Source:  Newsweek (EXTRACT)
Posted:  March 28, 2021

Some cats require more time and effort, both physically and mentally, to look after than others due to their varying needs.

Here we look at some cat breeds that are hard to take care of, based on their grooming requirements, health concerns as well as personality and energy levels.


Persians are prone to a host of health issues, from kidney and heart conditions to others such as brachycephalic airway syndrome.

“Because of their short, flatter face, Persian cats struggle to breathe properly. Many get short of breath quickly and suffer from inflammation and swelling in their airways,” explains the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), the U.K. veterinary charity.

They are also very susceptible to ringworm as well as feline infectious peritonitis, which can be fatal. “Persian cats are more likely to develop this than non-pedigree cats,” PDSA says.

The long, flowing coats of Persians require an indoor, protected environment. “Proper maintenance requires a daily run-through with a metal comb” to prevent tangles, according to The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA), the registry of pedigreed cats.


Similar in build to Persians, exotic cats are also prone to brachycephalic airway syndrome. Exotics are also susceptible to polycystic kidney disease.

“Cats that have been bred with extremely short, flat faces (called brachycephalic) undergo substantial and significant changes to the shape of the whole skull and the associated structures,” International Cat Care explains.

“There will be jaw deformities, which can lead to dental disease and potential problems with eating and drinking; there are usually small nostrils and a soft palate which is too long, which can lead to severe breathing problems.

“The flat nature of face also increases the chances of eye disease, and the jaw abnormalities will make grooming much more difficult,” it adds.


As flat-faced cats, Himalayans are also prone to brachycephalic airway syndrome, which can cause severe breathing problems.

“The flat nature of the face also increases the chances of eye disease, and the jaw abnormalities will make grooming much more difficult,” International Cat Care says.

“The tear ducts cannot follow their natural path and drain properly into the nose, so the eyes run constantly and cause tear-staining on the face and sometimes secondary sores,” it adds.

Himalayan cats may also have a predisposition for hip dysplasia, which is an abnormality of the hip joints causing lameness in the hind legs.


Siamese cats are an “agile and athletic breed that require stimulation or a lot of toys to keep them occupied,” according to The International Cat Association (TICA).

Adult Siamese cats need to be fed at least twice a day but kittens need more frequent feeding, at least three or four times per day, as they burn off calories more quickly, TICA says.

Siamese are also prone to several health problems including asthma, mediastinal lymphoma (a type of cancer causing fluid to accumulate around the lungs) and systemic amyloidosis, which can lead to liver or kidney failure, according to the PDSA.


These deceivingly delicate cats have a high metabolism and “hearty appetites,” with a higher daily calorie intake then the average coated cat, according to TICA.

“Being so food driven, it is important to always keep an eye on their weight, but keep in mind this breed is not a dainty or delicate one,” it adds.

They have “abundant energy and are mischievous” and because they lack hair that would normally absorb body oils, the sphynx breed also requires regular bathing as well as ear and nail cleaning, CFA advises.


Progressive retinal atrophy (a degenerative disease causing blindness) and pyruvate kinase deficiency (a genetic blood disorder) are among the health issues that have been identified in the breed, according to the U.K.’s Governing Council of the Cat Fancy.

Considered a “powerhouse,” owners should not “mistake this small breed for being meek…they are always looking for places to explore and things to do. They are not couch potatoes and thrive from high interaction,” TICA describes.


Also thriving on attention and affection, “The Balinese is a vocal cat that enjoys talking with his family. They demand a lot of attention and get into mischief so should not be left alone for long periods of time,” TICA warns.

Balinese are also prone to progressive retinal atrophy, asthma, mediastinal lymphoma as well as systemic amyloidosis.


The U.K. breed is prone to several birth defects, including urinary tract and digestive problems, that often develop before a kitten reaches four months of age. They are also susceptible to corneal dystrophy (a cloudiness of the eyes), which can develop from when they are four-months-old, PDSA says.

Manx cats are known for their short tails, which causes spine and nerve issues. “This results in a form of spina bifida–a developmental abnormality of the spine that can result in problems with control of urination and defecation, and sometimes also with control of the back legs (causing partial paralysis),” International Cat Care explains.

American bobtail

American bobtails have shortened tails, which can have health implications. “There is always a strong worry that the lack of or shortened tail is caused by an inherited deformity of the end of the spine–similar to the Manx cat,” International Cat Care says.

“There are various different breeds with short tails (stumpy tails), which may be caused by different genetic mutations.

“The defective gene responsible for the loss of the tail also affects other parts of the spine and may cause severe spinal and/or neurological problems,” the charity adds.

Japanese bobtail

Japanese bobtails come with the same health implications as the American bobtail breed due to their shortened tails.

These highly energetic and interactive cats are very people-oriented and may be not the easiest breed for owners who may want to read, watch television or write emails on their own, according to CFA.

“Masters of the pounce, these cats love to play tag with their cat friends…they are naturals at feline agility. They love to jump hurdles and leap through hoops and are speedy and proficient at this sport. They have been known to run the course in less than 10 seconds,” CFA says.

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