched The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth on repeat, and The Muppet Christmas Carol is my favorite Christmas movie.

So the fact that this kitty looks straight out of the Jim Henson Creature Workshop gives him an edge in the battle for my heart.

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I mean, seriously, how is this cat real and not wandering the world of Thra alongside his Fizzgig friend?

Instagram | @atchoumthecat

Even his name sounds like a Brian Froud creation!

"Atchoum" is french onomatopoeia for the sound made when a person sneezes. So his name is basically "Achoo". (Gesundheit!)

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It's a little easier to believe he's real when you see him sprawled across a keyboard like an average cat.

Still, Atchoum clearly isn't your average Persian cat. He has hypertrichosis, commonly called "werewolf syndrome", which causes excessive hair growth due to hormones. Currently, he's the only known feline with the disorder.

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Besides causing his fur to grow continuously (and quickly), the congenital disorder gave him tiny teeth and enlarged claws.

Instagram | @atchoumthecat

In fact, his claws were growing so thickly and rapidly that it was unsafe for both humans and furniture, as well as the bones of his paws. Sadly, his vet was forced to declaw him to prevent further damage.

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Atchoum's disorder wasn't discovered until after he was adopted, but luckily, his human is a pet groomer by trade.

Instagram | @atchoumthecat

This saves the increased expense of keeping the thicker, longer hairs around his head from becoming overgrown and matted, though she keeps them long enough to maintain his "mad scientist look".

Which, I fully support.

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Still not entirely convinced that he isn't a Muppet, though.

If you'd like to follow Atchoum's adventures, be sure to check out his website for more info or head over to Instagram @atchoumthecat.

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