Showing posts with label inherited illnesses. Show all posts
Showing posts with label inherited illnesses. Show all posts

Thursday 22 February 2024

Berlin police seized 48 illegally bred Levkoy cats considered the product of 'torture breeding' in Germany

Germany has a brilliant nationwide law which states that purebred cats that are bred with inherited genetic diseases causing general pain and suffering are the product of "torture breeding" and they are illegal in the country. 

Levkoy Cay. Image from unknown author.

The word "torture" is a very evocative and strong word and I think it is a brilliant word to describe these breeds which are fully accepted in many other countries including America.

In this instance I'm referring to the Levkoy which is a Ukrainian breed; a hairless cat with floppy ears. Germany has outlawed hairless cats because they don't have a coat 😎😢 and therefore they can't live normal lives. 

You can't change the anatomy of a cat breed that fundamentally in Germany and make the cat more vulnerable without being labelled a torture breeder.

And apparently this man living in Berlin was told to stop breeding the Levkoy cat but he continued nonetheless and in a raid by the police and animal welfare authorities his entire stock of cats were seized and he was arrested. He now faces a substantial fine.

The officials believe that he was probably the last breeder in Germany of the Ukrainian Levkoy cat breed.

The seized cats have been distributed to foster carers across Germany where they have received a check up and veterinary care where needed.

You might like to read about this cat by clicking on the following link. It's an article written by visitor to my website. I have updated that page to include what happened in Germany as described in this article.


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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.

Sunday 27 June 2021

Lucy the 'bat cat' nude kitten with hydrocephalus

Lucy is described by her owner as "the bat cat". Not a particularly flattering title I have to say. You might know me and that I dislike these sorts of Instagram accounts because you get owners of strange cats vicariously achieving some fame for themselves through their cat. 

Often these cats are misshapen through a genetic defect or in this instance this hairless cat suffers from hydrocephalus which is a buildup of fluid on the brain which puts pressure on the brain and which can damage it. It is treatable and for humans and the survival rate for treated hydrocephalus is high. 

Lucy the bat cat
Lucy the bat cat. Photo: Instagram

Sorry if I upset some people in disliking these sorts of social media accounts. The pics are from Lucy's Instagram page. They were taken by her owners.

Lucy is called 'the bat cat' because of the obvious reason: she looks a little bit like one of those strange bats. And the stranger the cat looks the better for the celebrity cats.

My research indicates that a cat suffering from hydrocephalus may be asymptomatic. Alternatively, the symptoms might include, wetting or soiling in the house, sleeplessness, blindness, seizures, excess globalisation, hyper-excitability, a large dome-shaped head which is due to intracranial swelling, walking abnormalities, cross-eyes, abnormal breathing, arching their head back and extending all four legs and coma.

Lucy the bat cat
Lucy the bat cat. Photo: Instagram.

There are various causes including, inherited (congenital), genetics, prenatal infection, vitamin A deficiency, intracranial inflammatory diseases, masses in the cranium, brain haemorrhage in newborn after a difficult labour, exposure to teratogens (these are drugs which interfere with the development), coronavirus. We don't know which cause is applicable for Lucy. My guess is that it was inherited.

Credits as per above.

Lucy is a Sphynx cat by the way. She has 35,400 followers on her Instagram page. Her birthday is on March 15. She was born on March 15, 2019.

Saturday 12 June 2021

Lil Bub and Grumpy Cat both died of bacterial infections at a young age

Both Lil Bub and Grumpy Cat both died of bacterial infections at the age of 8 and 7 respectively. Both were dwarf cats. Lil Bub's infection was in her bones while Grumpy Cat's infection was in her bladder i.e. it was a urinary tract infection.

Lil Bub and Mike Bridavsky, her human guardian during most of her shortened life. Photo in public domain.
Lil Bub and Mike Bridavsky, her human guardian during most of her shortened life. Photo in public domain.


There were both chronic infections that could not be cured in the usual way with antibiotics. I don't want to say anything untoward or nasty because both these cats entertained millions of people. They made a lot of people happy and they made them smile. They therefore performed a service to humanity but they died very young with lifespans at least half of normal.

It is very unusual for a cat to die a bacterial infection at the age of 8, as happened for Lil Bub. It is impossible not to be drawn to the conclusion that the inherited genetic mutations which made them both money spinning celebrities through their unusual appearance, also killed them. 

I would speculate quite confidently that if they had not suffered from dwarfism in the case of Grumpy Cat and Dwarfism in conjunction with osteopetrosis in the case of Lil Bub, they would not have died for these reasons. 

Osteopetrosis is a bone disease which causes dense bone which fills the centre of the bone where there should be bone marrow. There are other effects too cats with this inherited condition which cause cats to be prone to chronic bacterial bone infections.

Grumpy Cat and Rafi Fine at the 2014 VidCon at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. Photo: Gage Skidmore on Wikipedia.
Grumpy Cat and Rafi Fine at the 2014 VidCon at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. Photo: Gage Skidmore on Wikipedia.

Dwarfism in felines can have associated conditions which I discuss on another page. If people are interested in why these celebrity cats died at such a young age we have to speculate because their owners have been reticent in disclosing in any detail regarding the cause of death. 

In respect of Lil Bub, it seems clear to me that the inherited medical conditions due to genetic mutations ultimately caused her premature death. In respect of Grumpy Cat, the same conclusion, I feel, needs to be drawn. It is likely that she became resistant to antibiotic treatment for a chronic bladder infection and so the infection killed her.

If I'm anywhere near right on this then it does call into question whether people should put on a pedestal and monetise domestic cats who are sadly born with inherited genetic conditions which make them look cute but also which makes them vulnerable disease and a shortened lifespan.

I discuss in a bit more detail the cause of death for both these cats which you can access by clicking here for Lil Bub and here for Grumpy Cat.

Sunday 27 September 2020

Patellar luxation and Abyssinian cats

Abyssinian cat. Photo: Helmi Flick with her express permission.

Patellar luxation is more common in some cat breeds than was once thought. Rather disturbingly, surveys of Abyssinian cats from California in 1991 and1992 discovered that 26/69 (38%) of examined Abyssinian cats had "patellars that could be dislocated, compared with 1/84 other cats tested". This condition can sometimes be found at the same time with hip dysplasia. The kneecap slides to the inside of the leg rather than remaining on top of the joint i.e. in its trochlear groove. There may be intermittent lameness and a reluctance to jump.

The source of the information comes from the studies listed below:

  1. Giger Urs, P.A. Green and G.K. Smith: "Hip Dysplasia and Patellar Luxation in Cats", Veterinary Proceedings from the North American Veterinary Conference, 1992 Vol 6:321. This study is referred to in Medical, Genetic & Behavioral Risk Factors of Devon Rex Cats by Ross D Clark DVM.
  2. Guger Urs; Presentation at the 13th Annual Robert Winn Foundation Symposium on Feline Health, June 20, 1991. "Patellar Luxation and Hip Dysplasia" summary by Diana Cruden. Cat Fanciers' Almanac, Nov. 1991, p. 84.


Thursday 24 September 2020

Are Oriental Shorthairs healthy?

Like most purebred, pedigree cats Oriental Shorthairs (OSH) have inherited certain health problems due to selective breeding. One major issue for me, is that there is a family of Siamese cats which includes the Oriental Shorthair. They are all centred around the Siamese cat because the Siamese cat is in their breeding lines. And the problem here is that, on my reckoning, and based upon my extensive research, the Siamese cat has the most inherited health problems of any cat breed. So the question is: is the Oriental Shorthair susceptible to many of the medical problems that potentially affect the Siamese cat?

Oriental SH - photo: Helmi Flick

In addition to that long list of possible illnesses it is said that these animals are susceptible to respiratory illnesses and cardiomyopathy has also been reported in some lines. This information is according to Dr Ross D Clark DVM in his book Medical, Genetic and Behavioural Aspects of Purebred Cats.

A pet insurance company say that the OSH can suffer from progressive retinal atrophy and glaucoma. In addition, about nine years ago I wrote an article about hepatic amyloidosis in Siamese and Oriental cats. The article was based upon information provided by a visitor to the website, Lisa Lyons, who lives with Oriental Shorthair cats. The symptoms of hepatic amyloidosis include jaundice, a high white cell count, a low red blood cell count, vomiting, anaemia, general malaise and cyst damage to the liver causing bleeding. It is a very serious disease which is incurable and fatal. Some cats die within 2 to 3 years. That does not paint a very pretty picture in terms of the possible health problems affecting the Oriental Shorthair cat. But I have to be truthful and straightforward in answering the question in the title.

I would recommend that you read my page on Siamese cat health problems. It might surprise you. I decided at the Siamese cat was the most unhealthy cat in the world certainly amongst all the pedigree cats.

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