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German judge orders hairless cat to be castrated

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Interesting Article:

German judge orders hairless cat to be castrated
Berlin tomcat Willi should be neutered for not having whiskers, a German court has ruled. Allowing the animal to breed and sire more whisker-less kittens would breach animal cruelty rules, according to the judges.


The 4-year old Willi is a Canadian Sphynx, and considered a "family member" by his owner (pictured above), Jacqueline L. The Berlin breeder also owns four females.

"The issue is not whether people find hairless cats to be pretty or not," judge Christian Oestmann said before the Wednesday verdict.

Instead, the court had to decide whether or not breeding cats with no whiskers constitutes animal cruelty under German law.

Ordinary cats use whiskers to enhance their sense of touch, communicate moods and squeeze through narrow passages. The long, sensitive hairs are especially helpful in the dark. Not all Canadian Sphynx cats lack whiskers entirely, others can have either broken or complete ones.

The judges cited the law which forbids rearing of animals that lack "species-specific organs," in the first ruling on the subject since the legislature was adopted in 2013.

'Drawn to humans'

The five-member panel of judges sided with the local veterinary authority, who first decided that Willi should be neutered. The decision also follows a recommendation against breeding hairless cats by German association of cat-breeders DEKZV.

"I would consider the lack of a sensory organ to be harmful," animal expert Thomas Göbel said before court. The veterinarian also said that hairless cats were good-natured, but often suffered skin trouble.

Still, many cat lovers claim that the lack of fur causes no suffering for the cats.

"Hairless cats are drawn to humans and very intelligent," Willi's owner Jacqueline stated.

Breeding of Sphynxes is also a lucrative business, especially with a cat like Willi, who has already won awards for his good looks. Canadian Sphynx kittens can bring in hundreds of euros per animal.

The latest ruling can be appealed, and Jacqueline has already announced she would keep fighting the castration order.

Time is running out for Willi, however, as he would soon be too old to breed.

dj/msh (AFP, AP, dpa)

German judge orders hairless cat to be castrated | News | DW.COM | 23.09.2015
 

assibassi

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I am german and i say, what the hell are they thinking ?? Stupid rule !! Such idiots ! They should be .. oh they are fur-less as humans, so they should NOT breed !!! Or they have no whiskers, so they should not breed !!
 

Catzzzmeow

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Holy cow , just ridiculous. Wonder what their take is on tailless cats like the Manx.
 

Toa and Ross

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Huh? I don't understand it! My boys have no whiskers (okay to be exact one boy has one tiny whisker that 1mm long:) but I don't notice him suffering or having problems with coordination or something. I know cats with fur really need their whiskers for coordination and it's very cruel to cut the whiskers of a cat with fur. So I understand that people who don't know about our cats think there is something wrong. But the judge had to do research before making a statement and coming to a verdict!

Hope the owner will go to the higher court and takes a specialist to explain.
 

MollysMom

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Does anyone know if it is legal to declaw, or dock dogs tails and clip ears in Germany? To me, that is FAR more inhumane than a lack of whiskers.
 

naomi

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Wow. Frida grows whiskers...but only one at a time and it is usually between 1mm and 3 mm long. This is
Just how they are, it doesn't stop her from doing anything. I am much more concerned with breeding practices such as the Scottish fold which must be bred carefully to avoid the scull of the cat from caving in. That doesn't remove any species specific traits, but can be dangerous. Even these cats though can be perfectly healthy when bred properly. I don't think laws like this do what is intended. I hope she wins her case.
 

assibassi

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Does anyone know if it is legal to declaw, or dock dogs tails and clip ears in Germany? To me, that is FAR more inhumane than a lack of whiskers.
it is illegal to declaw I know that for a fact.
 

assibassi

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Last time I went to Germany 3 years ago and I was with my Sister and her family and we went to Regensburg downtown to Eat and my Phone case cover was a picture of Hansel my Cornish Rex and Hairy my Sphynx and the people next table kept pointing at my phone. I was so proud showing my cats to them , just for them to cuss me out ! haha My sister got really offended and had some words with them as well. She does not own Cats like I do , but it offended her because its non of their buisness. Anyways , I just felt i can meet people like this here in the States too where I live , many times so far that I think people want to say nice things to me when I am out and about with my Crestie and I hear ... "what an ugly dog!!" . I just laugh at them.
 

Zab

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German judge orders hairless cat to be castrated for not having whiskers. Allowing him to breed more whiskers-less cats would breach animal cruelty rules.
I read this in the news today, I'm totally stunned! Google it, read it. I would love to hear thoughts on this.
/Zab
 

Toa and Ross

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German judge orders hairless cat to be castrated for not having whiskers. Allowing him to breed more whiskers-less cats would breach animal cruelty rules.
I read this in the news today, I'm totally stunned! Google it, read it. I would love to hear thoughts on this.
/Zab
There's already a thread going on about this. I'll try to find it! Guess we are all like "whaaaaaaaaaaaaat??" about this!
 
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Zab

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I'm really chocked about this. Sure, I can say that I don't speak "cat" so I don't know how they feel about this, but I don't think my babies "suffers" without whiskers, they're indoors and sheltered. I wonder who this so called expert is and what the facts in this case are based on? Just as mentioned earlier, if you think whisker-less is cruel you should also look at other things, like tail-less or short legs... I really hope the sphynx community in Germany speaks up.
 

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Just the other day I was on Facebook and saw someone commenting something like this on a video of a sphynx. The woman said that in her opinion, owners of sphynx are greedy and selfish to create a cat like this. She noted the fact that they didn't have whiskers so it "throws them off." Well that never occurred to me. She also said that the sphynx isn't loving, it only wants to be close to their owners to stay warm. I was very offended and saddened :(
 

Toa and Ross

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Just the other day I was on Facebook and saw someone commenting something like this on a video of a sphynx. The woman said that in her opinion, owners of sphynx are greedy and selfish to create a cat like this. She noted the fact that they didn't have whiskers so it "throws them off." Well that never occurred to me. She also said that the sphynx isn't loving, it only wants to be close to their owners to stay warm. I was very offended and saddened :(
Try not to feel offended and saddened! Cause this all is said by somebody who doesn't know a thing about sphynx!!
This morning my boys were laying under blankets all warm and cozy. When I come home for the market they jumped on my to cuddle. And I sure felt colder then the blankets. So far about only being loving cause they want to stay warm:p
 

naomi

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I agree with @Toa and Ross this person has never experienced a Sphynx for long enough actually get to know one. Frida also will leave the comfort of her warm bed to come and sit with me in the cold air of the fan. She will even stay when it is obvious she is too cold. She knows I will turn the fan off or give her a blanket. She loves and trusts me. I can tell by the way she will lay on my lap and fall into a deep sleep. If she doesn't trust someone she will just kinda perch on them with her eyes half closed, no matter how warm they are.
I think that this kind of statement is like saying a cat can only act affectionate because it wants food. It is ignorant, narrow minded and inconsiderate to those who love and care well for their animals. Cats in general express love and devotion differently than a dog or a person and Sphynx are a cat. I would say that they love their people at least as much as any other type of cat.
 

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I can tell you that it's illegal to trim facial hair on a horse in Germany (Something I very much agree with.)
However - Pixie has no whiskers (or eyelashes, for that matter) and she has zero coordination issues.
Besides, if my cat were born deaf -- does that mean I have to neuter it? If it's blind -- do I have to neuter it?
Like Frida, Pixie prefers to sit on me and snuggle, even if there is a heated blanket nearby.
 

Cleopatra Beers

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As I wrote in my other thread, It isn't true that Sphynx do not have whiskers--Here's Marcus' latest effort, and as of today that whisker is about 1 and 1/2 inches long!
image.jpeg
 

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As I wrote in my other thread, It isn't true that Sphynx do not have whiskers--Here's Marcus' latest effort, and as of today that whisker is about 1 and 1/2 inches long!
View attachment 62673
As I wrote in my other thread, It isn't true that Sphynx do not have whiskers--Here's Marcus' latest effort, and as of today that whisker is about 1 and 1/2 inches long!
View attachment 62673
Marcus what a great whisker you have! Toa and Ross also have whiskers and I think they're about 1/4 inches long. So :p for the judge:smuggrin:
 

lealea

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Nobody orders the castration of short nosed dogs who have a high incidence of brachycephalic airway syndrome, now that would definitely cause distress and unnecessary suffering to a pet! I can't understand where they dream up their rules. If they ever saw a sphynx in action, happily bounding around, whiskered or not, with more agility and stealth than the average moggie, they'd surely change their minds. They are ill informed and uneducated on the breed and should not be qualified to make such a ruling. Besides, it's the whisker pads with all the nerve endings, so the whole thing doesn't make sense.

How on earth did this get to a court in the first place? Surely there are enough criminals to tend with in Germany so that they don't have to resort to petty quarrelling over a beautiful, much loved and perfectly healthy sphynx cat!:banghead:

(And dear Marcus, Rosie says she loves a man with a little facial hair and is liking your whisker very much. One of her favourite pastimes is rubbing her face against her stubbly daddy's when he hasn't shaved.)
 
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Silke

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Since I'm looking around for a second sphynx atm (in Germany) I notice a lot of "Not illegal" adverts and "Whiskered Sphynx" adverts.
Honestly? I don't care if my sphynx has whiskers or not. I *do* care whether it is a healthy, well adjusted, happy cat. Forget the "oh noes, it has no whiskers" and insist the breeders scan for HCM, which is far more detrimental to the cats health than the lack of a whisker!
Oh, and Pixie loooooves to have her whisker area rubbed with a thumb. :) (And her chin scritched lightly, and her ears rubbed, and... here, have my bum in your face so you can scrubble the top of my tail properly, and please rub my nose too, while you're at it.)

And, hi:

This is a "Supreme Champion" Persian.
What's the betting he has trouble breathing?
But I guess Persian Cats don't need to breathe. It's not a "sense" or "organ" being taken away, after all.
 
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Silke

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Oh, and P.S.
We had a (partially) blind sire here. It wasn't hereditary, and he was certified while he was seeing, but no one ever suggested that he should be castrated because he is "Missing a sense".
When I saw him in August, he still had some vision in one eye, but it went in the months after. He was in obvious distress about not being able to see, and was put down the day before I got here. Not because he would have passed on his blindness, but purely because it was kinder, and gelding him would have made no sense either. He simply wasn't able to function in a herd anymore, and keeping him alone and blind in a stable would have been cruel. So the breeder made the heartbreaking decision to put him to sleep, to spare him a life of loneliness and misery, being stuck in a stable.
He may have eventually learned to cope, but there was no guarantee of it.
 
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