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But the breeding practices that go into creating such a small cat could lead to a host of health problems for the pet and a host of heartaches for the pet parent. Teacup cats are cats who have been bred to be as small as possible. While most adult cats weigh around 9 to 10 pounds, teacup cats are bred to be about two-thirds that size, says Dr. Jane Brunt, a feline veterinarian at Cat Hospital at Towson in Baltimore, Maryland, and the executive director of The CATalyst Council, a group dedicated to promoting the health, welfare, and value of the companion cat.
Some adult teacup cats weigh as little as 5 or 6 pounds, she says. To make a cat that tiny typically involves mating an undersized male with an undersized female, she says. But not all small cats are created equal. While some animals are naturally petite, others may be stunted in size because of health problems, disease, or undernourishment. It could lead to genetic disorders and health concerns. But even at their normal size, the physical attributes that make the Persian breed of cats so cute can also make them more susceptible to certain health problems.
Teacup-size Persians are also more likely to suffer from infections in the eye and nose, and jaw issues that affect their ability to properly chew food, Brunt says. As a breed, Persians are also at an increased risk for developing polycystic kidney disease. Making their kidneys even smaller could amplify that risk, she says. Regardless of pedigree, any cat bred to be teacup-size is more likely to suffer from oral and dental diseases. Teacup cats are also unable to regulate their body temperature as well as their regular-size peers, Brunt says.
Their smaller bones and ts also make them more predisposed to arthritis and injury. Finally, Lisnik and Brunt say it is plausible that cats bred to be extra-small might also be extra-stressed, as their stature may limit their stamina and ability to act on predatory urges. When it comes to dogs, some say breeding pups to be extra small may appeal to potential owners who live in condos or apartments with pet-size restrictions.
Cats are also more cautious by nature, which means they may strike potential adoptees as timid and undesirable. Adopting a cat from a shelter not only potentially saves a life, it also saves you a lot of money. At shelters, cats are already likely to be spayed or neutered, and sometimes the adoption cost even includes a free vet visit or two. Ask to visit the breeding facility and take a look at the breeding animals and how the animals are cared for. Any reputable breeder will happily give you a tour and explain his or her breeding practices.
Taking the time to vet where a cat comes from is better for the animal and his potential owner, Lisnik says. Home Cat Care Center. The Truth About Teacup Cats. What Is a Teacup Cat? Regular exams are important to ensure teacup cats are as healthy as possible, Brunt says. But are there any benefits to owning a teacup cat? Help us make PetMD better Was this article helpful? Yes No. Share this article. What did you find helpful?
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