UK cat fancy out of touch with the reality of the Exotic Shorthair’s lack of health

Today, in The Times, there is a photograph of Rupert, an Exotic Shorthair purebred cat who has been named by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCC F) as the Best Household Pet at a Leicester cat show; Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire. Rupert is a ginger tabby cat. He has beautiful copper eyes and the usual smushed face by which I mean a flat face or in the emerging cat fancy of India a “punch-face”.

Exotic Shorthairs are cats that are not as healthy as they should be and adopters of this breed need to be aware of this as it affects the cost and quality of caregiving
Exotic Shorthairs are cats that are not as healthy as they should be and adopters of this breed need to be aware of this as it affects the cost and quality of caregiving. Note: this cat looks like Rupert but is not Rupert as his photograph is protected by copyright. This picture is published here under license.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

And in the title to this short post, I have said that the GCCF is proving to us all that they are out of touch with the reality of this breed’s health. The Exotic Shorthair is a close relative of the Persian. In fact, they are identical cats except for the length of their fur.

And the Persian is known to be an unhealthy cat with polycystic kidney disease, breathing problems due to brachycephalic airway obstructive syndrome and so on.

To be specific, according to the Pet Health Network, the Exotic Shorthair has several inherited health problems like, sadly, many other cat breeds and these are, in this instance:

  1. Polycystic kidney disease as mentioned for the Persian.
  2. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) a very common inherited health disease in several or many purebred cats which can start as young as four months of age, which shortens the lifespan, causes a heart murmur and breathlessness when developed and so on. It’s a serious disease which affects the Bengal cat and the Maine Coon, to mention two other well-known breeds.
  3. Progressive retinal atrophy (RTA).
  4. Bladder stones.
  5. Breathing problems.
  6. Eye disorders.
  7. Tear duct overflow which is the overflow as tears as described because the channel which takes away tears from the eye is distorted because of their flat faces. This causes staining down the face which has to be removed with a special cleaning fluid called Angel Eyes.
  8. The above mentioned website also includes skin issues.

I think that you will agree this is quite a long list of inherited problems and adopters/purchasers of this cat should be fully aware of these health problems because they substantially impact caregiving. You will probably need to take out an insurance policy and with the increased price of pet care in the UK, policy premiums are bound to rise as are veterinary fees in the UK because independent veterinarians are being bought up by big corporate businesses.

You can see the problems that I’m getting at. I don’t want to be too negative; just realistic because it’s fine to be attracted to an interesting and cute looking face on a purebred cat but one needs to dig a little bit deeper sometimes and ask some realistic and practical questions.

The most important stage in adopting a cat is the moment before the adoption; figuring out how you’re going to manage high quality cat caregiving for the duration of the lifetime of the cat you wish to adopt. The Exotic Shorthair is likely to be more expensive to look after than a rescue cat from an animal shelter.

RELATED: Abandonment of Persian cats, Ragdolls, Maine Coons and Bengals have soared by up to 300% since 2018 as owners struggle with inherited health problems

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