Flat Faced Persian Cat
Flat Faced Persian Cat - "Ultra Type" - photo Stockxpert
The flat faced Persian cat should follow the way of the Pekingese dog. Flat faces without a muzzle on Pekingese dogs are no longer acceptable in the UK as the Kennel Club has (under pressure) changed the breed standard for this dog and for 208 other breeds of dog, to focus on health over appearance. The Pekingese suffers breathing problems as a result of the flat face. This change has been a long time coming and it has only happened because a BBC program, highlighting the negative health effects of inbreeding (encouraged by breed standards) led to sponsors of the world's biggest dog show, Crufts, pulling out. The show's survival was in grave jeopardy. Something had to be done.
The great British Bulldog will also change in appearance. The squat cobby and rotund appearance and frankly strange face will give way to a healthier more normal appearance. I know the appearance will be less "interesting" but it will promote health and that trumps everything.
Show judges are, it seems, being encouraged (retrained?) to grant awards to only the healthiest and best adjusted dogs and to disqualify unhealthy ones. These are big changes which will be hard for some to digest.
The same changes should take place in relation to the Persian cat. The same or similar health problems to the Pekingese exist due to the over bred flat face of Persian cats (modern cats, not the traditional Persians). The underlying breed standard at the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) says that "type" (appearance) should not interfere negatively with health yet it does in the Persian and it is encouraged.
The CFA should take the lead from the Kennel Club, the oldest dog club in the world who have had a wake up call and reluctantly "repositioned" themselves. The CFA is long established too. But I argue that they are too set in the ways and it is time for change. The flat faced Persian should be bred out of existence over time. This will be traumatic for many breeders but if it is done gently and slowly it will be easier to adjust. The flat faced Persian is simply the product of an over zealous desire for outstanding type over health. The product of self interest over the cat's interest.