Monday 13 May 2024

No whiskers makes the Sphynx cat illegal in Germany

Under Germany's torture breeding laws, the Sphynx cat is illegal because it has no whiskers. There are other reasons but if you visit a Sphynx cat forum, the aficionados on that website constantly refer to the fact that this breed normally has no whiskers.

They are born with whiskers but they are very brittle and they break off. That's part of the result of the genetic mutation which makes the cat hairless.

"I would consider the lack of a sensory organ to be harmful," animal expert Thomas Göbel said before court during a case about neutering a male Canadian Sphynx cat in Berlin owned by a breeder, Jacqueline L. The court made an order for the breeding cat to be castrated to prevent him breeding thus undermining the breeder's hobby business. 

The court case proves that the law is occasionally (at least) enforced. The report is dated 2015.

You might know that Germany has a unique policy on domestic cat breeding which prevents breeders from creating animals that suffer through what I would call misguided breeding practices. It's the cat fancy which drives breeders to creating unusual-looking cats such as these hairless cats and others such as the Persian with the extremely flat face which causes breathing problems. That breed is also illegal in Germany despite the fact that it is a very popular cat breed in America and has been for decades.

Germany is ahead of the game in terms of controlling cat breeding. Although, this law is difficult to enforce in Germany. On the forum I mention they say that there is at least one Sphynx cat breeder in Germany 😹🙀. I presume they are exporting their cats abroad.

It was interesting to me to see what these Sphynx cat owners say about their cats falling foul of the German Qualzucht law. They pinpointed the lack of whiskers but there are other reasons because this is a hairless cat.

A side effect of a lack of cat coat is that the sebaceous glands' oils are deposited on the skin and not into the hair strands. This causes the skin to become grimy which means the Sphynx caregiver has to wipe down their cat regularly. It can also cause the cat to smell. 

20 facts about cat whiskers

Cats need whiskers for balance, to help guide them in darkness, to feel a prey animal that's been captured. You see a cat force their whiskers forward when there is something of interest right in front of them. Whiskers are incredibly sensitive because of a large bundle of nerves at their base. They are really an important part of a domestic cat's anatomy and therefore their life.

To remove them is cruel and the cat will suffer which is why this breed is banned in Germany. And to that obvious fact you can add another one which is recently been revealed namely the incredibly short lifespan of this cat breed which is 6.68 years according to a comprehensive study.

And the reason why the lifespan is so short is because this breed like other cat breeds suffers from HCM which stands for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which describes a thickening of the left ventricle of the heart causing the heart to become very inefficient leading to a shortened lifespan. And a high percentage of Sphynx cats suffer from this disease. It isn't good enough. The Germans know this. And that's why it's illegal in Germany.

How does a cat use her whiskers?

This is a cross-post because it's an important post. It's important to tackle what cat advocates regard as inappropriate cat breeding. I'm not against cat breeding per se but when the animals produced are inherently unhealthy because of genetic mutations it's unfair on the cat. But the cat fancy allows it because these cats look interesting. They attract attention.

This is an attractive and popular looking cat but there are too many deficiencies all because of what animal advocates would regard as inappropriate breeding.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

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