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Scottish Fold Cat 5 Common Health Problems

The Scottish Fold is a popular breed of cat because of its adorable appearance, which is exemplified by its distinctively folded ears. But, the genetic abnormality responsible for their lovely ears also causes major health problems.

Apart from their appearance, the Scottish Fold is one of the most people-friendly and placid cats available. They are affectionate and devoted to their people, making them an ideal family pet. Despite ongoing debates regarding the morality of breeding them, these characteristics appeal them to many people.

Whether you already own a Scottish Fold or want to learn more about their health before exploring breeders, "Scottish Fold Cat 5 Common Health Problems" by BestForPets (bestforpets.org) will expose you to the most prevalent health issues affecting this breed.

The 5 Health Concerns for Scottish Fold Cats

1. Osteochondrodysplasia

Scottish Folds are famous for their adorable ears. It is the outcome of a genetic abnormality that disrupts the formation of cartilage in the ears. This mutation not only gives these cats their distinctive appearance, but it also causes one of the breed’s most serious health issues.

Osteochondrodysplasia is a condition characterized by defects in bone and cartilage growth. Sadly for your Scottish Fold, this condition is extremely painful and incurable.

In extreme circumstances, it can be treated with medicines or surgery. As there is no cure for the ailment, therapy is required for the duration of your cat’s life.

Unlike many other cat breeds that can be screened for common health problems, folded-ear Scottish Fold cats are unable to avoid osteochondrodysplasia. It can manifest in Scottish Fold kittens as young as seven weeks of age.

2. Arthritis

Due to the inescapable development of osteochondrodysplasia, Scottish Fold cats are predisposed to have other degenerative joint illnesses. Arthritis is one of the most prevalent conditions and might further hinder your cat’s mobility. Arthritis, like osteochondrodysplasia, is incurable but treatable with painkillers and anti-inflammatory medicines.

Several of the symptoms of osteochondrodysplasia resemble those of arthritis. These disorders can cause inactivity, irritation, stiffness, limping, and a reluctance to jump on or off furniture.

3. Cardiomyopathy

Heart disease is a prevalent condition that affects numerous cat breeds. Cardiomyopathy results from the heart muscle becoming either too thin or too thick to function properly. Both conditions can result in congestive heart failure, blood clots, and even death.

It may be caused by heredity, scar tissue within the ventricle, or a taurine deficiency.

An echocardiography is required for a precise diagnosis, as numerous heart disorders exhibit identical symptoms. Like to the other typical health conditions of the Scottish Fold, your cat can live for many years if properly treated.

4. Obesity

Being predators and descendants of wild creatures, cats dislike displaying their discomfort. While they may complain more when you attempt to move them if they are ill, they will likely curl up and slumber more frequently until they recover.

Due to their susceptibility to osteochondrodysplasia and their propensity to spend most of their lives in discomfort, Scottish Folds are typically among the least active cats. Their reluctance to move contributes to the development of obesity, especially if their diet is not modified to account for their inactivity.

5. Renal Polycystic Disease (PKD)

PKD is a hereditary disorder that causes the formation of fluid-filled cysts in the kidneys. They are present at birth and gradually increase in size until they begin to interfere with kidney function. This interference frequently results in renal failure.

Cats do not all have the same number of cysts or risk of renal failure until much later in life, if ever. Because PKD affects different cats differently, it is difficult to predict the severity of the condition for your Scottish Fold.

What Are Scottish Fold Cats?

The Scottish Fold originated in Tayside, Scotland, with a barn cat. Susie, a devoted mouser, grabbed the attention of William Ross, a shepherd, in 1961. Her folded ears caught his attention, and he later acquired one of her kittens, Snooks, which contributed to the development of the modern Scottish Fold.

Is It Cruel to Have a Scottish Fold Cat?

There are two distinct varieties of Scottish Fold. One has straight ears, similar to other cat breeds, while the other has folded ears. While the former is often healthy, the latter’s folded ears result in a lifetime of suffering for these cats.

This chronic pain discourages many cat enthusiasts from continuing to breed the Scottish Fold. The breed was created specifically for its adorable appearance. Thus, their health needs were neglected.

In an effort to prevent the inevitable suffering, the Fédération Internationale de la Féline and the Cat Fancy of Great Britain have outlawed Scottish Fold cats and eliminated them as a recognised breed. A few U.S. breeders have sought to eliminate the problem by only breeding Scottish Folds with American and British Shorthairs.

This has resulted in a healthier, straight-eared species, but pairings can still produce kittens with folded ears because this gene is dominant.

Numerous cat enthusiasts concur that an adorable appearance should never take precedence over the cat’s well-being. This makes it extremely challenging to justify the continuous breeding of the Scottish Fold, especially when bred with breeds that lack folded ears.

Depending on how the sickness affects them in the first place, these cats are capable of living for a long time if they receive a thorough treatment plan. Numerous Scottish Folds must be terminated at a young age.


As cute as they may be, the Scottish Fold is a breed that is much discussed among cat lovers due to the inevitable suffering that the breed must endure due to the hereditary abnormalities that result in their folded ears.

Despite the fact that osteochondrodysplasia is a debilitating and incurable condition that affects this breed, they are also subject to a few other frequent health hazards.

We hope that “Scottish Fold Cat 5 Common Health Problems” by BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has enabled you to have a deeper understanding of the issues that this breed faces.

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Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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