Your data on MRCVSonline
The nature of the services provided by Vision Media means that we might obtain certain information about you.
Please read our Data Protection and Privacy Policy for details.

In addition, (with your consent) some parts of our website may store a 'cookie' in your browser for the purposes of
functionality or performance monitoring.
Click here to manage your settings.
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

Brachycephalic cats taking longer to rehome, RSPCA says
A breeder may not make new owners aware of brachycephalic health issues in an effort to improve their chance of a sale.
The rescue charity believes severe health problems cause them to be overlooked.

The RSPCA has reported that flat-faced cats are spending longer in their care than other cats, potentially due to their associated health problems.

This includes some breeds of brachycephalic cat waiting over twice as long as non-brachycephalic breeds for a suitable home, with Persian cats taking an average of 68 days to be rehomed.

Other flat-faced breeds that are following this trend include British shorthairs and Birmans, which wait 46 and 40 days to be rehomed respectively. These figures contrast with the rehoming rate of domestic shorthair and domestic semi long-haired cats, which take an average of 29 and 27 days respectively.

The RSPCA believes that this could be due to differing awareness of the health problems associated with brachycephalic breeds.

In order to responsibly rehome these cats, the rescue charity is transparent about their health problems on their adoption website. This includes informing potential owners of the cats’ breathing difficulties, eye and dental problems, and issues with sleep and grooming themselves.

However a breeder may not make new owners aware of these issues, in an effort to improve their chances of a sale.

The RSPCA believes that this could explain why so many flat-faced cats are being surrendered, but far fewer are being adopted.

These statistics have been released as part of the charity’s ‘Save Our Breath’ campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the difficulties that flat-faced cats deal with. As breeders continue to sell these breeds, the RSPCA receives more surrendered cats from owners who cannot afford the treatments associated with the breeds.

The RSPCA is asking that breeders consider the welfare of these cats, rather than breeding them for traits which are harmful to their health.

Alice Potter, a cat welfare expert at RSPCA, said: “Someone who impulse buys a kitten online because they thought their ‘flat-faced’ features are ‘cute’ is far less likely to be given information on the issues because the seller simply wants to make a profit with some kittens being sold for over £1,000 online, or they may not even know themselves.

“This means they are still increasingly popular pets and more are being bred to meet this demand – but the challenging reality of caring for them can mean they end up in rescue centres where they are sadly then often overlooked for adoption.”

RSPCA is encouraging people to write to their local MP on the issue. Their pre-written letter can be found on the Save Our Breath page.

Image © Shutterstock

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

Charities' XL bully neutering scheme closes

News Story 1
 A scheme that helped owners of XL bully dogs with the cost of neutering has closed to new applications due to high demand.

The scheme, run by the RSPCA, Blue Cross, and Battersea, has helped 1,800 dogs and their owners after XL bullies were banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

In England and Wales, owners of XL bully dogs which were over one year old on 31 January 2021 have until 30 June 2024 to get their dog neutered. If a dog was between seven months and 12 months old, it must be neutered by 31 December 2024. If it was under seven months old, owners have until 30 June 2025.

More information can be found on the Defra website. 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
Avian flu cattle outbreak spreads to tenth US state

Cattle in two dairy herds in Iowa have tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), making it the tenth state in the USA to be affected by the ongoing outbreak of the disease in cattle.

Since March 2024, more than 80 herds across the USA have been affected by the virus and three dairy workers have tested positive. Authorities have introduced measures to limit the spread of the virus and farmers have been urged to strengthen their biosecurity protocols.

Mike Naig, Iowa secretary of agriculture, said: "Given the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza within dairy cattle in many other states, it is not a surprise that we would have a case given the size of our dairy industry in Iowa.

"While lactating dairy cattle appear to recover with supportive care, we know this destructive virus continues to be deadly for poultry."