HomeCat FancyCat BreedingUK crackdown on breeding cats with genetic defects

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UK crackdown on breeding cats with genetic defects — 3 Comments

  1. As a rescuer of cats for the past 30+ years, I don’t come in contact with many purebred cats, but am aware that trends in breeding cats for extremes of type, most notably with the flat-faced Persian, can be very detrimental to the health of such cats and have always been rather sickened that breeders would bring cats into this world so afflicted for the sake of $$$. If ALL cats that resulted from trying to perpetuate an endearing genetic mutation had accompanying health problems that resulted in suffering, it would be a no brainer that such breeding be eliminated, but some, perhaps many, of the resulting progeny seem to be OK and live ordinary lives. I have never had a cat with Munchkin breeding, and only one who was a Scottish Fold who came to me pregnant from a high-kill shelter and produced six adorable, lovable healthy kittens, four of whom had the folded ears. As she had (seal)pointed coloring, which I understand is not recognized by the SF registry, it is doubtful she was a purebred. I also understand that the folded ear is a recessive trait and not all kittens in a litter will have it. Is the cartilage-producing defect definitively linked to the folded ear, and will ALL cats with folded ears have that defect?? What about those in a SF litter born without the folded ear?? Is it the majority of those bred who are destined to have devastating health problems or a lower percentage? If arthritis is the worst result, many ordinary cats develop arthritis as they age, as well, and it can be treated more of less. I have athritis, as do MANY human beings, and there are definitely worse things to be afflicted with. (There are probably a LOT of humans who should not be breeding, as well.) Unfortunately it does not seem to be a B&W issue. How do you decide which side-effect of breeding one way or another constitutes debilitating suffering in the progeny? I have spent most of my life trying to prevent cats from breeding indiscriminately through TNR and and producing kittens more or less destined to die. While most randomly bred cats have few mutations, there are notable examples like Lil’ Bub who despite her shortcomings is adored and celebrated, or the original SF momcat in Ireland. Breeders of purebred cats are a thorn in the issue, who create kittens for the sake of profit which often perpetuates inherent weaknesses in their breeds. The same goes for breeders of purebred dogs. Some breeders are more responsible than others in culling undesirable traits from their bloodlines. I have mixed feelings about how this issue could be fairly regulated for the benefit of the cats in question. My little Scottish Fold girl Yasmin was quite the lovable diva and her kittens were so easy to find adoptive homes for. (She was, of course, spayed after the kittens were weaned.) She was very healthy and I would never wish she had not been born and come into my care. I would like to know more about the “breeds” involved and the magnitude/liklihood of the debilitating side-effects before I could say I supported such a ban. Do the breeders of these cats inform the potential buyers of possible side-effects and likely health problems?? Perhaps if such a disclaimer were required it would discourage buyers from choosing that breed of cat and according to Supply/Demand the market for potentially “defective” pets would be reduced.

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