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How to Care for Brachycephalic Cats

How to Care for Brachycephalic Cats

If you have a brachycephalic cat, you need to know how to properly care for them and ensure they receive the best quality of life.

Named after the scientific word for short skull, brachycephalic cats are most commonly referred to simply as “flat-faced cats.” Adored worldwide for their expressive eyes and cartoon-like appearance, flat faced cats are incredibly popular household pets. Their characteristic smooshed faces and upturned snouts have captivated social media, giving these adorable cats viral representation. Among this group, Persian, Exotic Shorthair, and Himalayan cat breeds are noted by veterinary professionals as brachycephalic.

Unfortunately, the distinct features that sparked their popularity also contribute to several significant health issues. Flat-faced cats struggle with numerous defects and require meticulous grooming. If you have a brachycephalic cat, you need to know how to properly care for them and ensure they receive the best quality of life.

Eye Problems and Care

For brachycephalic cats, many health issues are rooted in the stunted shape of the skull. The condensed dimensions cause the cat’s eyes to bulge out of their sockets, leaving the cornea exposed and unprotected. As a result, their folds of skin and long fur wreak havoc on the eyes. Dust and debris also make frequent contact with the eyes. Regular eye irritation is inevitable and potential infections are plausible without proper care. If the eyes become infected, bacteria-induced discharge could stain the fur of your cat.

Attentive eye care will reduce the likelihood of infection and decrease discomfort. To clean your cat’s eyes, delicately wipe away any discharge with a damp cloth. The cloth should be lightly soaked in a specialized solution or warm water, but never come into direct contact with the eyes. Make sure that the cloth used is not cotton based or composed of a fluffy material. These items could shed fibers that get lodged into your cat’s eyes.

Hair Maintenance

Himalayan and Persian cat breeds have luscious, voluminous fur that requires daily maintenance and grooming. Long-haired cats must be brushed daily to keep the cat healthy and prevent painful matted fur.

If the fur gets tangled or matted, it can be incredibly painful. Tugging against the skin, tangled masses of fur cause discomfort. The tangles will prevent the cat from cleaning the skin, which could lead to the development of harmful skin infections in the future.

Breathing Issues

Due to the shortening of the skull and nasal passageway, brachycephalic cats struggle with breathing issues. Their noses become easily clogged and need to be kept clean to combat potential respiratory infections. Using a wet cloth or pad, wipe the nose daily to clear any blockage.

Frequent veterinary visits are crucial. Keep your cat up to date on all vaccines to help prevent the development of respiratory illnesses.


For 20 years, the Catonsville Cat Clinic has been providing quality veterinary care to the cats of Catonsville and beyond! Dr. Pam Nesbitt, who purchased the practice in July of 2011, runs the Catonsville Cat Clinic with compassion in mind. A team of professionals with an advanced level of veterinary medicine is at your service to make sure your cat is healthy and happy. So stop on by; we’d love to get to know you and your cat!

For more updates and advice, be sure to follow our Facebook, Twitter, and Google+! You can get in touch with the Catonsville Cat Clinic by giving us a call at 410-869-0800 or visiting our contact page.

This entry was posted on Friday, January 11th, 2019 at 3:42 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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