Charities unite to highlight brachy health issues in cats and rabbits; it’s not just dogs we need to worry about

In recent months the issue of health problems in short-faced or brachycephalic dogs has been highlighted to the public, in the media and following high profile events like this year’s Crufts. This week however, three major animal welfare charities have united to send the message that this problem is not limited to dogs alone.

International Cat Care (iCatCare), the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund (RWAF) and the RSPCA have come together to raise awareness that breeding cats and rabbits with exaggerated flat faces can cause health and welfare problems, as in dogs. 

Fake snow – safe for cats?

Some of our supporters have raised concerns over the dangers of fake snow after seeing social media posts where owners reported that their cat exhibited symptoms such as dribbling, weakness and stomach upset after coming into contact with fake snow.

One of the social media posts on Facebook:

Nominations open for 2017 welfare awards

Nominations are now open for Ceva’s 2017 Animal Welfare Awards, which will once again celebrate the achievements of remarkable people from the farming, veterinary and charity industries.

Outstanding contributors to animal welfare can now be nominated to receive an award by their colleagues, friends and family or by the general public. Nominated welfare heroes can come from all walks of life, all ages, and from anywhere in the world, and will be assessed on the evidence provided in the original nomination.

Mounting evidence to prove that flat-faced cat breeds are suffering

There is growing evidence to show that flat-faced or brachycephalic cats (picture 1), including most modern Persians or Exotic Shorthairs, are suffering from a number of health problems, leading to lifelong suffering as a direct result of being 'designed' to have a very flat face. This includes breathing problems, eye inflammation, skin infections and difficulty eating.

Cats not responsible for bird decline

According to a highly controversial US conservationist, 'cats should be kept off the street' due to the danger they pose to wildlife. Dr Peter Marra, head of Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center at Washington DC's National Zoo, has spoke out to suggest that free-roaming cats could be responsible for killing billions of birds worldwide and that pet cats should be kept indoors or on a leash, and that stray cats which can't be rehomed should be euthanised.

Are cat cafes good for cats?

A recent article published by the BBC examined the growing trend of cat cafes. Eight are currently open for business in the UK, with three more due to open by the end of the year, and at least six more in 2017. With these numbers increasing, the article asks an important question – are cat cafes good for cats?

Survey reveals 98% of vets asked to euthanise healthy pets

A recent survey, released by the British Veterinary Association, revealed that 98% of vets have been asked to euthanise a healthy pet citing the owner’s reason as their pet’s behaviour. Problem behaviours vets can see include persistent howling, destructive chewing, and inappropriate toileting. Aggressive behaviour, towards both people and other pets, is also a problem that led to the owner’s request of euthanasia. It is a very sad situation that owners feel there are no other options but to ask their vet to euthanise their pet because it is showing problem behaviour. Fortunately, many unwanted behaviours in cats are preventable. It is often owner misunderstanding, or lack of knowledge of feline behaviour, that leads owners to manage their cats in a manner that can cause problem behaviours.