Cat Breed Mistakes

I list what I consider to be cat breed mistakes by which I mean cat breeds or developments that should not have got off the drawing board. Strictly speaking these breeds should not exist but this is a personal view. Many people disagree and I accept that. I focus on high profile examples. There are many others which are almost unheard of. The CFA accepts about 40 breeds yet there are 104 cat breeds at least.

Flat-faced Persian
Flat-faced Persian
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

There is one famous cat breed which is considered a mistake by the world’s most famous cat association, the CFA, but I am ambivalent about it. The breed is the Bengal. It is a breed that the CFA rejects steadfastly. They reject all wild cat hybrids. They appear to be out of step with the rest of the cat fancy and most cat owners. But perhaps the CFA is correct.  The association does not explain itself in their policy statement:

[The CFA]….does not encourage or promote the breeding of non-domestic (wild) cats of any species to any domesticated cats

I will presume the reason is based on conservation of the wild cats. Technically it is against conservation in my view although one purpose of the breed it is to promote conservation. Strange.

CFA registration of the Bengal cat might help to control backyard breeders. However, I doubt it would because cat associations don’t really have any authority over breeders.

Breeding cats because they have an anomaly is wrong and the practice should concern true cat lovers. Cats lovers like naturalness and anatomically complete cats; normal cats.

Cat breeds with curly coats (‘rexed coats’) are long established and have originated from genetic mutations both in the USA and the UK. The British rex cats are the Cornish and Devon Rexes. In the US there is the LaPerm and American Wirehair and in Germany the German Rex. The Cornish Rex has some insulating down hair so could legitimately go outside but other rex cat breeds don’t have sufficient to be protected. It is not sensible or fair to let these cats outside, which for some people might seem unfair. Also the whiskers are affected. They are brittle or non-existant. The cat has lost an important part of their anatomy. This is also unfair and ethically doubtful.

The famous Persian has a multitude of deficiencies. I am constantly surprised at the breed’s continued but waning popularity. I am referring to the modern version not the doll face, traditional Persian.

The very long down hair of the Persian causes matting unless the owner constantly brushes her cat. The Persian is a cat that needs the intervention of the owner for routine maintenance. This is wrong because cats are excellent at self-maintenance.

We all know about the Persian’s unnaturally flat face, which all sensitive cat lovers find unacceptable. It causes tears to run down the face rather than through the drainage hole into the nose. The tears stain the face and can cause skin irritation. The cat’s nostrils are so tight the cat has trouble breathing properly.

The eyes are too prominent. They cannot be covered properly by tears. They can become inflammed. Teeth can be misaligned and as mentioned the cat can’t groom himself properly.

The Persian cat is an example of how the cat fancy can turn a beautiful cat with superb anatomy into a disaster all for the sake of an appearance that for some peculiar reason someone in authority at the CFA actually likes. I could never understand it.

This sort of unhealthy breeding is firmly against the CFA’s guidelines/policy yet they have accepted it for many decades. The Exotic Shorthair is the shorthaired version of the Persian. It avoids the coat problems but retains the others. These problems are just the ones you can see. There are substantial health problems too associated with the Persian.

Naked cats are increasingly popular and there are more of them around than just the Sphynx. It is quite a big loss to a cat to have no coat. A cat with no coat cannot lead an entirely normal life. There will be restrictions to going outside. All cat breeds should be able to enjoy normal lives.

The cute Scottish Fold is not so cute when it comes to the negative aspects of the gene that gives it its cute appearance. The Scottish Fold is controversial. The negative aspects on health are too severe. The breed is a mistake, although the CFA finds the breed acceptable.

The CFA and other associations reject the dwarf cats of which there are many varieties. There are some potential health issues associated with the gene that creates the short legs. After many years of being on the fringes of the cat fancy without being truly accepted it is probably time for the Dwarf Cat Association and its members to pack up and close the shop. Dwarf cats are a mistake but interestingly they are still popular and I am sure they still sell. It is the cuteness factor again.

Breed registries (cat associations) should only accept inherently health cats for registration.

The Ojos Azules has always totally mystified me as a cat breed. It is a random breed cat with blue eyes essentially so I can’t see the point of it.

The American Burmese has been breed badly causing cranium problems. The American version of the Burmese is a mistake.

The Siamese cat as a family of cat breeds has become a mistake. There are too many in the family and the introduction of the Thai only confused matters further rather than cleared it up, which was its intention. The overly-developed, elongated, modern incarnation of the Siamese is as far removed from the real thing as the Persian is from its roots. Both are cat fancy mistakes.

One anomaly that could be described as natural and benign is the bobtail. This mutation occurs a lot and a number of cat breeds have been created because of it. We can’t say that these breed are mistakes. Even the bobtailed Siamese, the Mekong Bobtail is more natural than the modern Siamese endorsed by the CFA.

10 thoughts on “Cat Breed Mistakes”

  1. Michael, having attended cat shows in Mumbai where the weather is humid and warm through most months of the year i was surprised to see the popularity of “Ultra Face Persian” cats in Mumbai city.Wealthy cat owners in Mumbai mostly keep these cats under artificial air-condition climate controlled conditions and hence they are maintained in condition and beautiful.In fact i was surprised that “Ultra Face Persian” cats could be bred with beautiful coats in Mumbai.Most of the cats at the shows were the traditional Persian cats which do get acclimatized to Mumbai weather without a A/c as are my two cats.Surprisingly long haired cats are more in numbers at the Cat shows in India rather than the smooth coated breeds.

    • Hi Rudolph. Great to hear from you. I think the popularity of the Persian in India is because the cat fancy in India is in its infancy and the Persian is perhaps the best know purebred cat after the Siamese. Therefore the Persian was chosen as a cat to breed for people desiring a purebred cat. As you imply, in India, a short-haired cat would be more suitable.

  2. I like cats
    I like them a lot
    I do not want cats to suffer because of their breed
    Cats are super cute and they all deserve to live happy long lives
    This has been a message from a warrior cats fan

  3. Rex fur is a natural mutation and one which would have quickly died out long before a breed was established if the cats were unable to cope with the British climate.

    My friend has a 10 year old Devon Rex. He’s allowed to go outside a couple of times a day if he wants to during warmer weather. He’s an ex-stud cat and she did initially keep him indoors, but one day he sneaked out and was gone for a week. He turned up on her doorstep one morning, hungry, but none the worse for wear. He started showing an interest in going out, so she decided to let him. He’s never out for long and stays close to home, so the arrangement works well for both of them. He’s happy being able to do natural cat things and is totally unaware that humans have decided his looks and heritage make him rare and expensive (lol).

    • I am not sure what you say in the first para is correct. I don’t know how long the Devon Rex existed for as a random bred free-roaming cat before it was picked up by breeders and turned into a breed. Perhaps it was a short time. Also perhaps the original Devon Rex (as discovered) did not have the quite sort of coat we see on purebred cats. It may have been denser. I don’t know. Just speculating. Breeders do accentuate anomalies in breeds.

  4. I’m pretty much in agreement with your entire list Michael. Many of those breeds suffer terrible congential health problems. Although reputable breeders health screen their cats where tests are available, not everyone does. Nor is it possible to test for everything.

    Siamese, Persian and Exotics often require caesarean sections. The wide head of their kittens means giving birth naturally can be difficult or even dangerous.

    I recently learned that PetPlan insurance withdraw cover for ‘Death from Illness’ for certain breeds of cat after their 5th birthday. (Moggies are covered till their 10th birthday) Unfortunately I don’t know which breeds, but I find that clause rather worrying. PetPlan have access to vast amounts of data regarding the health of our pets, so for them to put in such a clause means some breeds are dying much younger than one might expect.

    • Agreed, that breeders do their best to avoid these defects (or most of them do) with careful breeding but that doesn’t change the principle of the argument that an anomaly that is unhelpful or detrimental to survival and natural behavior forms the basis of the breed. This concept is a mistake. It is born out of a reckless desire to create a new breed at any cost.

  5. The point of this post is well-taken, but none of my cats can expect to ever go out of the house. I don’t have the stress level necessary to endure worrying about what they might catch, what might catch them or if they will come home. I have great issues with breeders as my rescued Sphynx would have been killed by the breeder for having a congenital eye fault. Sure she requires a lot of human intervention, but having had her for 5 years she would have never seen without rescue by the vet who delivered her, I have to say I sort of enjoy her “true to breed” personal traits.


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