Brachycephalic upper airway obstruction syndrome
Over the past hundred years human beings have designed for themselves a large number of different cat breeds. The conformation of some of these breeds has become more extreme and sadly many health problems have been introduced into the cat population as a consequence. The continual increased selection pressure for 'desirable' physical traits has resulted in many pets presenting with more severe manifestations of certain congenital conditions and at a much younger age. One example is brachycephalic breeds of cats (and other small animals, eg dogs). If you are considering buying, or already own, a cat with a short nose such as a Persian, Himalayan, exotic shorthair and some Scottish folds, then you need to be aware of the welfare issues surrounding brachycephalic upper airway obstruction syndrome (BUAOS). The most severely affected animals have the flattest face when viewed from the side and from the front their noses are not positioned well below the eyes, which is normal but higher up, even level with the eyes. These cats may be called “ultras”, “peke-faced” or “extreme” Persian types. Those with longer noses - and which are likely to be healthier - are the “tradition-type” Persians.