What is the worst cat breed?

The worst cat breeds are the most popular cat breeds! Uhm..that sounds odd. So what is the worst cat breed? A lot of people are asking the question and seeking answers from Dr Google, bless him. I find the question a bit strange (and I don’t really believe in it) but I will endeavor to answer it with tongue firmly in cheek.

What criteria do you use in answering the question? You cannot base the answer upon the appearance of a particular cat breed because beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Attractiveness is entirely subjective or nearly so.

Therefore, we have to decide the worst cat breed on the basis of health and personality. As to the latter, although cat breeders like to specify that there breed has a certain personality, in truth, across the board there is little difference. There is not much to distinguish them because after all they are all domestic cats and you cannot selectively breed out of the domestic cat certain fundamental characteristics regarding personality. Also where there are differences once again the decision as to whether the personality is attractive is in the mind of the owner. It is not an absolute measure.

Modern Siamese. Photo: copyright Helmi Flick.

Modern Siamese. Photo: copyright Helmi Flick. One of the breeds with the Persian with the most genetic diseases.

With respect to inherited health, there are differences. Two of the most popular breeds, the flat-faced Persian and rat-faced Siamese both have the greatest number of inherited genetic diseases. Of these two the worst is the Siamese. Therefore, I could argue that the worst cat breed is the Siamese. I should specify that I’m referring to the modern Siamese by which I mean the super slender, elongated and rat-faced Siamese (breeders don’t use ‘modern Siamese’). Although I don’t know of any major difference between the modern Siamese and other types of Siamese cat (of which there are several) in respect of health. They may also suffer from a long list of potential inherited diseases but I doubt it. The Applehead Siamese is probably healthier.

What is the worst cat breed?

Flat-faced Persian ‘Buzz’. Photo copyright Helmi Flick.

Another criteria for deciding the worst cat breed would be intelligence. Once again all breeds will have a similar level of intelligence. In my opinion intelligence can be blunted through poor breeding by which I mean too much inbreeding. However, anecdotally the dumbest cat breeds are the Persian, Himalayan (pointed Persian) and Exotic Shorthair (shorthaired Persian). All three are of the same family.

Persian takes the award

If we take, therefore intelligence and health as two reasonable criteria for deciding upon the worst cat breed, we have to come to the conclusion that the Persian takes the award. This is surprising as the Persian has headed the most popular charts for very many years. It is still in the top five most popular cat breeds. The reason is its appearance. Overwhelmingly the most important criteria for purchasers of purebred cats is her/his appearance. Many purchasers hardly consider the cat’s inherited health, personality or intelligence.

An Alternative Method

You could select the worst cat breed from one or two of the breeds based upon genetic mutations. There are at least two of these, the Manx and the Scottish Fold which can have potentially fatal or very serious health issues because of the existence of the gene which makes these breeds outstanding. You could argue that these breeds should not exist.

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