Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome

What is Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome?

What is Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome?

Here is a quote from PetMD:

Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome is the medical term given to various upper airway problems found in short-nosed, flat-faced cats breeds. A brachycephalic (having a short, broad head) breed may experience partial obstruction of the upper airway due to physical characteristics such as narrowed nostrils, an overly long soft palate, or collapse of the voice box (larynx). Breathing difficulties may also occur because of an abnormally small trachea, another characteristic common to brachycephalic breeds. Himalayans, Exotic Shorthairs, and Persians are classified as brachycephalic.

Here is another website that discusses Brachycephalic cats: https://www.thehappycatsite.com/flat-faced-cats/

Is the Ragdoll breed a derivative of Himalayan, Persian and Exotic Shorthair cats and therefore at risk for Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome?

No.  Not in the slightest.

Here are the words and video of Ann Baker describing the cats she used to create the Ragdoll breed in 1963-1965:

The Original Cats were Alley Cats

“Okay now at this point I tell you a people story and the reason I tell a people story is because I can’t tell you the real cat story because I would have to do like in Cat magazine and I would have to name three breeds or four breeds and then you go away thinking I mated some breeds together. Well they weren’t any breeds. Where they came up with those breeds…They were alley cats…but I did explain that one of em looked similar to a um an angora another one looked similar to a a uh Burmese like they have back east, not like a Burmese here. I tried to get something that that looked similar that that you could say, “These is what they look like” the different colors I had.”

Our Take

Our interpretation of this important paragraph is as follows:

Ann was discussing the original source cats (Josephine and the sires) that produced the foundational ragdoll cats.  Her point here is that she did not use specific breeds to create the Ragdoll breed.  She used “alley cats” (feral cats) who had the appearances that she liked.  She liked Josephine’s white Turkish-Angora appearance.  The sire of Daddy Warbucks looked like the Sacred Cat of Burma, and she liked that appearance.  But she specifically states that their breeds were unknown.  Ann also criticized magazine publications here, stating that they wanted her to declare which specific breeds she used, and incorrectly print that in their articles, implying that the original cats were not feral.

Himalayan Breed (Brachycephalic)

Here are side view and front view photos of Himalayan breed cats showing the flat face, squished nose features that cause Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome:

Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome Himalayan - flat face, squished nose
Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome Himalayan - flat face, squished nose

Ragdoll Breed (not Brachycephalic)

By contrast, here are some side view photos of Ragdoll breed cats showing that they do NOT have flat faces and are therefore not at risk for Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome:

Seal bicolor tortie female ragdoll cat standing right side view left arm raised

Persian Breed (Brachycephalic)

Here are side view and front view photos of Persian breed cats showing the flat face, squished nose features that cause Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome:

Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome Persian - flat face, squished nose
Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome Persian - flat face, squished nose

Ragdoll Breed (not Brachycephalic)

By contrast, here are some side view photos of Ragdoll breed cats showing that they do NOT have flat faces and are therefore not at risk for Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome:

Seal mitted tortie female ragdoll cat standing on two legs right side view both arms raised as if playing the piano

Exotic Shorthair Breed (Brachycephalic)

Here are side view and front view photos of Exotic Shorthair breed cats showing the flat face, squished nose features that cause Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome:

Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome Exotic Shorthair - flat face, squished nose
Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome Exotic Shorthair - flat face, squished nose
Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome Exotic Shorthair

Ragdoll Breed (not Brachycephalic)

By contrast, here are some side view photos of Ragdoll breed cats showing that they do NOT have flat faces and are therefore not at risk for Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome:

Chocolate mitted lynx female ragdoll kitten walking left side view
Blue bicolor female ragdoll kitten lying down left side view
Cream male ragdoll kitten sitting right side view licking front left paw

The Ragdoll Breed is not at risk for Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome

In the words of the creator of the Ragdoll breed, she did not use any specific breed of cat, however the cats she started with were alley cats that looked like Turkish-Angora and Burmese.  Being feral, these cats certainly were a mixture of breeds.

The Genetic study on this page clearly shows that there is measurable differentiation between the Ragdoll breed and the Himalayan, Exotic Shorthair, and Persian breeds.  This differentiation is on par with (not closer than) most other breeds.  The Ragdoll breed is by definition not a derivative breed of Himalayans, Exotic Shorthairs, or Persians.

Lastly, you can clearly see from the side view photos that Ragdoll cats don’t have flat faced, squished nosed.  That is the physical phenomena that causes Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome.

Ragdoll cats are not at risk for Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome.

Riverside Rags purebred ragdoll kittens for sale

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