Should I adopt a scottish fold? Health concerns?

smollcat

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My local animal shelter recently got in a scottish fold that I fell in love with. He is under a year and super sweet. Since he is at a shelter, there is obviously no known history/parents/genetics/breeding info. I am reading online that scottish folds are prone to tons of health issues and severe osteochondrodysplasia. There is so much varying research it is hard to know what to trust. Do all folded ear cats get this disease? Is there anything to prevent it? Can they still live long, healthy lives? Or should I avoid it all together?
 

Kieka

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What makes their ears folded is the disease. So yes, it is very common for Scottish folds to have joint and bone problems. If the cat has folded ears, they do have weakened cartilage and are very liekly to have it anywhere in their body that there is cartilage. There is no telling at this stage how pronounced the cat in questions potential problems will be. Some have barely any issues and others have significant issues. There are firm supporters out there that the entire breed is unethical because it is specifically breeding for a painful genetic condition for human pleasure. I am in the camp of knowingly breeding for it should be stopped but the cats who already exist deserve good homes just like every other cat.

If you are able to financially care for the cat should it develop health problems then it is a purely personal choice. If I was adopting a scottish fold, or any cat with folded ears of unlnown origin, I would want annual blood work and xrays to ensure issues are caught early plus save up enough to accomidate hefty vet bills (I'd aim to build up a fund of $5k probably while it was healthy and replenish when used). Insurance wouldn't be an option as most won't cover known genetic issues but might be a good idea for other non breed related issues. That way most of your money goes towards the breed specific issues and insurance can cover other emergencies.

If you don't have the money or inclination for a future that could potentially be filled with vet visits and medical treatments then you are better off adopting a random mixed breed cat. Cats from feral background tend to be hardy IMO because they are the result of years of survival of the fittest. I have a little former feral street cat who gets in fights regularly (she's come home with bloody noses and scratches all over her face before, shes a handful at only 7 pounds). The only time she needed a vet was when she hit her head hard enough to cause a blood clot in her eye that made it not react to light for a few days but even that self resolved once we identified what it even was. Otherwise, her bumps and bruises I keep an eye on but in 8 years they haven't ever gotten infected. On the other hand I have had a cat who could get an abcess from a paper cut and we rushed to the vet for every scratch to get preventative antibiotics.
 
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smollcat

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Thank you Kieka Kieka that is good to know! Sounds like it is kind of a gamble either way. Do you know if things that can be done to prevent this disease? Or how its treated once diagnosed? I do have money saved up and I did just get into vet school so in 4 years time I will be able to care for things like that myself haha. I'm certainly going to sleep on it, just wanted to do my research. Thank you again!
 

Kieka

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Not to prevent, folded ears would mean it already is there, but to slow the progression. A mix of supplements for arthritis, plus a diet with bone broth and fish oil should all help to slow. Basically, the same approach for early arthritis symptoms of maintaining good body weight, exercise and such so that the cat maintains as much mobility as possible. I give my cat with arthritis CBD too but the legality of that varies depending on where you are.

I'd also work with the cat similar to what zoos do if at all possible. Give it pill pockets as treats so it likes those if it later needs to be medicated. Make sure you can touch limbs and move them without the cat fighting for you can check mobility regularly. That kind of thing. My cat hates his body being touched but I know I need to check him for injuries so once a day he gets a full body pet which he tolerates for a treat that he knows is after.
 

Docs Mom

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Check kitty's tail. If it is stiff and inflexible, then the joint problems etc. are present. You will find more about that in research about the breed.
But it sounds like you are the perfect person for this kitty ! Able to get help if this kitty needs it....

I love Scottish Folds and Straights.....they are so darn cute !
 
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smollcat

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Just wanted to give everyone an update that I adopted him today and he is perfect. So friendly and goofy and settling in so well. I’m so happy he’s mine and I hope to give him the best life possible. Thanks for everyone’s advice and encouragement!
 

Meowmee

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Just wanted to give everyone an update that I adopted him today and he is perfect. So friendly and goofy and settling in so well. I’m so happy he’s mine and I hope to give him the best life possible. Thanks for everyone’s advice and encouragement!
That is great, please post pics😀
 

Meowmee

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Aww such a beauty and so adorable, he looks very happy😀
 
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