Moderate to severe intellectual disability is present in most cases.

Speech development is especially delayed in children with cri du chat syndrome.

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Affected children also have a higher risk of ear infections and hearing loss.

Approximately 15-20 percent of affected infants have congenital heart defects.

A variety of additional findings may occur in association with cri du chat syndrome.

Abnormal side-to-side curvature of the spine (scoliosis) is a frequent complication.

The cry, which resembles the mewing of a cat, becomes less pronounced as affected infants grow older.

Affected infants may also display low birth weight, growth deficiencies, diminished muscle tone (hypotonia), and microcephaly, a condition that indicates that head circumference is smaller than would be expected for an infant’s age and sex.

Affected children usually understand speech better than they can communicate.

Some children may display hyperactivity or self-abusive behaviors.

Some are also at risk for aspiration which can lead to pneumonias.

In one study, only 50% of children with cri du chat syndrome were able to feed themselves with a spoon by 3.5 years of age.

The most common heart defect is patent ductus arteriosus, a condition in which the passage (ductus) between the blood vessel that leads to the lungs (pulmonary artery) and the major artery of the body (aorta) fails to close after birth.