“As much as I hate to give any attention to people who have become celebrities for no good reason, when I heard that reality TV star Kim Kardashian had bought a cat — and not just any cat, mind you, but a so-called teacup Persian — I had to speak up.
Before I heard about Kardashian’s new fashion accessory, I had no idea teacup cats even existed. (In case you’re wondering why I referred to her kitten as a fashion accessory, all you have to do is look here for proof.)
If you’re wondering what a teacup cat is, it’s not a cat in a teacup, it’s a cat that’s bred to be much smaller than the breed from which it originates.
Several breeds, including the Persian, have successfully been bred to teacup size and retained their health. This requires a lot of work and a lot of knowledge of the breed, and the people who are going to do it right are the responsible breeders. Naturally, this means teacup Persians are very rare and expensive.
Of course, when celebrities get designer pets, unethical breeders start seeing dollar signs and then do everything in their power to produce mass quantities of the latest fashionable pet. In case you didn’t know, there are plenty of kitten mills out there, too, and chances are the purebred kitten you see in a pet store is cranked out of a facility just as delightful and healthy as a puppy mill.
Kitten-mill operators don’t give a crap about potential health problems, the integrity of the breed, or the dangers of inbreeding. All they care about is making money.
There’s another kind of unscrupulous breeder who is capitalizing on the teacup fad. They sell runts or even deliberately deprive kittens of food in order to keep them small, and then pass them off as teacup cats.
If you want a tiny purebred cat, get a Singapura. They’re naturally small, they have short hair, and they’re ridiculously cute!”