The breeding of a pedigree cat, favoured by celebrities together with Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift, ought to be banned says an animal charity over considerations for its long-term well being.
With their big eyes and misshapen shortened ears, the recognition of Scottish Folds has elevated dramatically within the final 12 months maybe because of their virtually cartoon-like look and new-found web fame.
Cartilage points are behind the distinctive look of Scotting Folds, say animal specialists. Picture: Inventory picture.
However welfare charity Cats Safety says the breed suffers from quite a few well being issues because of the genetic dysfunction which is behind its distinctive look.
Whereas A-listers together with singers Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift typically share pictures on social media of their beloved feline buddies – with the UK chart-topper even having arrange an Instagram account known as The Wibbles for his – Scottish Folds have additionally turn into more and more widespread with different pet house owners within the final yr as cat lovers look to purchase pedigree breeds.
Cats Safety’s 2022 report says that 38% of felines purchased within the final 12 months have been pedigrees because the pattern to ‘store’ moderately than rehome continues – whereas Scottish Folds are estimated to now quantity round 110,000.
Regardless of being principally unknown a yr in the past, with only a few numbers in a position to be counted, their recognition has soared to now make up virtually one p.c of the UK’s cat inhabitants, provides the charity.
Writing within the annual report, Cats Safety veterinary officer Dr Sarah Elliott defined: “Potential cat house owners seem motivated to hunt out pedigree cats, typically with uncommon and strange bodily traits. This has little doubt been fuelled by the optimistic social media consideration these cats typically take pleasure in.
“The impact of breed-related well being issues has obtained widespread publicity within the canine world however many cat lovers stay largely unaware of comparable issues in feline breeds.
“One instance is the Scottish Fold, a breed that has grown in recognition in recent times. These cats endure from a genetic mutation that’s recognized to trigger important painful illness on account of extreme abnormalities of the bone cartilage.”
Ed Sheeran has given his cats their very own instagram account known as The Wibbles. Image: Ian West/PA.
These issues, says Cats Safety, can result in points with joints and mobility, which it had additionally highlighted in a earlier report into the regulation of cat breeding and ‘excessive’ cat breeds.
That report defined: “The intentional inbreeding of those cats has resulted in an inherited defect that causes abnormalities with joints and bone progress, an rigid tail and quick, stiff legs. Arthritis is rife among the many breed and plenty of Scottish Folds shall be unable to carry out regular cat behaviours like pouncing and leaping on account of painful early-onset arthritis. Lengthy-term ache aid is ceaselessly required to manage.”
There are presently no feline breeding rules in England, Wales or Northern Eire, however Scotland bans breeding cats with poor well being, and this consists of Scottish Folds.
Cats Safety and the BVA have each raised considerations about well being issues related to Scottish Folds. Picture: Inventory picture.
Cats Safety can be not the one animal welfare organisation to have known as for extra authorities regulation in terms of breeding animals with standard or excessive options.
In 2018 the British Veterinary Affiliation appealed to animal lovers to keep away from pets like Scottish Folds alongside bubble eye goldfish and miniature horses – involved that the web was fuelling a craze and a want for creatures with ‘cute’ options.