Breeding domesticated animals like cats and dogs is nothing new. For centuries, humans have been breeding cats in order to emphasize certain traits, like the way they look, their specific abilities, or to make them healthier and stronger. One of the latest trends in cat breeding is the teacup cat, also called the miniature cat.
Teacup cats are unique in that they remain small in stature as full-grown adults. In this way, they remain looking like kittens, which is very appealing to some cat owners. The average cat weighs between 7 and 12 pounds, whereas teacup cats can be as small as 2 to 3 pounds. Many of the teacup cats available today are smaller versions of the Persian cat. This breed is one of the most popular, and typically has a long and thick coat, a flattened nose or face (called a muzzle), and large eyes. They are quiet, somewhat active, and very friendly to their owners as well as strangers. It is no surprise, then, that a miniature version of the cat is now available.
Differences with Dwarf Cats
Dwarf cats are another version of the smaller cat breeds available on the marketplace today. There are several distinct differences between the dwarf and miniature/teacup breeds. First, teacup cats are simply smaller versions of normal-sized cats: their bodies, legs, heads, and tails are proportionally smaller than a regular cat. Dwarf cats, on the other hand, have a genetic trait that renders their legs shorter than the average length. This is called osteochondrodysplasia, and it is a condition affects bone, cartilage, and tissue development causing dwarfism. The rest of the cat’s body is normally proportioned.
Unlike miniature or teacup cats that are mostly Persians, there are a wide variety of dwarf cat breeds. The first to become an official dwarf breed was the Munchkin in 1994. Other breeds include the Napoleno, Dwelf, and Minskin. Most other dwarf breeds are a cross between a Munchkin and another type of cat.
If you are interested in purchasing a teacup cat, or already own one, be aware that breeders may try to deceive you with misinformation about these felines. Some breeders may claim that their kittens are teacup when in fact they are just the runt of the litter or happen to be slightly smaller than average. Once you bring the cat home, it may continue to grow to an average feline size and weight.
It is highly recommended that you obtain a certificate of good health from the breeder regarding your teacup cat. Ask for any records they have detailing immunizations and other veterinary procedures like being spayed or neutered. Keep in mind that a clean bill of health at the time of purchase doesn’t mean that your teacup kitten will be problem-free. Teacup cats are known to be predisposed to a variety of health issues. These include:
- Weak or soft bones and muscles
- Limbs that are misshapen or feeble
- Cardiovascular and neurological problems
- Sterility or problems reproducing
- Having a shorter life than the average cat
In fact, teacup kittens can be so fragile, that many breeders will wait until the cats are at least five months old and have had more time to develop before selling them to interested buyers.
Veterinary Discount Plans
If your teacup cat suffers from any of the conditions listed above. Or, if an accident or illness befalls your cat, then you will likely turn to veterinary care. Unfortunately, the cost for a vet visit, not to mention any services, procedures, medication, or shots, can be quite expensive. That’s why purchasing a veterinary discount plan (VDP) is a great option.
Having a VDP for your teacup cat is similar to a health discount card. It is not a pet health insurance plan, but rather a way to save on veterinary visits and procedures. It’s as easy as filling out a form online and choosing the yearly or monthly billing option. Once you sign up for a membership, you will receive a list of in-network providers that will care for your feline. The discount for each vet visit averages 25 percent, but may vary depending upon the services needed.
If you already have a pet insurance coverage for your teacup kitten, or are thinking about purchasing a plan, your VDP will work in conjunction with the policy. Additionally, a VDP may help to reduce your bill for any pre-existing conditions or health issues that have restricted coverage through pet insurance.
With veterinary costs on the rise, don’t wait until it’s too late to consider a veterinary discount plan. Your teacup cat deserves the best care available at a reduced price.
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