Teacup pets are all the rage nowadays. It’s not uncommon to walk down the pet store and see dozens of teacup kittens and teacup puppies. Although people gravitate to teacup pets thinking that they must be a low-maintenance pet, the truth is quite the opposite. Before you rush into buying a teacup animal, you should research what you are buying.
There are also two kinds of “teacup” cats. True teacup cats are bred to be tiny, and have been carefully selected to never grow large. However, some breeders will sell cats as “teacup” cats that are not teacup cats. These cats are typically dwarf cats, and are bred with the dwarfism gene. True teacup cats will not have many health issues, what dwarf cats will. Because dwarfism is a defect, these cats will often suffer from a variety of issues including muscular-skeletal deformities and kidney issues. This does not mean true teacup cats will not have health issues however. Teacup cats are prone to injuring themselves because of their small size. Their bones are much more weak, as they do not get very large. Some kittens marked as “teacup” kittens will also simply be the runts of the cat litter, and are smaller due to being the weakest of the bunch. A runt will usually be marked by a slow rate of muscle growth, an enlarged heart, or misshapen jaws or limbs. Often times their bones will also be more brittle due to not getting enough nutrients while developing. However, you may find yourself adopting a dwarf of runt cat anyway. It is possible to raise one of these cats, but you will find yourself taking them to the vet often. They will also often have shortened lifespans, which you must be prepared for. In order to make sure you are purchasing a true teacup cat instead of a dwarf, ask the breeder you are purchasing from for a complete health certificate for the cat. A cat that is not a dwarf will say that it is free from genetic diseases. Another potential way to scope out whether or not the kitten is a genuine teacup kitten is the price. If the breeder is willing to part with the cat for less that $100 dollars, it’s probably just a dwarf cat. However, if the cat costs anywhere from $500 to $2000, it is probably a genuine teacup cat.
There are a few health concerns that come up in ethical debates surrounding teacup cats as well. In order to achieve the tiny size that characterizes teacup cats, a lot of breeders resort to inbreeding the cats. This is a very quick way to get results, but creates cats with a lot of health issues. In addition to this, it raises a whole host of ethical dilemmas. Teacup cats never get very large. They rarely get larger than kitten-size. However, they are technically fully-grown, and will exhibit adult-like behaviors. It’s important to never forget that your teacup kitten is actually a fully-grown cat, and treat him like such.