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Fashion for breeding ‘grumpy’ cats is fueling increase in feline fights, new study finds

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Breeding cats tend to look “cranky”, one study finds, causing them to fight more with other felines.

Flat-faced (brachycephalic) purebred cats with large, exaggerated eyes or “cranky” features are often known to have difficulty breathing, eye problems, and other health issues.

Despite this, these breeds have grown in popularity in recent years, with celebrities like Taylor Swift fueling the trend with her specially bred three flat-faced cats.

But a study, published in the journal Frontiers In Veterinary Science, said that health concerns aside, this breeding can also impact a cat’s ability to communicate effectively through facial expressions.

The study also suggests that this lack of communication could lead to increased conflict with other cats, even those in the same household.

Principal Investigator Dr Lauren Finka, Feline Behavior and Welfare Specialist at Nottingham Trent University, said: “Our work suggests that breed-related issues can not only affect the physical health of cats, but also their communication skills.

“During the domestication of the cat, we dramatically altered its physical appearance, creating a diverse range of modern cat breeds.

“Our preference for them to have characteristics that we find cute or similar to expressions we recognize in humans – such as a cranky, frowning appearance – may have unintentionally disrupted their ability to speak clearly and communicate.

“Cats can also have trouble communicating with each other – which could lead to increased conflict in multi-cat homes.



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