As well as breathing difficulties, cats with flat faces are at risk of eye infections, skin infections, and can even struggle to eat properly.
Cuteness isn't everything
These guys might be super-cute, but our desire for pleasing aesthetics is impacting the quality of our cat's lives. Shaun Opperman is Battersea’s head vet. He said:
"In an apparent quest to make them look increasingly photogenic or fashionable, these cats can sadly spend their whole lives suffering with a range of health problems ranging from matted fur and eye infections to difficulty breathing and degenerative diseases."
"We can see that the owners clearly loved their pets, however their lack of breed knowledge means that they have unknowingly neglected their care, such as not grooming often enough or failing to consult a vet at the right time."
There are several breeds of flat-faced cats, but the breed that often requires the most medical attention is the Persian.
Because of excess skin around the eyes, Persian cats suffer from conjunctivitis and other eye infections. Owners are advised to clean around their cat's eyes with a warm cloth at least once a day.
Others require corrective surgery due to breathing difficulties that can put the cat's life at risk.
What's more, some medical conditions are untreatable, meaning the cat is likely to experience some discomfort for the rest of its life.
A cat's needs are more important than what we want
Adopting a pet is always a huge responsibility, and the animal's needs should always come first.
"If you do have your heart set on buying a cat, then do your research first," said a spokesperson from Battersea. "Ensure that you make a decision based on your lifestyle and an individual cat’s needs, rather than what might get the most likes on Instagram."