Vet Breaks Down Why So Many 'Cute' Pets Are More Cruel To Breed Than They Seem

At this point in our history, there are so many breeds of cats and dogs out in the world that it's hard to keep track of them all.

But while part of that variety just speaks to how animals naturally develop and diverge from each other, it's also true that many breeds only exist because people cracked the code on how to create a dog with their desired look or purpose through selective breeding.

And it turns out there's quite a dark side to this type of breeding to the point that the creator of the labradoodle breed now considers the work that gave him prominence his life's greatest regret.

But as one vet's powerful series of TikTok videos illustrates, the harmful consequences of selective breeding affect a lot more breeds than you might expect. And some of the world's most popular types of pets are among them.

Ever since late May, a British veterinarian who goes by Cat the Vet on TikTok has periodically uploaded warnings about pet breeds that may look cute, but actually lead painful existences.

The first one she identified was a cat breed known as a Scottish Fold, which is so-named because it was bred to have little folded ears.

As she put it, "Do you know why they fold? Because they've got weak, rubbish cartilage in them, which makes them collapse under their own weight."

This is because weakening cartilage affects every joint in the body, which means that Scottish Fold cats are doomed to experience debilitating arthritis in their whole bodies and are often euthanized because of this.

In her words, "And I agree they look completely adorable but that is not a good enough excuse for breeding a cat that basically spends most of its life totally crippled."

And that is also often the case when it comes to flat-faced dog breeds such as pugs and bulldogs.

But as the vet explained, these breeds have even more problems because their small nostrils and the compacted, folded tissue in their heads often leaves their airways obstructed, making breathing difficult.

And if these problems weren't enough, their compacted faces also tend to give them itchy skin folds, painful dental decay, and severe eye problems.

In Cat the Vet's words, "We have to talk about how they suffer for the way they look."

When a Pekingese named Wasabi was named this year's winner of the Westminster Dog Show, the vet saw this as a worthwhile opportunity to discuss the problems with that breed.

As you can see in her TikTok, Pekingese dogs are prone to the same breathing, skin, eye, and mobility problems that we saw in the flat-faced dogs above.

However, one additional problem that seems more unique to them is that their massive, fluffy coats also leave them vulnerable to overheating.

If you've ever wondered why dog show winners of this breed often collect their accolades while seated on an ice pack, you now know the unfortunate reason.

It also turns out that the problems we see in flat-faced dogs will also apply to flat-faced cats.

Like pugs, they also have tiny nostrils that make breathing difficult and crowded teeth that cause severe dental problems. The shapes of their skulls, in addition to contributing to these issues and the eye problems you see in flat-faced dogs, also have a potentially fatal effect on their brains.

Cat the Vet also explained that flat-faced cats can't drain their tears very well, which can lead to infections on their facial skin. This is made worse by the fact that their coats are too thick for them to properly groom themselves.

The vet's ultimate message in breaking down these breeds is that they aren't cute, they're cruel.