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Research article2021Peer reviewedOpen access

Facial conformation characteristics in Persian and Exotic Shorthair cats

Anagrius, Kerstin L.; Dimopoulou, Maria; Moe, Anna N.; Petterson, Ann; Ljungvall, Ingrid

Abstract

ObjectivesThe primary objectives of the study were to examine the diversity in facial conformation characteristics within a group of Persian (PER) and Exotic Shorthair (EXO) show cats, and to contrast the results to findings within a group of non-purebred domestic shorthair (DSH) and domestic longhair (DLH) cats. The secondary objectives were to determine the PER/EXO show cat owners' perceptions of the breathing status of their cats, and to evaluate if remarks from the cat show judges concerning the cats' head and facial conformation were exclusively related to the aesthetic features of the cats.MethodsSixty-four PER and 12 EXO show cats were prospectively examined at five international cat shows, and 20 DSH/DLH cats were examined at an animal hospital. Facial conformation characteristics were evaluated by examining photos of the cats. Owners of the PER/EXO show cats answered a questionnaire concerning their cats' health status, and they were encouraged to send in the judges' score sheets from the cat shows.ResultsThe PER/EXO show cats had higher diversity in facial conformation characteristics than the DSH/DLH cats, and high incidences of hypoplasia of the nose leather (95%), the nose leather top positioned above the level of the lower eyelid (93%), moderate-to-severe stenotic nares (86%), epiphora (83%) and entropion (32%). Owners of 6/76 PER/EXO show cats stated that their cat had increased respiratory sounds and/or trouble breathing at least once a week. The cat show judges' written comments were exclusively related to aesthetic features of the cats' head and facial conformation details.Conclusions and relevanceHypoplasia of the nose leather, high position of the nose leather top, stenotic nares, epiphora and entropion were common findings in the PER/EXO show cats but not in the DSH/DLH cats. Few of the cat owners perceived that their cat had problems related to the airways.

Keywords

Nose; face; entropion; respiratory sounds; health status; lacrimal apparatus disease

Published in

Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery
2021, article number: 1098612X21997631Publisher: SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD