The Scottish SPCA is urging the public to ensure when purchasing an animal, they are doing so through a responsible and reputable breeder.
Scotland’s animal welfare charity is increasingly seeing ‘designer’ cats coming into their care, after being abandoned due to health issues caused by bad breeding.
The Society’s Edinburgh and Lothians Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre have seen this most recently with Persian cats.
Centre assistant manager, Claire Faddel, said, “Often, not enough forethought is given or research done, especially when ‘fashionable’ or highly bred animals are homed.
“There are many breed types that require extra attention over and above what would be considered the usual care.
“Owners often lose interest or are unable to continue with the animal’s care, as it is a far bigger commitment than they expected.
“We’ve recently had some very matted Persian cats come into our care. This particular breed is very popular as they start off as cute kittens, but mature into high maintenance adults that require regular grooming. Unfortunately, as in this case, owners do not realise the maintenance needed and decide to give up their pet.
“It is so important that the public understand exactly the responsibility they are taking on when they decide to home an animal.
“People often become overwhelmed with the responsibility of owning a pet. It is important when considering rehoming an animal, that people ensure they have the time and knowledge for the needs of that specific breed.”
Poor breeding of these types of cats can further lead to more serious health problems and distress for the felines.
Scottish SPCA Chief Veterinary Officer, Ian Futter, said: “It is so important to always choose a reputable breeder for any animal.
“All Persian cats are brachycephalic, meaning they have a shorter, flattened face. This causes their nasal cavities to often be in the wrong position, needing surgery to widen and alleviate breathing problems.
“Unfortunately most health issues in Persian cats won’t become apparent until they are fully matured at around six to nine months old. By this time, families will have become attached to their animals, and it can be heartbreaking for them.
“Often people breeding designer cats like Persians, don’t understand the issues they can cause.
“A good, responsible breeder would always choose mates very carefully to avoid potential health problems.
“Aside from health problems, these fashionable breeds of cats also require a much bigger grooming commitment.
“Cats are not naturally long haired, and are purposefully bred to be so. Long haired animals need to be groomed daily to avoid matting.”
If you would like to become a member and support the Scottish SPCA monthly, or give a one off £5 donation, please visit their website: https://www.scottishspca.org/support.