I will be direct here! Overbreeding cats is a result of an irresponsible, cruel and ruthless perspective. The things human kind does for money… For some people respecting mother nature and all its children is just a romantic and childish dream when money is involved.
As the children of an age of self-importance or human-centered egomania, we simply think that we can overcome the nature as if we are not a part of it. We think that we can do better than the nature itself instead of simply being amazed by the wonders of it.
Have you ever wondered where all the cats of a specific breed come from when a specific breed suddenly becomes popular? If we speak in terms of economics, most of the time there is no issue with the supply as long as the demand is there. But is it so easy to breed a specific breed of cat in such a short time until the popularity starts to fade? The answer is without a doubt a HUGE NO! Most of those cute kittens come from a mother who is seen like a factory machine rather than a living being.
Of course there are responsible breeders but this post is not about them and to be honest responsible breeding is not something to be proud of, it is what should be by default. Nobody expects to receive a praise just for breathing, right? Obviously it is also by default.
What Is Overbreeding and Why is It Bad?
Meriam-Webster dictionary defines overbreeding as “to breed (a plant or animal) to excess especially without regard to the quality of the breeding stock”. The word “stock” here refers to the kitten. The issue here is that the mother is so exhausted from giving so many births that it can not even properly feed its kittens. It produces less milk than it should and the quality of the milk is so poor that it does not support the kitten to develop a strong immune system.
Most of the overbred cat breeds develop immune system issues. After some time, as the cats with such issues are also used to breed more cats of the same breed, these issues become hereditary health issues which eventually creates breeds with lives of pain and misery. If that was done to human beings, it would be a crime against humanity but when it comes to animals we have no limits.
Another issue here, and this may be a bigger issue than even overbreeding, is inbreeding.
What Is Inbreeding?
Inbreeding is simply breeding a specific breed of animal with its first degree relative to “protect” or “improve” its certain qualities. Since the animals are not aware if the risks of inbreeding and they don’t have the morals that we humans do. They don’t see any issues in mother-son, father-daughter or sister-brother breeding.
This process is used by the breeders to protect certain aspects of cats such as the folded ears of the Scottish Fold. Well… Some of those qualities are painful for the animal itself and unwanted by the evolution itself. That is why when the breeding is made with unrelated animals, those qualities tend to disappear. The inbreeding process brings a lot of advantages to the breeder such as knowing exactly what the kittens will look like or eliminating some unwanted traits.
International Cat Care emphasizes that the inbreeding increases the risk of genetic defects. Some breeds are even bred for these genetic defects such as the Persian and Scottish Fold as mentioned above. Would you intentionally harm your own baby during pregnancy just to make her/him look in a certain way that you might fancy? This is a living being that we are talking here. Why does crippling a cat be any different? Don’t get me wrong, I love those little rascals but I also know that all of them live a life in pain.
The Cat Fanciers’ Association also recognizes the problems the inbreeding brings stating that inbreeding may lead to immune deficiencies and congenital abnormalities.
What to Do?
As long as there are no laws governing inbreeding and overbreeding or laws that promote responsible breeding, it seems the only thing we can do is bringing the issue forward to create a social pressure against such practices. Other than that as always I am open to suggestions.
What do you think of overbreeding and inbreeding practices? Is it worth to have certain species? What can be done about it? Please leave a comment below to raise awareness and find ways to help our little friends.