05:23PM, Monday 10 June 2019
Battersea Cats and Dogs Home has warned against buying 'flat faced' felines because the cats can experience a life of discomfort, pain and health issues.
The animal charity says several cat breeds face genetic health issues - including a Persian cat called Humphrey which was taken to its Old Windsor Centre.
Humphrey had a lifelong history of conjunctivitis and weeping eyes that required daily cleaning. Beneath his fur the three-year-old cat had excessive skin folds around his eye which led to painful dermatitis.
The charity also has a number of Persian cats at its London centre which required medical treatment including one cat which had to have an eye removed.
Battersea’s head vet, Shaun Opperman said: “At Battersea we treat our animals for a wide variety of health issues, a number of which are specifically related to how these animals have been bred to look.
"In an apparent quest to make them look increasingly photogenic or fashionable, these cats can sadly spend their whole lives suffering with a range of health problems ranging from matted fur and eye infections to difficulty breathing and degenerative diseases.
“As with any type of cat, pedigrees can of course make wonderful pets for the right owners, however we would urge anyone thinking of adding a cat to the family to first consider adopting from a rescue like Battersea.
"If you do have your heart set on buying a cat, do your research first and ensure that you make a decision based on your lifestyle and an individual cat’s needs, rather than what might get the most likes on Instagram."
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