Richard and Mary
At preset the The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF) who are the main registry of pedigree cats in the United Kingdom do not keep death or health records of registered cats. So there is no way at present of knowing if the breeder you choose is breeding long-lived healthy cats, or unhealthy ones. When we bought Misty, we knew she was weak and from a breeder we could not trust. But how could we resist? When Misty failed with CKD, we bought two new Siamese kittens from a breeder we found much more trustworthy. Some of her cats had, she said, lived to 18 years. And the kittens were far more robust and a lot less fussy eaters.
GCCF did inform me that they are in process of changing their system so such records will exist. This could tell a lot and help to sort good breeders from bad!
It has been proven that stress in utero adversely affects human health throughout the baby's life. Likewise very early childhood is very important. There is no reason why cats, or other mammals should be any different. A cat that hasn't developed properly, either because of in-utero problems or because of a hard early life, can hardly be expected to become a healthy adult!
In humans, even stress in a pregnant mother can adversely affect the developing baby, with life-long adverse influence on its health. Why should cats be any different?
Furthermore, cats learn what to eat from their mothers and therefore from their breeder. If the breeder weans them on dry food and doesn't teach them to drink a lot, that's their life pattern. Flora and Fauna were weaned on a variety of food: chicken, cat food, grated Cheddar cheese. And to drink they had watered down milk. So at age 5 months, they are not fussy eaters - mainly chicken, chicken liver, other human food, cheese. But they actually prefer cat food! With a bit of good quality kibble (Canagen chicken). And they still drink a lot more than Misty ever seemed to do!
So there are conflicting opinions as to whether dried food is actually the villain. We need a proper survey to ascertain what diets CKD cats are fed and whether dry food really is a problem.
There are theories that some vaccines can cause problems if applied inappropriately.
I am also alerted by the apparent lack of information on how the topical flea and worm treatments (which are applied to the back of the neck) are removed from the system. Could these be slowly damaging the kidneys of our cats? I am still researching this angle in the scientific papers. See the page Topical Spot-on paraciticides.
There are plenty of other toxic plants listed - daffodils, onions, grapes - but there is little said on exactly how toxic these plants are. Or whether any of them could start renal failure.
There are also many household chemicals which cats could ingest, either by chewing objects or by brushing against then, then licking themselves clean. Such things as:
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