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Common Health Problems of Cat Breeds; A Quick Insight

AUTHOR: DR JOHN ABBASS

DVM M.Phil (Pet diseases & welfare)

There are so many breeds of cats it is difficult to know which is best suited to you and your family. This cat breeds guide aims to help inform your decision as it is helpful to understand the common health problems of cat breeds. If any particular breeds have common health concerns that may become an issue for you as their pet owner it is helpful to include that in your decision about what cat to bring into your family. In this article, we share details for a number of breeds of felines.

CALICO CAT HEALTH

Calico cats are very popular breeds, having beautiful color patterns. People usually confuse calico cats with tortoiseshell cats. This is important to know that calico is tri-color cats while tortoiseshells are bi-color. Let’s discuss some important health problems of these gorgeous creatures to make calico owners, or potential owners, aware.

Common health problems of cat breeds:

According to the veterinary literature, calico cats are more susceptible to genetic disorders.  Following are the important genetic disorders

  1. Cognitive and developmental problems
  2. Klinefelter’s syndrome

This is important to know that Klinefelter’s syndrome causes a number of behavioral and health issues in cats. Additionally, this genetic disorder negatively impacts the overall life span of the cat.

Another condition includes reduced mineral content in the calico cat’s bone. This genetic aberration makes their bone more prone to breakage and damage.

Other medical conditions are heart diseases, diabetes, joint diseases which are due to their increased body fat.

Recommendations:

The best recommendation we have for you is to ensure the maximum supply of good quality nutrients (especially minerals and vitamins) to your cat. Talk to a pet specialist and get a well defined nutritional plan. Avoid high-fat content diets and give your calico cat a stress-free living environment.

TORTOISESHELL CAT HEALTH:

This is a charming, beautiful, bi-color breed of cat. The common health problems of cat breeds mainly depend upon the breed line and management strategies.

Common health problems:

These are some important health related issues in tortoiseshell cats:

However, sterility has been mainly observed in males. Remember, better veterinary care and nutrition management can decrease the risk of these medical complications.

MUNCHKIN CAT HEALTH

The munchin cat is a newer breed of short-legged cute cats. According to some scientific resources, these cats are considered the original breeds of dwarf cats.

Common health problems of munchkin cat breed:

There are various health related issues found in munchkin due to their short legs. It has been documented by many researchers that this cat breed has mobility issues because of their short legs (achondroplasia). These short legs are due to genetic mutations in them. Additionally, they are more susceptible to bone and joint issues (osteoarthritis) which cause movement problems in them.

* Achondroplasia is a genetic disorder that is characterized by the short legs, large head, poorly developed (undersized) jaws, bow legged/knock knee posture along with a curved spine.

Due to these conditions, this breed of cat is at higher risk of getting Lordosis (increased spine curvature).

Recommendations:

This is better to diagnose osteoarthritis and other bone/joint problems in munchkin cat timely with the help of diagnostic imaging tools (radiology). Provide a nutrient-dense/veterinary recommended diet to this breed with some mineral and vitamin supplementation. Talk to your vet, if you find any immobility issue in your munchkin cat.

SIAMESE CAT HEALTH

The siamese cat is one of the best known and most popular cat breeds in the world. Before deciding whether to choose a siamese cat it is important to understand the potential health problems this breed often has to deal with.

Common health problems:

These are some important common health problems in siamese cats:

Systemic amyloidosis

This medical condition arises due to abnormal accumulation of protein (mutated protein) in the various organs. These abnormal proteins hinder the normal functioning of the organs. This is a fatal disease that can lead to liver/kidney failure in severe cases.

Hip dysplasia

Siamese are more prone to hip dysplasia and lameness. Remember, these hip related issues can be prevented with proper care and management.

Asthma:

This is another condition that affects the respiratory system of the Siamese cat and can become life-threatening. There are many medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs, bronchodilators and inhalers which can be used only after veterinary prescription. Other conditions include progressive retinal atrophy (genetic disorder), mediastinal lymphoma and a number of dental issues. Better care and management can lower the incidence of these health complications.

Summary

There are seventy-one (71) standarized breeds of domestic cat recognized in the world. Add cross-breeds and mogy’s to that list there is a massive amount of choice for anyone looking to own a cat. Basing a decision on looks alone is one way to go but it is important to be aware of the potential health problems some breeds are more prone to. Whilst this article only covers some of them we hope it has helped you in your decision.

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