Without a doubt, the snub-nosed cat breeds, technically called brachycephalic, are some of the most beautiful out there. In fact, Persian, for example, has historically been one of the most used in the creation of new ones. Brachycephalic kittens share another trait: their large, round eyes give them a sweet and charming look.
However, genetic selection, in addition to making them very beautiful and appreciated by feline lovers, works against their health, since their nasolacrimal duct is shorter and their palate soft. This makes them more vulnerable to respiratory diseases and heat stroke. Reason why they cannot fly.
You may also be interested in: Curiosities of Brachycephalic races
4 short-nosed cat breeds and their care
The Persians, exotic shorthair, Himalayan and Burmese constitute the 4 brachycephalic cat breeds par excellence. All 4 are prone to suffering from the so-called brachycephalic syndrome or congenital obstructive disease of the upper respiratory tract. The shortening of their nostrils and soft palate cause continuous tearing.
Since tears do not internally drain the skin around the eyes, it can oxidize if you do not periodically clean them with saline or chamomile. Likewise, to prevent dermatitis on your skin, specialists recommend applying an antiseptic solution to the eye area once a week .
The soft palate can cause deformities that over the years may require surgery. These breeds do not tolerate continuous physical exercise, even less if it must be carried out at high temperatures. You will notice that when they experience a seizure they gasp, wheeze, breathe loudly, or cough persistently.
Complications associated with brachycephalic syndrome
This shortening of the nostrils can entail certain complications in kittens of brachycephalic breeds in advanced ages. We refer to dental, gastrointestinal, ocular or skin disorders. It is common, for example, for senior brachycephalic cats to be given artificial tears .
If you are the owner of a cat of any of these breeds, you should take extreme care of your eyes. At least every 2 days you should clean them with a sterile gauze soaked in physiological saline. Chamomile is more suitable for the most thorough sanitizations, which you can carry out once every 15 days or every 3 weeks.
You should also get him used to cleaning his teeth, using a brush and a specific paste for cats, with little fluoride content. If not, you may need a professional cleaning with anesthesia at a later life stage.
The 4 brachycephalic cat breeds and their characteristics
You already know what the price is that Persians, shorthaired exotics, Himalayans and Burmese must pay for being so beautiful. However, each breed has its own characteristics that make them unique. Do you know them?
The persian cat
Fruit of the crossing of the Turkish Angora and the Pallas cat, a native of modern-day Iran, who can resist his sweet gaze and the majesty that his long cloak endows them with? The Persian cats are corpulent. Their short legs and broad chest contribute to this.
They are very docile, affectionate and friendly . They get along well with humans and other pets. However, they are not very active and, consequently, prone to obesity, a circumstance to avoid in order to keep the brachycephalic syndrome we have already told you about under control.
The exotic shorthair cat
These kittens are the shorthair version of the Persians. His face is flat and his eyes are large and bulging. Its good-natured appearance is characterized by the fact that the upper part of the nose usually coincides with the lower eyelid, causing the jog to occur in the middle area of the eyes.
They are somewhat more reserved than the Persians, but they share with them a taste for solitude at certain times and the pampering of their favorite human at others. Do you know that they have a predilection for cool places to rest and hang out?
The himalayan cat
We can affirm without fear of being wrong that Himalayan cats have inherited the most beautiful things from each of the breeds from which they come. From the Persian, his robust complexion and his peaceful and affectionate character. From the Siamese, its impressive blue eyes and the colorpoint pattern that obscures its face, ears, tail and legs.
Its small, rounded ears help accentuate its flattened face . They are beautiful cats, very attached and that prefer quiet environments, without noise. They get along well with children, but they need some time to get acquainted with strangers.
Also known as Sacred of Burma due to its origin from Myanmar, the Burmese is a slender kitten with semi-long hair. It is halfway between the Persian and the Siamese. It is less flat than the Persian and has the latter’s characteristic blue eyes, as well as the white spots on the ends of the tail, the ears and the legs.
In short, flat-faced and snub-nosed cats are very beautiful, but they require more hygiene care and precautions than other breeds . You should avoid exposing them to high temperatures and provide them with a hypocaloric diet. Otherwise, being overweight would accelerate the occurrence of congenital obstructive disease or could aggravate it.