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This fact sheet provides information about Cri du chat Syndrome, its frequency, its signs and symptoms and treatment options.

Cri du chat Syndrome title

Cri du chat syndrome is a genetic condition, and is sometimes referred to as 5p- (5p minus) syndrome or cat’s cry syndrome. It is characterised by a high-pitched cry, intellectual disability, and delayed development. The cause of cri du chat syndrome is a problem with a gene on chromosome 5.


The exact incidence of cri du chat syndrome is not known, it is estimated to be approximately 1 in 20, 000 to 50, 000 newborns

Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms in a newborn:

  • Intellectual disability
  • Delayed development
  • Small head size
  • Wide spaced eyes
  • Low birth weight
  • Weak muscle tone in infancy
  • High pitched cry due to abnormal development of the larynx

Medical problems associated with cri du chat syndrome:

  • Difficulties feeding
  • Gastric reflux
  • Constipation
  • Increased infections, such as upper respiratory tract infections
  • Eye problems, such as a squint (strabismus)

Less frequent problems associated with cri du chat syndrome

  • Hearing loss
  • Skeletal deformities
  • Hernias
  • Heart and kidney issues



There is no specific treatment for cri du chat syndrome. Some areas of management include:

  • Physical therapy to improve muscle tone
  • Speech and communication therapy
  • Occupational therapy to help with coping strategies and new skills



Cri Du Chat Syndrome. (2019). Retrieved from



Cri Du Chat Syndrome. (2019). Retrieved from



Cri Du Chat Syndrome. (2019). Retrieved from