Apparently the little felines are very susceptible to arthritis due to a genetic mutation, and thus are at risk of leading very painful lives.
The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) recently told Scotland’s The Times:
“It is common for the breed to suffer from serious health problems. The cartilage and bones do not develop properly, which leads to arthritis and other painful joint diseases that can cause reluctance to move, abnormal posture and gait, lameness and short, misshapen limbs. We welcome any change to legislation to prevent the breeding and sale of Scottish fold cats.”
Another vet, Dr. Richard Malik of Sydney University, has called the practice “cruel” and “ethically indefensible.”
The cats are beloved for their floppy ears that give them an “owl-like” appearance.
There’s no doubt that they’re cute, but if they have health problems, it’s best not to continue breeding them.
Although there is currently no actual breeding ban in place, apparently Scottish government officials are considering one. A spokesperson said:
“The Scottish government would encourage anyone breeding any type of animal to avoid breeding from any individual animals with genetic problems likely to give rise to ill health.”
We hope breeders seriously take these concerns into consideration!
[Image via Instagram.]