Cat or Dog? Only His Groomer Knows For Sure.

Mary Simpson
by Mary Simpson
Is he or isn’t he? Only his groomer knows for sure… which is a good thing, because his groomer happens to be his mom.

With all that hair, we can’t tell if this adorable furball is a cat or a dog. And we’re not the only ones scratching our heads.

Yes, this wild-haired Quebecois house-pet named Atchoum (sneezy in French) is generating a lot of buzz on social media due to his rather unwieldy tresses. While pet parent Nathalie says he has had a web presence since he was just a wee fur-ball, a recent tweet resurrected interest in the scruffy looking critter and raised the question of just what Atchoum is – a dog or a cat?

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Truth is, he’s a 2 year old Persian diagnosed with a rare condition known as hypertrichosis – or “werewolf syndrome”. The result is extreme hair growth, thicker than normal claws and one helluva photo op each time this amber-eyed feline decides to strike a pose.

Yep, I can certainly see that a full moon might bring out the beast in this gentle boy but Nathalie (did I mention his mom is a pet groomer) confirms the fierce looking feline is just a putty-tat when it comes time to brush out the heavy locks.

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While there are reported cases of hypertrichosis in humans – think Barnum & Bailey circus’ bearded lady – Atchoum is the only cat known to have the condition and as a result he’s regularly monitored by his vet to watch for any health issues that might crop up. I’m assuming over and above some pretty wicked hairballs.

And because his unique appearance can garner some unwanted attention and mean-spirited comments, he has partnered with fellow celebrated Canadian feline Oreo, to tackle the subject of school bullying. The fully illustrated children’s book Atchoum and Oreo – First Day of School talks to friendship, kindness and what makes each of us special and unique.

Beyond his literary achievements, this hairy handful has his own website, has received a nod in Wikipedia, has his own Facebook page with more than 63,000 fan “likes” as well as an Instagram account.

Mary Simpson
Mary Simpson

Sharing space with three seriously judgy Schnoodles and two felines who prefer to be left alone. #LivingMyBestLife

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