In recent years, the Scottish Fold has emerged more because of the scandals that have been seen in the current media, as they are under the influence of several celebrities who have published photos with this particular cat breed. Despite this, there are certain groups and associations, in conjunction with veterinary doctors, that are against the breeding of this breed because they tend to suffer from certain diseases on which they base themselves to say and question whether they can provide a good quality of life for the Scottish Fold, as they are prone to pain and disability.
Would you like to know the truth? Is this breed not to be bred because of the condition they are genetically predisposed to? Keep reading to find out more about this breed so that you can determine for yourself whether their diseases are limiting for this cat that is certainly very eye-catching, tender, and very affectionate.
AN UNFOLDED CAT HISTORY
The origins of this breed date back to 1961 in Scotland, where a cat named “Susie” was the first cat to be born with these particular ears due to a genetic mutation and is one of the many things that make this breed so distinctive, even so, there are data that date back many years to the emergence of other cats with the same characteristics, but the Scottish Fold that is known today is based on the genes of this cat called “Susie.” As a cat breed from Scotland, it was registered with the Board of Governors of the Cat Fancy (GCCF) in the United Kingdom as it became known. But this did not last long, since about ten years after its appearance, the breed had been removed from the council because they began to notice the health concerns raised by the Scottish Fold, they were so concerned about the quality of life of the animal that had been trying to prevent it from spreading because of the great controversy that still exists today.
Although the Scottish Fold was a breed established by the British, it has not become so popular in this part of the world because of the medical concerns that have been addressed, for this reason, people have taken the Scottish Fold to other places to keep this cat breed, being the main country the United States, not only did they quickly fall in love with this cat, but with the passing of the years, they crossed it until they got the cat’s tenderness that is known today. There is no one to blame for this in itself, breeders aside, it could have been the innocence of people who didn’t know this breed, or it could have been how extremely lovable and tender this cat is, not only in appearance but also in personality. Once the Scottish Fold cat breed arrived in America, it made its way through other councils and clubs such as the American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA), Cat Fancier’s Association (CFA) and The International Cat Association (TICA).
The Scottish Fold tends to be confused and with some reason, with a breed of cat that shares its peculiar bend in their ears, except that this cat unlike the Scottish that their ears are bent forward, the ears of this cat, the American Curl, are bent backward. This characteristic, which makes the Scottish Fold breed so different, is due to its genetics and is something that should be taken into account if at any time you cross two cats belonging to this breed, whether or not they have curved ears as they continue to present the gene, but in a passive or recessive way. In other words, those who present 2 copies of this gene are called homozygotes which should not be crossed for ethical reasons, while heterozygous folds present only one copy of the gene called will present articular pathologies, but not as severe nor as early due of their predisposition, not only will they have a greater probability of presenting themselves, but they will do so at a much younger age, limiting even more what their quality of life might be, as they are pathologies that should present themselves at an older age, with older cats being able to be less aggressive.
The breeds that can be crossed with the Scottish Fold are the American Shorthair, the British Shorthair, or any other straight-eared cat, always trying to avoid the mixing of the Scottish Fold gene for the reasons already described. It should be noted that a Scottish Fold kitten is born with normal ears. These will take shape as the days go by, coming in about 4 weeks, but it doesn’t happen to the whole litter.
The big controversy with this breed is because of the gene that makes them so distinctive and the reason why their ear fold, the problem is that it not only affects the cartilage of their ears but also affects the rest of the body as well as their bones leading to joint problems in general. Because of this dominant gene, their bones and cartilage do not form properly so that they do not have the strength and resistance they should have, in addition to making their extremities shorter than a regular cat. This may sound cute but it causes a cartilage abnormality in its body not absorb the shock in their limbs, causing them to deteriorate in an accelerated manner and is what leads to so many problems, coming to affect the vertebral joints equally.
Among the diseases that the Scottish Fold cat presents, the one that stands out the most and is the congenital osteodystrophy, this degenerative joint disease does not have a cure as a genetic problem, it causes intense pain over time and is associated with the paralysis of the limb or zone of the body. For example, what is called paralyzing arthritis, which usually occurs in the tail of this animal due to poor managing and handling of the tail, so you must try to be gentle. Leaving the locomotive system, which may also cause polycystic kidney disease (PKD) and cardiomyopathy, overweight pets are prone to hepatic lipidosis.
NUTRITION & MANAGEMENT
Being a pet of short limbs, big heads, and droopy ears, they are very closely related to a bear, it is best if you take care of their nutrition and don’t try to “spoil” them too much, they have enough reason to suffer so much pain in their joints that you add an overweight animal to the problem. It’s certainly something you’re not supposed to do with any animal or yourself. Just because they are pets that require special care as well as attention does not mean that you have to compensate for their condition with more food than they need. As long as you can ensure that their diet is of good quality, the quantity will not be a problem.
Scottish Fold cats are such a passive cat breed that they will need a little help to stay in good condition and avoid having a nutritional problem. Although they are short-haired cats, they have a very dense coat and will require frequent brushing, at least twice a week will help them, as well as having another reason to be playful or active.
So there you have it. I hope I’ve covered as much information as possible so that you can decide on your own whether or not you agree to purchase this pet or continue to do so. In contrast to the many features and qualities that predispose this breed to inherited disease and skeletal abnormality, they are a lovely cat that is accepted with great ease into the family, having such a calm and docile nature, playful and tender, things that are not usually achieved in any cat by maintaining such a peaceful temperament, not to mention how adorable they look. Still against all odds, it has an average lifespan of a normal cat getting around 12 years old or more, weighing a maximum of 12 pounds.
If you think I’ve left something out, please let me know in the comments section below.
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