Jun 14, 2009

Beware the Teacup

If you've been reading my blog long enough, you know that I hold trendy animal breeding in complete contempt, be the product white tigers or the latest Hollywood or Japanese pocket dog. You therefore understand my anger at one of the latest trends: the breeding of teacup cats, like Melvin, seen below.

Melvin was sold as a teacup Himalayan. It was only after the purchase that Melvin's owner discovered that what Melvin suffered from was Primordial dwarfism, a condition bred into increasing numbers of cats to keep them small, under 3 lbs.

But Melvin's owner bought more than a dwarf cat. Melvin's owner bought a very sickly cat with a host of problems and attendant vet bills. What you're looking at are images of Melvin when he's entered one of his all-too-frequent catatonic states (that could almost be a funny pun, if the subject weren't so grim). While in a state of catatonia, Melvin has to be wrapped up and forced fed with a syringe.

Lovely. Melvin and his owner want future cat buyers to beware anything labeled 'teacup.' It's a sham and a fraud and it's evil.

Get your pets from adoption centers and animal shelters people (but stay away from the hoarders)!

UPDATE: Rone, Melvin's owner wasn't the original owner. The original owner bought Melvin not knowing the problems Melvin would have, then put him on Craigslist. It is Rone who deserves all the credit here. Also, and this is wonderful news, Melvin is much better now. The catatonic states are gone, and he's now a playful, if tiny, kitty. See the video below for proof. Thanks again, Rone. The world needs more people like you.





17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Poor little guy...

Rhi said...

This breaks my heart

sarahbeth.510 said...

I am a big Melvin fan. Just to clarify, his current owner isn't the original owner. First owner bought him, realized what they had gotten into, then put Melvin up on craigslist. His current owner has done so much for his health and wellbeing and is spreading an important message.

The Caring Infernal Warden said...

Actually, Melvin's original owner had two teacups of her own that she wasn't able to spay. And we all know what happens when a boy cat really loves a girl cat... BAM, "accidental" litter. Pretty much Melvin's last owner was clueless that he was slowly withering away to nothing. She just thought he was sleeping 23 hours a day because he was so small.

Thankkkkksss Justin! I like how you word things. :D

jenjen said...

This is so awful - looks like Bill the Cat. HOWEVER, it's always boggled my mind how many colors and coats we've managed to breed into cats, but they're mostly the same size. We should be able to make a pocket cat, people. Look at the range of doggie sizes there are. Why does this not work for cats? I want a cat I can smuggle into work in my purse. But not if they turn out all wonky and sick, that's no fun.

Yvonne Navarro said...

I hate backyard breeders. I hate it when they backyard breed cats and sell kittens, and I hate it when they backyard breed dogs and sell puppies. I just hate them. Period. My Ghost is the result of such callous, careless, greedy breeding.

Anonymous said...

Good on the new owner of Melvin. I will spread the word... poor kitteh!

niner said...

Good for the new owner. It takes a tremendous heart to care for sick animals of any kind. I still think Melvin is a beautiful kitty. Those colors are gorgeous.

Nan said...

Poor little guy! I appreciate and share your thoughts and feelings about breeding: typical of arrogant humans who think they need to "improve" on Mother Nature.

Thanks for posting this!

Anonymous said...

I am a dog person, and not much of a fan of cats, but these pictures just break my heart. How horrible!!

To answer the question about size versus coat color, dogs have a more stable genetic structure when it comes to size. Think about it - Dachshunds have short legs, but long bodies. Chihuahuas have proportional bodies, but short legs. Poodles have long legs out of proportion to their bodies.

These various mutations have apparently always existed in the dog's genetic structure, and can be seen in other canids. Humans have just taken advantage of those natural mutations.

Cats, however, do not have stability in size differences. A good example is what happens when you cross a lion with a tiger. The animals produced ("ligers" and "tigons") are usually fantastically large. When canids of different species reproduce, it usually results in "normal" sizing (i.e. - somewhere in the middle.)

In other words, dogs have the genetic makeup to be different sizes, but cats don't. And the only way to change that is at a genetic level. (GMO kitties, anyone?)

---BubbaB

nihil said...

Wow....so the cat basically can't do anything and can't eat on it's own? That seems like a poor quality of life to me.

Also, we can't just idly dismiss that dog breeding is completely harmless. Think of the problems Pugs have with their breathing or Sharpeis have with their eye folds as well as, the many dogs that have joint problems because of the way they've been bred. Just look at the changes in Bulldogs in the past century.

Anonymous said...

Like cats aren't a manageable size already! Anyway, I am completely besotted with this little cutie. Seems like he's rebounded well -- hats off to the owner who's invested so much in his well being!

Samiya Rossini said...

It's good to know that I'm not the only one that holds the "trendy" breeding of animals in contempt!

I'm a pet groomer, and I have seen far too many of the horrors of the practice.

Vanessa said...

I share your thoughts on breeders - shelters and rescues should be the only place that people can obtain animal companions.
There are a lot of Rone's out there - people who pick up the pieces of these sad lives and can often change them around for the better. Kudos to all of them. I never tire of hearing about their successes with animals.
I'm glad Melvin found a loving home where he is thriving.

Saffron said...

Melvin is an awesome kitty. And his human is even more awesome for taking care of him and giving him the medical care and the buckets of love that he needs. Thank God for such kind and caring people!!!

Meg said...

This info on teacup breeds is quite an education for me....I had no idea of the problems! I will be spreading the word.

Hopefully, one day, there will be laws against this cruelty.

Amara said...

Thank you for spreading awareness about such a cruel practice! It's absolutely abhorrent that people put being "trendy" above the well-being of living creatures.

And hats off to Rone for being such a wonderful person! I'm really glad to hear that Melvin is healthy, happy, and living with someone who takes such amazing care of him.