Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter
31 May 2004 Issue
Our Ragdoll Cat
Beware! The Irresponsible Breeder
Submitted by subscriber
I am writing about a tragedy that has come about due to owning overbred cats.
My husband was rather taken with the Ragdoll breed of cats.
Ragdolls are very gentle, docile cats that tend to follow their owners around and like to be with them. Unfortunately around 50 percent of them are prone to many disorders such as cardiomyopathy which in layman's terms means thickening of the heart walls. The heart has to beat faster and harder which in turn means that the muscle thickens up even more and the cat eventually succumbs from other problems.
Our first cat Cappucino was found to have disorder when we first got him from the breeder. He lasted exactly five years and died in emergency care from liquid around his heart. He suffered from invasive procedures such as having the liquid drawn off by syringe.
We informed the breeder of what happened to Cappucino and she said she was terribly sorry. She gave us another ragdoll kitten who was beautiful but very small. We correctly suspected he was the runt of the litter and they had taken little or no time to properly socialize him. He was fearful but very sweet. The breeder swore up and down that he was perfectly alright but our vet found a heart murmur. Around five years of age he developed kidney disease and it devastated his weak immune system. Every two days I had to hold him down and put a large i.v. needle in the back of his neck in order to give him much needed fluids. We gained a few months but eventually the fluids weren't enough and he got much weaker.
Last night we asked the vet over to put him out of his misery. While the vet was injecting him, it must have hurt because he let out a yowl. Then he was gone. I felt terribly guilty but judged it necessary given the rotten quality of life he had had.
So after this preamble, what is my problem? Simply that breeders and irresponsible ones shouldn't be playing God with different breeds of cats. Rag dolls have all the cat bred out of them. Myself I prefer the shelter cats because they are usually very personable and fun and are "real" cats. I have told my husband there are to be no more purebreds in our household because there are too many homeless ones in shelters. Furthermore, there are plenty of purebreds in shelters probably placed there because breeders haven't been able to sell them or they aren't "perfect".
I live in Canada and there are a number of different breeders around who are quite respectable, but those in it for the bucks are totally repugnant and way out of line. I mean don't they realise they are playing with animal lives.
Thanks for letting me vent and I enjoy your site very much. Probably enjoy is the wrong word because I am appalled at all the cruelty out there. But very grateful to you for pointing it out.
Editors note: don't get a companion animal from a breeder. With millions of unwanted animals dying yearly in shelters there is no excuse to add to this surplus.
Get your next companion from a shelter. Save a life.
Animals aren't a commodity, born to fill the bank accounts of irresponsible breeders with money.
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