Love is Blind – how popularity is making these cute cats suffer
Jimmy was a very special cat when he began his life. Jimmy, a Persian-like purebred exotic cat with short hair, was brought to New Zealand as a kitten from northern Europe. He was intended to be used for breeding.
Jimmy, like other exotic shorthaired cats, was bred primarily for his looks at the expense of his health. Jimmy’s flat face, a hallmark of exotic shorthair cats, caused him to suffer from exercise intolerance. This is common for brachycephalic (flat-faced) breeds, which can also have dental problems, jaw issues, and narrowed lungs.
His eyes were often irritated and watery due to severe conjunctivitis. This is a common problem for brachycephalics who have issues with their tear ducts.
Jimmy was finally brought to the vet when he was six years old. He had suffered three urethral blocks in a month due to a feline lower urinal tract disease. His owner could not afford to pay for his surgery. He had already spent thousands on bringing him to New Zealand and thousands more on vet treatment.
Jimmy was lucky that his vet fell for him, offered to adopt him, and continued his treatment. Jimmy now lives with his vet, who knows about the health problems that are common to his breed. He can give him the extra attention that he requires.
Unfortunately, there are still many cats that suffer because they have been bred with exaggerated characteristics which compromise their health.
Brachycephalic cat breeders are in high demand, but their cats suffer because of their appearance.
The flat faces of brachycephalic cats are appealing to many cat owners. However, the breeding of these felines over the years has resulted in exaggerated features which have a significant impact on their health.
These cats have flat faces due to changes in their respiratory tracts, including narrowed airways and nostrils, as well as a longer soft palate than normal, making it more difficult for them to breathe. These cats can have difficulty breathing normally, which makes it difficult to exercise.
They can also suffer from problems with their tear glands, which can cause inflammation in their eyes or other eye issues like conjunctivitis. Their jaws can be too small to accommodate their teeth, causing dental problems.
What can we do to help cats like Jimmy?
People love cats, but sometimes, that love closes our eyes to how these breeds suffer in order to appear a certain way.
To protect the health and well-being of cats, we must encourage breeders to stop breeding cats with exaggerated facial features, such as extremely flat faces.
It’s vital to consult your veterinarian as soon as you can if you decide to buy a cat of this breed. As your cat gets older, you’ll have to prepare for expensive treatment.