Shop the DNA test chosen by 4 million+ pet parents

Shop Now

Acute Intermittent Porphyria (Variant 3)

Acute Intermittent Porphyria (AIP) is caused by faulty enzyme activity and results in brownish discoloration of the teeth and urine in affected cats.

Key Signs

Brownish teeth, Brownish urine, Anemia, Renal disease

Age of Onset

1 to 4 yrs

Junior to adult onset


Autosomal Dominant

For autosomal dominant disorders, cats with one or two copies of the disease variant are at risk of developing the condition. Inheriting two copies of the risk variant may make the risk higher or the condition more severe. They may produce kittens affected with the disorder if bred.

Likelihood of the Condition

Moderate-high likelihood

At risk cats are likely to show signs of this disease in their lifetime.

What to Do

Here’s how to care for a cat with AIP

Partner with your veterinarian to make a plan regarding your cat’s well-being, including any insights provided through genetic testing. If your pet is at risk or is showing signs of this disorder, then the first step is to speak with your veterinarian.

For Veterinarians

Here’s what a vet needs to know about AIP

Acute Intermittent Porphyria (AIP) is a hereditary disorder caused by the decreased activity of the hydroxymethylbilane synthase enzyme needed in the formation and excretion of porphyrins. Porphyrins, in combination with iron, form heme which then combines with other substances to make material that is essential for the normal function of cells. This decreased enzymatic activity leads to accumulation of its substrates in various tissues. Clinical signs are characterized by the brownish discoloration of the teeth and brownish urine. While these discolorations may be the only clinical signs for some, other affected cats develop more severe symptoms, including lethargy, anorexia, anemia, decreased hemoglobin, decreased iron, renal disease, and enlargement of the spleen and liver. Fluorescence of the bones and teeth is a specific diagnostic feature seen in affected cats. Various causative mutations for the disease have been found in cats, with this particular form of porphyria inherited in an autosomal dominant manner.

As there is no cure for this disease, therapy is limited to supportive care dictated by the severity of the clinical signs. Although described in other species, a propensity towards photosensitivity remains questionable in cats with this disorder. Owners may consider limiting exposure to sunlight in affected individuals.

For Breeders

Planning to breed a cat with this genetic variant?

There are many responsibilities to consider when breeding cats. Regardless of test results it is important that your cat is in good general health and that you are in a position to care for the kittens if new responsible owners are not found. For first time or novice breeders, advice can be found at most cat registry websites.

This disease is autosomal dominant meaning that one copy of the mutation is needed for disease signs to occur. Use of cats with one or two copies of the disease mutation is not recommended, as there is a risk that the resulting litter will contain affected kittens. For example if a cat with one copy of the AIP mutation is bred with a clear cat with no copies of the AIP mutation, about half of the kittens will have one copy and half will have no copies of the AIP mutation. Please note: It is possible that disease signs similar to the ones caused by the AIP mutation could develop due to a different genetic or clinical cause.

Technical Details

Variant Insertion
Chromosome D1
Coordinate 16,541,469

All coordinates reference FelCat9.0

References & Credit

Credit to our scientific colleagues:

Clavero, S., Bishop, D. F., Haskins, M. E., Giger, U., Kauppinen, R., & Desnick, R. J. (2009). Feline acute intermittent porphyria: A phenocopy masquerading as an erythropoietic porphyria due to dominant and recessive hydroxymethylbilane synthase mutations. Human Molecular Genetics, 19(4), 584–596. View the article