Dutch Breeding Ban for Hairless Cats

For the first time the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) have issued an official warning to a breeder of hairless cats. It concerns a Sphynx breeder. Breeding hairless cats is prohibited by law since these animals suffer because of their appearance. The inspection took place in response to a request from animal welfare organization Dier&Recht.

Issues with well-being and health
Cats without hair and functional whiskers suffer. The absence of hair means that the cat’s skin is less protected, making it more likely to be damaged by sunburn. There is also an increased risk of infections of the skin and ears. Due to the absence of fur, these cats quickly get cold. In kittens, which are extra sensitive to temperature changes in the first weeks of their life, the lack of fur causes an increased risk of respiratory infections.

Hairlessness is a harmful feature
Supervisor NVWA: “This type of cat also often lacks whiskers and tactile hairs. These hairs are essential for the cat: they sense the slightest touch. Without hair, not only is sensory perception limited, the communication with other cats is also poor. Cats use their fur and whiskers to communicate how they feel: a hairless cat cannot do this.”

Surveillance and enforcement
Hairlessness is a harmful feature. The breeding of animals with harmful external characteristics is prohibited by law in the Netherlands. Breeding hairless cats is considered a serious offense. Because this was the first time that the NVWA enforced this particular violation, the breeder was given a warning.

Kelly Kessen of Dier&Recht is pleased with the NVWA’s decisive action. “Breeders who continue to breed with hairless cats can expect a fine of 1,500 euros per breeding animal used. That’s a pretty strong signal to breeders!

Additional information on the LINK (in Dutch).


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