Brachycephalic Cat Breeds: What to Know and How to Care For Them

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Snub-nosed cats, also known as flat-faced or brachycephalic cats, might look cute. They are often the subject of memes and popular Instagram posts. However, as adorable as they are, brachycephalic cats also have a number of different health problems.

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Sadly, over time, breeders cared more about creating cute cats instead of thinking about all the risks involved. As more people become aware of these health issues, it's becoming viewed as unethical to breed these cats.


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Whether you have a snub-nosed cat or you are considering getting one, you need to know more about this higher-risk animal — so that you can care for it properly. Learn all about flat-faced cats, and then figure out how to exercise the proper cat care so your fur baby lives a long and healthy life.

What cat breeds are snub-nosed cats?

Some of the cat breeds that are snub-nosed include:

  • Persian cats
  • Himalayan cats
  • Exotic shorthair cats
  • Chinchilla cats
  • British shorthair cats
  • Burmese cats


There are other types of snub-nosed cats that are rarer. But with one look at a cat, you can typically tell whether or not it could be considered flat-faced.

Health issues with snub-nosed cats

Above all else, snub-nosed cats have breathing problems. This is because they have narrow nostrils, a smushed face, and a much larger soft palate. Sometimes, flat-faced cats develop brachycephalic airway syndrome, which means that they'll always have nasal discharge that clogs up their narrow nostrils. They will have to breathe through their mouths.


Your cat's eyes may also have issues. Since snub-nosed cats' eyes are protruding, their eyelids might not shut all the way. They may have more discharge. You might also notice dark streaks around your cat's wet eyes, which can cause bacteria to form.

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Brachycephalic cats tend to have crammed teeth because there is less space on their faces. Teeth might overlap, and your cat could experience other dental problems.



Since these cats cannot breathe well, they are at risk of obesity, too. They are unable to move around like other cats and tend to become overweight.

Caring for a snub-nosed cat

There are many different ways you can take care of your snub-nosed cat to ensure they live a healthy and full life. First, make sure that you take them to the veterinarian for routine care and get their vaccinations done on time. You'll also need to get them a professional dental cleaning once a year and brush their teeth at home as often as possible. It's recommended that you brush your cat's teeth daily.


You should also clean your cat's eyes. Wash your hands with soap and water and dry them, and then gently wipe your cat's eye with a damp cotton ball or a tiny bit of baby oil. Use a separate cotton ball for each eye to keep it as sanitary as possible. Then, dry your cat's eyes with a soft tissue.


Consult with your veterinarian about the best food for your cat so that they don't become obese. Measure out their food and don't give them access to human food. Limit the treats as well. To ensure they get some exercise, you can give them toys and a cat tree to play with. Just don't overdo it, as your cat may become tired and not feel well.


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Since snub-nosed cats normally don't breathe well — and especially in hot weather — you need to make sure to keep your home cool at all times. In the summer, turn on the air conditioning, and in the winter, you could put their cat bed in a colder room where the heat may not be on as high. You could also turn on some fans so that they can breathe properly.

Unfortunately, pet travel is not so easy with a flat-faced cat. Flying is possible, but you really need to talk with your veterinarian before taking a trip. Going on a plane with your cat during the hotter months of the year can be dangerous. There are always risks involved in taking a flat-faced cat on an airplane, so do your research before flying. If you're going on a road trip, make sure you turn on the Air conditioner and/or keep the window open slightly so your cat doesn't have trouble breathing.

The bottom line

Snub-nosed cats are adorable, but they require extra care. Since brachycephalic cats are at higher risk for health problems, especially around their face, it's important to know these risks and to do your research — to take care of them properly. With your veterinarian's help, you can take a few simple steps to give your cat a happy and healthy life no matter what.



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