Cookie use on MRCVSonline
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
Send Cancel

BVA puts the spotlight on brachycephalic cats
Pet owners are being urged to avoid choosing pedigree cats with extreme or unusual features.
Pet owners urged to avoid pedigrees with extreme features

On a day when cats are being celebrated the world over, the BVA and International Cat Care are putting the spotlight on some of the health and welfare problems faced by brachycephalic breeds.

Figures published to mark International Cat Day (8 August) show that 28 per cent of brachycephalic cats seen by vets have had or would benefit from having treatment for conformation-related health or welfare problems.

They also show that just a quarter of brachycephalic cat owners are mindful of the issues, and only one in 20 were aware of the additional costs associated with the breeds before choosing their pet.

A survey of companion animal vets last year found that the most common confirmation-related treatments carried out for Persians and exotic shorthairs were for:

    •    Eye problems - 69 per cent
    •    Respiratory problems - 60 per cent
    •    Dental issues - 45 per cent
    •    Skin problems - 32 per cent

BVA and International Cat Care are now calling on pet owners to avoid choosing pedigree cats with extreme or unusual features.

“Everyone knows that the internet loves cat photos and videos. But as time passes we’ve noticed a growing appetite for novelty creeping in - with quirky and unusual cat breeds proving increasingly popular on social media,” said BVA senior vice president Gudrun Ravetz.

“Currently the UK population of pure breed cats is very small as most cat owners opt for regular non-pedigree ‘moggies’. However, we are worried that the popularity on the internet of breeds with extreme conformation, such as the very flat-faced Persians and Exotic Shorthairs, or gene abnormalities such as cause the ears to bend forward in the Scottish Fold breed, may prompt increased demand among consumers who are unaware of the potential serious health and welfare issues associated with such breeding.”

She continued: “These figures show that many, many owners are choosing pets without understanding either the possible welfare implications of their extreme features or the potential cost of treating them.”

Claire Bessant, chief executive of International Cat Care added:  “No owner wants to think that the cat which they love is suffering and that the person who bred and marketed the breed did not have its best welfare at heart.  However, the reality is that, in the complex world of human needs and wants, the welfare of the cat is not always prioritised.

“We have the evidence for problems in these breeds and vets have ways to help owners to care for them.  The important thing is to recognise the problems and not perpetuate them. People buying cats can make a difference if they are aware of the issues and vote with their buying power and for cat welfare.” 

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

Nominations for 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards now open

News Story 1
 People across the UK are being urged to nominate a standout animal champion for the 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards.

The awards recognise those who have worked tirelessly to improve animal welfare, campaigned on behalf of animals, or shown true bravery. Previous winners include comedian John Bishop, who was awarded Celebrity Animal Champion of the Year, and 11-year-old Lobby Cantwell, who raised more than £1,000 for the charity through mountain climbs and bike rides.

To submit a nomination or find out more about the awards visit the RSPCA website. Nominations will remain open until 4 pm on Friday, March 15.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
New £1m project to investigate dairy cow lameness

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) is leading a new £1 million research project to investigate the causes of lameness in dairy cows.

One in three dairy cows are affected by lameness every day in the UK, costing the industry an estimated £250 milion annually.

The project will take three years to complete and is due to finish by November 2021.

Professor Georgios Banos of SRUC commented: “In addition to pain and discomfort to the animal, lameness is associated with decreased milk production and inflated farm costs.

“Among cows raised in the same environment, some become lame while others do not. Understanding the reasons behind this will help us develop targeted preventive practices contributing to enhanced animal welfare and farm profitability.”