Scottish Fold Health Concerns...can They Be Healthy In Old Age?

abbymarieuf19

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Hi all! I'm planning on getting a Scottish Shorthair cat in the next six months. I was originally planning on getting one with straight ears (more cost effective and no genetic mutation concerns) but found a fairly priced folded kitten available online. Now I'm reconsidering...but I'm worried about the cartilage issues.

Has anyone here had a Scottish fold live to be happy and healthy in old age? Any advice/personal stories Scottish fold owners can share please let me know!
 

kittyluv387

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I don’t have one but I would never get one due to ethical reasons. Cartilage is kind of crucial for all mammals and we are breeding cats with defective cartilage just so they look extra cute. I can’t promote the breed by buying one. I hope you reconsider and end up getting a Scottish straight. They are extremely adorable as well.
 

abyeb

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This article is very helpful: Scottish Fold - Osteochondrodysplasia - UFAW

The mutation that causes the folded ears (FD) is dominant. However, it also affects the cartilage in the rest of the body. Cats who are homozygous for FD/FD have the most severe osteochondrodysplasia. Heterozygous (FD/fd) individuals may also be affected, to some degree.

Do you know the history of the cat you’re looking at? I would highly recommend talking to the breeder, to make sure that the kitten you’re looking at is the result of a folded ear to straight ear breeding (FD/fd x fd/fd). That will ensure that the kitten you’re getting won’t be homozygous for FD/FD, and therefore, less likely to have severe osteochondrodysplasia.
 

lutece

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A heterozygous Scottish Fold is less likely to develop severe problems, but there is no way to completely avoid the possibility of osteochondrodysplasia when breeding folded-ear cats. Heterozygous Folds that appear healthy as kittens or young cats can develop problems as they age. Research suggests that most folded-ear cats will develop some type of osteochondrodysplasia eventually; some cats may only have very mild arthritis that does not affect quality of life and may not be obvious to the owner, while other cats may be more severely affected. Many breeders have stopped working with folded-ear cats because of this research finding.
 

British Girls

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When I was 12 my mother bought a Scottish fold kitten for me for Christmas. Floppy was a triple fold and I had him for 17 years. During his last few months at the age of 17 and a half, he had arthritis and developed kidney failure (which we wound up putting him to sleep for) but for 16 years, he was healthy and active and I never had any other problems with him. He had routinely twice a year checkups and yearly vaccines and never had any health problems until his kidneys failed and he developed arthritis so...I would recommend getting a Scottish Fold as they are very sweet cats and love people. :goodluck:
 

kittyluv387

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When I was 12 my mother bought a Scottish fold kitten for me for Christmas. Floppy was a triple fold and I had him for 17 years. During his last few months at the age of 17 and a half, he had arthritis and developed kidney failure (which we wound up putting him to sleep for) but for 16 years, he was healthy and active and I never had any other problems with him. He had routinely twice a year checkups and yearly vaccines and never had any health problems until his kidneys failed and he developed arthritis so...I would recommend getting a Scottish Fold as they are very sweet cats and love people. :goodluck:
Cats are very good at hiding pain. Most likely you noticed his arthritis because your cat was dealing with kidney disease too. The folded ear means defective cartilage which will affect all of the joints.
 

Katiebird

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1060D4D1-2A98-4874-B0B0-D9214CB27A7B.jpeg 00EB72FD-7811-49B8-BA0A-6166AA8242AC.jpeg 1060D4D1-2A98-4874-B0B0-D9214CB27A7B.jpeg 00EB72FD-7811-49B8-BA0A-6166AA8242AC.jpeg 7AFF3A6A-669E-4819-956D-CCFAFB212F24.jpeg 5D3570DE-FA14-431B-84A1-6A5219607285.jpeg 9C0AD4C9-0045-4425-B29F-3FA09647BC26.jpeg 2B32CBCA-28BC-4A96-844F-F6338487783F.jpeg As someone who owns, shows and breeds Scottish Folds and Straights I think you are being wise in considering their health concerns. I have come to the conclusion that I will be only breeding Scottish Straights in the future because in my opinion there is no way to ensure that even heterozygous Folds won’t have severe joint problems. All Folds have Osteochondrodysplasia to some degree, and as much as we only want the cartilage in their ears to be affected it simply is impossible to control how the fold gene affects the rest of the cat. I have noticed OCD symptoms in every single one of my Folds, to varying degrees. One of them needs regular pain medication, joint supplements and Adequan injections to give him good quality of life. Not what most people want to take on when bringing a new cat into their life. If you do decide to get a fold, you must ensure it is not from a fold to fold breeding and doesn’t exhibit any signs of severe OCD. A shortened, thick tail, abnormal gait, and shorter/thicker extremities (paws) are signs to watch out for. It’s also ideal for the breeder to fold gene test their cats to ensure that they are only breeding fold to Straight (there is a theory that some Straights may be Folds whose ears have lifted or were very loose).

It’s also important to be aware that Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and Polycystic Kidney Disease are also very real problems in this breed. I would only consider purchasing a kitten from a breeder who screens for both of these conditions and can show you test results from their breeding cats. I personally lost a 3 year old cat from HCM, and have two other cats who have mild HCM. This is not a breed you want to purchase from an uninformed breeder, they have very real health issues that a reputable breeder will be screening for. I would beware of a breeder selling less expensive cats, as I would expect it would be unlikely that they are investing money in doing the appropriate health screening of their breeding cats, vaccinating/microchipping kittens and altering them before they go home. It is a labor of love and I only breed to better the breed, and I make no profit from breeding cats. If you would like recommendations for reputable Scottish Fold breeders, I’d be happy to let you know. I’ve attached some pictures of some of my gorgeous Scottish Straights so you can see they are just as adorable as the folds.
 

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Hi Katiebird,read your post with a great deal of interest bc I am very interested in getting Scottish fold. If you have a moment would you be kind enough to give me your opinion of a Fl Breeder that goes by the name of Adorable Stars Cattery?

Thanks
Kim
 

Katiebird

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Hi Katiebird,read your post with a great deal of interest bc I am very interested in getting Scottish fold. If you have a moment would you be kind enough to give me your opinion of a Fl Breeder that goes by the name of Adorable Stars Cattery?

Thanks
Kim
I looked at their website and am not impressed. I personally have never heard of them, and I know of a lot of Fold breeders. They do not mention any health testing that is done on their breeding cats, they don’t show their cats that I can see, and they let kittens go to their new homes unaltered. They also mention that they have a 1 year health guarantee but it will cost you 20% of the purchase price of the kitten. This is ridiculous and I’ve never heard of any breeder charging more for a health guarantee. I sell my kittens with a three year guarantee, but this is something I provide for every kitten, not just those who want to pay more for it. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people starting to breed Folds because they are popular and they can charge quite a bit for them. I would walk away from this breeder, personally.
 

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First of all, thank you so much for your quick response. I really appreciate your time and kindness. If I may trouble you a bit further, could you recommend a breeder to work with? I have my heart set on a lynx point Scottish fold. Have already named him/her Tipsy
I know that the color is extremely rare and I might have to be patient. I’m also very concerned about health since I lost a baby, a rescure not a Scottish fold, to HCM.
Again, thank you for your time and kindness
Kimberly
 

Katiebird

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First of all, thank you so much for your quick response. I really appreciate your time and kindness. If I may trouble you a bit further, could you recommend a breeder to work with? I have my heart set on a lynx point Scottish fold. Have already named him/her Tipsy
I know that the color is extremely rare and I might have to be patient. I’m also very concerned about health since I lost a baby, a rescure not a Scottish fold, to HCM.
Again, thank you for your time and kindness
Kimberly
I’m sorry for the loss of your kitty to HCM, I know how hard it is. There aren’t as many fold breeders working with colorpoints as they were not allowed by CFA for a long time, but are allowed by TICA. I know of one breeder in Ohio, Emmers Scottish Folds and Straights, that’s had pointed kittens in the past. The only other breeder I know of that works with pointeds is Starla’s Cats in Texas, but I don’t know if they HCM screen or not. I would make sure that any Fold breeder you’re considering actively shows their cats and screens for Felv/Fiv, PKD and HCM at a minimum. Sometimes it is worth while compromising on your desired color in order to find a healthy kitten from a reputable breeder, in my opinion.
 

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Thank you!!!

I will follow up with both Breeders.

Kimberly
Hi Kimberly! Thanks for posting about Adorable Stars. What you end up doing? We are considering buying from them but like you, we are doing our due diligence before buying a cat from them. My questions are: It is a common thing to charge 20% over the sale price for a health certificate? Or ask for $200.00 to register the kitten? We asked to see the contract before committing to the sale and there is no information about the pedigree of the parents. Feels like I have to ask for information that the breeder should provide as part of the sale. Their cats are beautiful. I registered a pure bred Persian once with the CFA and I believe it was around 30-40 dollars. I'm I'm being to paranoid?
 

Seadreamer

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Hi Riocat!

I am still doing research. I agree the cats from Adorable Stars are gorgeous. But I am very leary of getting a cat that has health problems since I lost a cat to HCM (heart disease) at a very young age.

I tried to research the cattery to see if anyone had any complaints, but found nothing on them. Have you heard anything about them? Somehow I think you are right to be paranoid, it is unheard of to charge a fee to garantee a healthy kitten, and that gaurantee is only for a year.
Please let me know what your experience is like with them.
Kim
 

Riocat

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Hi Riocat!

I am still doing research. I agree the cats from Adorable Stars are gorgeous. But I am very leary of getting a cat that has health problems since I lost a cat to HCM (heart disease) at a very young age.

I tried to research the cattery to see if anyone had any complaints, but found nothing on them. Have you heard anything about them? Somehow I think you are right to be paranoid, it is unheard of to charge a fee to garantee a healthy kitten, and that gaurantee is only for a year.
Please let me know what your experience is like with them.
Kim
So far has been good but not great, which I can live with. I started getting nervous when I saw how many cats they have available which is like around 20 at this moment (including moms that they are selling), given how popular this breed is and two Maine coons. The 20% for the HG was another red flag. Plus I found their cattery name as a registered cattery on the TICA website but the TICA website is awful to search and find if a breeder is still active or whatever information that they provide. I wish it was easier to use the TICA website. But today, I stumbled on this thread while searching information about breeders and what to look for and lo and behold, you asked about them. I will visit their cattery this week and will report an opinion back.

I recently had a a 12 year old cat that passed due to CHF (Congestive Heart Failure) and I'm also super paranoid about their health since we suffered too much trying to save our beloved cat but we couldn't do anything else to save him. So I know your pain! We are now looking for a companion to our other 12 year old cat and British shorthairs look like a good fit. Thanks!
 

Katiebird

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Hi Kimberly! Thanks for posting about Adorable Stars. What you end up doing? We are considering buying from them but like you, we are doing our due diligence before buying a cat from them. My questions are: It is a common thing to charge 20% over the sale price for a health certificate? Or ask for $200.00 to register the kitten? We asked to see the contract before committing to the sale and there is no information about the pedigree of the parents. Feels like I have to ask for information that the breeder should provide as part of the sale. Their cats are beautiful. I registered a pure bred Persian once with the CFA and I believe it was around 30-40 dollars. I'm I'm being to paranoid?
You are not being too paranoid, there are a lot of major red flags with this breeder and I would stay far away from them. Charging $200 for Registration is insane, it costs me $15 to register my kittens with TICA. Charging extra for a health guarantee is also very sketchy and not something an ethical breeder does. They should also be able to show you the parents pedigree upon request. My kittens go home with copies of all their medical records, their parents pedigrees and copies of all the health testing done on their parents. Any ethical breeder should be able to provide the same for you. I had never heard of this cattery before this thread, but they sound like someone just looking to cash in on breeding cats and not to better the breed.
 

Riocat

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Hi Riocat!

I am still doing research. I agree the cats from Adorable Stars are gorgeous. But I am very leary of getting a cat that has health problems since I lost a cat to HCM (heart disease) at a very young age.

I tried to research the cattery to see if anyone had any complaints, but found nothing on them. Have you heard anything about them? Somehow I think you are right to be paranoid, it is unheard of to charge a fee to garantee a healthy kitten, and that gaurantee is only for a year.
Please let me know what your experience is like with them.
Kim
And I haven't found reviews or complaints on them. They have a Facebook page but no reviews there as well. They have on their website links to the Instagram accounts of owners of cats they have sold. They may just be a small cattery and this is how they operate, but what do I know!
 

Seadreamer

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Hi

Please, please let me know how the visit goes. I am most curious about the living conditions of the cats. Also if you get any information on the HG, aa to what that evolves, please let me know. Thanks

Kimberly
 

Riocat

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You are not being too paranoid, there are a lot of major red flags with this breeder and I would stay far away from them. Charging $200 for Registration is insane, it costs me $15 to register my kittens with TICA. Charging extra for a health guarantee is also very sketchy and not something an ethical breeder does. They should also be able to show you the parents pedigree upon request. My kittens go home with copies of all their medical records, their parents pedigrees and copies of all the health testing done on their parents. Any ethical breeder should be able to provide the same for you. I had never heard of this cattery before this thread, but they sound like someone just looking to cash in on breeding cats and not to better the breed.
Thank you Katiebird! That's what I thought and nagged me to no end. I will keep searching for better breeders in and out of FL. Just it hasn't been easy. I appreciate your input!
 
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