Flat faced dogs were the fashion but it’s now flat faced cats that are sought after. Their ‘grumpy’ faces have become a fashionable feature but this comes with increasing health risks for the species. Through breeding, the characteristic shortened muzzles of the Persian, British and Exotic Shorthair cats have become much more extreme over time.
The prominent eyes and downturned mouth make them look as if they’re either smiling or scowling, which has made them very popular in recent years, partially due to ‘grumpy cat’ photos circulating the internet. Also, many celebrities have been seen carrying these cats, such as Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton and Georgia May Jagger.
A study at Edinburgh proved that this can lead to breathing difficulties and eye and skin infections due to constricted nasal passages. Furthermore, in some cases cats even have trouble picking up food due to their flat faces. It was also proved that the breathing difficulties were associated with increased tear staining and a sedentary lifestyle.
Figures show that the flat-faced British shorthair and Persian cat is among the top ten most popular in the UK, with over 77,000 of these cats registered. Unfortunately, the number of these cats who suffer health conditions is growing rapidly. These conditions include tear fluids that don’t drain properly causing infection, and infections around the fold of the flattened nose and across the face.
Charities have begun campaigning for the end of the breeding of the characteristics causing these health problems, hoping to make the selective breeding of these extreme and unnatural features illegal.
Cat lovers are speaking out against calling these animals ‘cute’ due to their snoring and their apparently ‘grumpy’ facial expressions.