A cat's health can be jeopardized at any time. However, there are a few cat breeds in which specific health problems appear to be more common due to the breed's make-up, i.e. its appearance or genetic history. Here are three cat breeds that are known for their health issues:
In 1966, the first hairless cat was born in Canada, and a breeding program was started. In 1971, the CFA stopped sponsorship for the Sphynx, fearing that the hairlessness gene caused deadly complications. These do not appear to exist, and Sphynx owners state that their cats are in excellent condition. The lack of protective fur that other cats have appears to be their only health issue. In the Sphynx, oils that would typically spread through the hair shafts tend to collect on the skin, necessitating regular bathing. With no cushioning fuzzy coat, injury is more likely, and cats require protection from the cold in the winter and from sunburn in the summer. For these reasons, they must be used only indoors.
The Persian Cat
The Persian's distinctive long coat poses no problems as long as the owner is willing to devote a significant amount of time to grooming. Because their coats are far too long, these cats are unable to care for themselves. If you want your cat to avoid tangles, knots, and eventually skin problems, you must keep up with grooming. If the problem grows severe, the only option is to shave the cat totally, which is something that Persians who become stray for an extended period of time must frequently undergo.
The Persian cat's unique flat face and short snout, on the other hand, can cause health issues. This can cause respiratory and vision issues. Due to clogged tear ducts, many Persians need to have their eyes cleaned on a regular basis. The recent trend of successful show cats having the flattest features has resulted in the Persian's nose growing increasingly shorter, to the cat's detriment. Hopefully, this will not continue, but if you have a Persian, you should be aware that it is a high-maintenance cat that requires a lot of attention if it is to have a long and healthy life.
The Scottish Fold
The Scottish Fold first developed in the progeny of a Scottish barn cat in the 1960s as a spontaneous mutation generating unique folded ears. The GCCF accepted the breed in 1966, but registration was stopped in 1971 due to fears that the folded ears could cause ear-mite infestation. That, however, is not the Scottish Fold's most serious health issue. Many of them had shortened, stiffened tails from the outset, and X-rays of cats revealed skeletal abnormalities in the 1970s. The Scottish Fold gene affects cartilage beyond the ears, and current study suggests that all cats carrying the gene get degenerative arthritis of different severity.
If you truly desire a Scottish Fold, you must purchase one from a reputable breeder who follows a strict breeding procedure. The tail's length and flexibility are crucial as early indicators of health issues. Even yet, as the cat ages and matures, joint problems are always a possibility. If you wish to show your cat, keep in mind that TICA is the only organization that accepts the breed, not the GCCF or FIFe.
There's no reason not to get a cat of one of the following breeds if you desire one. However, be careful of any health risks and purchase from a reputable breeder.