“This is not cute. This is cruel,” announced Cat The Vet, a UK-based veterinary surgeon on her TikTok channel while showing a pic of the cutest flat-faced Persian cat in the background. Reminiscent of the iconic Grumpy Cat, you wouldn’t be surprised if this adorable furry ball had an Instagram page with thousands of followers. I mean, why would anyone ever call them cruel?
But in a series of eye-opening TikTok videos, Cat The Vet exposes all the popular and impawsibly cute pet breeds that suffer from very serious health problems. The video series captioned “Pets That People Think Are Cute But Are Not!” genuinely shows the not-so-pretty side of our beloved critters which often remains overlooked.
From Scottish fold and flat-faced dogs to munchkin and Persian cats, Cat’s videos will give you a whole new perspective on the desirable trait of “cuteness” in pets and how, in fact, debilitating it can really be to them.
Scottish Fold Cats
"Look at those little cute folded ears, aren't they adorable?
Do you know why they fold? Because they've got weak, rubbish cartilage in them, which makes them collapse under their own weight.
Do you know where else you have cartilage? Every single joint in your body.
And do you know what horrible, weak cartilage gives you? Arthritis. An incredibly painful, debilitating joint condition that we are basically breeding deliberately into these cats, just because we think their little ears look cute.
But it's not that good enough excuse for breeding a cat that spends most of its life totally crippled and ends up being euthanized really really early because it cannot even walk.
If you see these cats being used by brands for advertising or touted by celebrities as the 'latest thing to have', please let them know this is not cute. This is cruel."
Flat Faced Dog Breeds
"These dogs have amazing personalities and make wonderful pets, but we have to talk about how they suffer for the way they look.
Many of these dogs struggle to breathe normally, starting with nostrils that are often just tiny little slits, and their faces may be flat on the outside but on the inside they often have nearly as much tissue as a dog with a normal length nose, and that can really compromise their airways.
You know those cute pictures all over the internet of dogs falling asleep with toys in their mouths or their heads propped up? They do that because when they relax, all that extra tissue at the back of their mouths completely collapses, and without the toy or propping their head up, they would literally suffocate while they sleep.
They also suffer with lots of skin problems, particularly sweaty, itchy skin folds.
Painful dental decay is common because the same amount of teeth as a normal dog's is jammed into this tiny space.
Spinal abnormalities are really common, meaning they can struggle to walk and become paralyzed.
And cute, bulging eyes means they frequently suffer with painful eye problems."
"These cats have a genetic mutation that makes their legs really short. I get why people like them, but that doesn't change the fact that we are deliberately breeding cats with a debilitating genetic mutation, just because we think they look cute.
Think about how active our cats naturally are, how much they love to run and jump and play. Munchkin cats still have those instincts but they can't do it as much or as well because we have deliberately restricted them.
X-rays show just how deformed their limbs and joints really are. Look how smooth and straight the normal cat's one is, compared to how short and twisted the Munchkin cat's ones are. Look at how smooth and clean the elbow joint is in the normal cat compared to how horrible and gnarly the one in the Munchkin cat is.
This means they are not only physically restricted in how much they can move, but this joint would be really painful as well.
International Cat Care, one of the leading scientific bodies for feline research in the world, make this statement about Munchkin cats: "Our position on breeding cats is that first no harm should be done. If there is even the smallest chance that having this 'look' causes problems, then we should not be accepting of it as a breed based on a genetic deformity."
Toad Bulldog, Or Exotic Bully
"Essentially someone came to say 'Hey, let's take the bulldog with their flat faces and terrible skin and awful health problems and make it worse!'
Look at the shape of the limbs on this poor dog. That is basically elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia, horrible arthritis, completely and utterly preordained.
These dogs struggle a lot to even walk. I cannot fathom why anyone would choose to breed a dog that is clearly going to suffer for the way it looks for its entire life.
In some countries, producing these dogs is illegal because it's classed as 'torture breeding'.
And of course, just to add injury to insult, they always chop their ears off."
Flat Faced Cat Breeds
"Their tiny nostrils inevitably make it really hard for them to breathe. You can see how narrow, pinched and squashed their faces are when you compare them to a normal cat.
It comes as no suprise that they suffer from dental problems because there is no room for their teeth!
Their skulls are really misshapen and flat, which can lead to serious brain problems and even be fatal.
Flat faces means that the tears can't drain properly, which can leave them with really sticky, dirty, painful infected skin on their face.
And those great big eyes which are so prized? They're actually really vulnerable to problems because they stick out so far.
The final insult is this super fluffy thick coat which they cannot hope to groom themselves."
"They suffer greatly because of the way they look. Their skulls are really flat, which means they suffer from all of the problems the brachycephalic breeds do, like eye, breathing, skinfold problems.
When you compare their skeleton to a normal dog you can see why they suffer with so many mobility problems as well.
The Pekingese are very vulnerable to overheating, mainly because of the HUGE coat they've been bred with, but also because of their flat faces. In this picture of a 'Best In Show' pekingese dog, you can see he is sat on an ice pack to keep him cool in the arena."