There is mounting evidence to show that flat faced cats have serious health issues according to International Cat Care (ICC).
Earlier this year, Vet Practice posted a news story reporting on the issue of health problems in flat faced or brachycephalic dogs, the subject of a public awareness campaign by RSPCA called Love is Blind.
It turns out that dogs aren’t unique in this regard. Flat faced cats such as Persians or exotic shorthairs are also susceptible to breathing and dental problems, skin fold infections and problems giving birth—all leading to lifelong suffering as a direct result of having been ‘designed’ to have a very flat face.
In a study last year, researchers at the University of Edinburgh concluded that flatter-faced cats were more likely to have breathing problems, and that the breathing difficulties were also associated with increased tear staining and a more sedentary lifestyle.
Unfortunately, cats with flat faces are becoming more and more popular, due to their large or prominent eyes which many consider are ‘cute’ because they look baby-like, and their up-turned or down-turned mouth, which makes the animal look, comically, like it’s either smiling or scowling.
“It is very depressing to see the life which has been deliberately dealt with some breeds of cats because of a human desire to develop a certain look,” said Claire Bessant, chief executive of ICC.
“I urge cat lovers to speak out and help others to understand that this is not something we should be doing to cats, and not something we should be tolerating. One of the best and most beautifully naturally designed animals—the cat—would not normally have any of these problems; we have created them through selective breeding.”