Animal experts warn against raising cats like those owned by Taylor Swift

By Minh Nga   May 28, 2024 | 05:29 pm PT
Animal welfare groups are urging fans of Taylor Swift not to follow her and purchase Scottish Folds, the type of cat owned by the pop star, as they suffer from a genetic mutation that causes their ears to fold.

Swift's cats often feature in her social media. However, animal welfare organizations argue that while certain genetic traits make the species endearing, they also cause them chronic suffering.

Cats Protection said on their official website that Scottish Folds are a breed of cat generally known for their folded ears and "round" appearance, and that the first Scottish Fold cat was born in Scotland in 1961 with a genetic mutation.

"Due to this mutation, Scottish Folds have serious health problems that cause pain and poor welfare. We'd advise against getting a Scottish Fold if you are thinking of getting a cat," it said.

According to the U.K. organization, the same gene leads to osteochondrodysplasia, a condition characterized by abnormal bone development and intense pain. It also causes skeletal deformities andarthritis.

The two Scottish Folds cats owned by Taylor Swift. Photo from Taylor Swifts Facebook page

The two Scottish Folds cats owned by Taylor Swift. Photo from Taylor Swift's Facebook page

Sarah Ellison, Cats Protection's Central Veterinary Officer, emphasized that the blame should not fall on Swift but rather on breeders who may not provide adequate information about the breed's health risks.

She told The Guardian that discovering that their pets will suffer lifelong pain can be profoundly upsetting for owners.

The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy, the U.K.’s main registry and authority body for cats and cat breeds, does not recognize the breed and also campaigns against its very existence.

Scottish Folds are frequently praised as perfect companion cats due to their gentle nature and love for cuddles. They were even named the U.K.'s "top cat" by a pet nutrition company for these qualities.

However, Elliott points out that many owners may not recognize that their less active behavior could stem from chronic pain.

go to top