Cuddly, laid back and intelligent – are three of the main characteristics of the British Shorthair cats, that pet owners can vouch for. As one of the most loved felines in many UK pet owner homes, this companion is a placid breed that can easily live with other pets in your home, like other cats and dogs.
However, like most other animals we keep in our homes, they can face a few health problems and this article discusses these as well as some remedies to help them with their genetic conditions.
Health Problems That British Shorthair Cats Are Prone To
There are a few unfavourable conditions that these felines can go through which include:
- Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)
- Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)
The above can affect both mixed-breeds as well as pedigreed cats and can vary in degrees. They can also suffer from being easily overweight if not looked after.
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)
According to medical online resources, HCM is one of the most common conditions that affects these cats, and males are more at risk than females. It is a cardiac disorder and affects both diastolic dysfunctions and left ventricular hypertrophy. Not much is known about this condition affecting the British Shorthair, as it is in the Ragdoll and Maine Coon cats, which also suffer from it.
However, when the research was done on them, click here to see the published information, saw that almost 90% of them had “systolic anterior motion of the mitral valve”. Characterized by a thickening of the heart muscles and walls, other complications affect them including blood clots and blockages of major blood vessels. One of the best ways to find this out is by doing an echocardiographic test or ultrasound on them.
It is a painful condition and can cause a lot of discomfort to these felines, which can last a long time if not treated early.
Breeds such as the Siamese, Burmese, Himalayan and Persian cats are also included in this condition and according to the journal of veterinary Internal Medicine, one such study showed a lower risk of this being developed in cats that are genetically mutated: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jvim.14737
Melanin and amino acid tyrosine are responsible for maintaining the thyroid hormone in bodies. When these don’t get converted into melanin it could lead to an excess amount of thyroid hormone production which could lead to Hyperthyroidism. When cats are not getting enough tyrosine in their diets it leads to a darker-haired version as well.
Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)
PKD or Autosomal dominant Polycystic kidney disease is another genetic health condition that affects the Shorthair. When it was first found in them, the only way to identify it was through an ultrasound scan. However now, there is a genetic test available that is performed through a sample of their blood as well as from their hair and external characteristics and behaviour.
Symptoms of this condition include multiple cysts present in the kidney of the animals, which are commonly filled with fluid. The cysts are usually present at birth, and the number and severity will differ from one cat to the next. They start small in size but can grow larger over time, leading to the disruption of their kidneys and kidney failure.
Diagnosis of the condition is done through urine samples, genetic testing and an evaluation of the kidneys. Sometimes a special type of radiography dye is used to detect the cysts. If detected early, it can be treated through special diets, medication and fluid therapy.
Arthritis in the British Shorthair
Felines can also get arthritis just like humans do, and is a very common occurrence. This is mainly because their joints are very similar in structure to ours. Two factors that lead to this are being overweight, which can lead to strain on their joints and a lack of activity.
It can lead to a cat with a very sedated nature which could be confused with calmness. If you notice them becoming less active, it could be an indication of some internal issue and must be checked by a reputable veterinarian immediately.
One of the recommended ways to keep them going is to indulge them in various forms of activity such as letting them play with toys and feeding them a healthy and balanced diet. If they are already overweight, putting them on a strict diet plan can do wonders for not just this condition but any others they may be facing.
In addition, natural supplements are a great inclusion for their holistic health. British Shorthair health problems can be mitigated with some pure CBD oil which has been showing favourable results in other animals when it comes to keeping them healthy and reducing any pain and inflammation in their joints. It helps to lessen the discomfort and pain caused by wear and tear or swelling through arthritis and any injuries.
It has also been found to minimize other mental health conditions such as epilepsy and seizures significantly. Although not much research has been done in curing genetic disorders, one thing is sure, it can help them feel better and provide a much-needed boost to their immune systems which can help combat and kill off any harmful cells in the body.
However, before you go ahead and buy the first product you see on the pet store shelves, do your own homework into this cannabis plant extract to see what benefits it can give your cat as well as what the right doses are.