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Bombay Cat Health Problems: 5 Common Issues

Written by: Jessica Kim

Last Updated on January 19, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

bombay cat sitting in a brown background

Bombay Cat Health Problems: 5 Common Issues


Dr. Tabitha Henson (Vet) Photo


Dr. Tabitha Henson (Vet)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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The Bombay Cat is an adorable medium to large cat with sleek and short black hair. They’re a mix between the Burmese and American Shorthair. Bombay cats are a generally healthy breed that is also athletic and surprisingly heavy due to their muscular build. They can live long lives, especially when they’re well cared for.

While genetics and environmental factors play a role in a cat’s health, there aren’t any guarantees that a cat will age without developing health issues. Therefore, it’s essential to know the illnesses and physical conditions Bombay Cats are prone to developing.

Here are five common health problems found in Bombay Cats.

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The 5 Common Bombay Cat Health Problems

1.  Craniofacial Defect

Signs and Symptoms: Abnormal skull structure, absent ears, brain protrusion
Life Stage Affected: Kitten
Treatable: No

If a Bombay cat reflects more of their Burmese parent’s traits, they can be born with a craniofacial defect or a Burmese head defect (BHD). BHD is often a fatal condition that is apparent upon birth. Most kittens end up stillborn or have to be euthanized due to the severity of this condition. They can have deformed skulls, improperly formed jaws, and a brain protruding from the skull.

Because BHD is often fatal, it’s unethical for people to breed Burmese cats known to birth kittens with BHD. When searching for Bombay Cats, work with a reputable breeder who is transparent with their cats’ health history and can provide proof of genetic testing for all their kittens.

bombay cat
Image Credit: Gary Shade, Pixabay

2. Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Signs and Symptoms: Labored breathing, lethargy
Life Stage Affected: All life stages
Treatable: No

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is one of the most common cardiac diseases in cats, including the Bombay Cat. This condition occurs when the walls of the ventricle thicken, and the ventricle cannot pump blood efficiently.

Cats with HCM can start displaying signs of congestive heart failure. There’s no direct treatment for HCM, so treatment is targeted toward alleviating and regulating signs, such as controlling the heart rate.

The prognosis for HCM also varies depending on the severity and how far the condition has progressed. Some cats can live for several years after receiving a diagnosis, but HCM is progressive, so they’ll have to be consistently monitored once it’s determined that they have it.

3. Aortic Thromboembolism

Signs and Symptoms: Sudden pain or paralysis in rear limbs, pale or bluish nail beds and paw pads, irregular heartbeat
Life Stage Affected: Adults, seniors
Treatable: Yes

Aortic Thromboembolism is commonly found in female and mixed-breed cats, such as the Bombay. It occurs when a blood clot develops, travels, and gets caught in the aorta. This obstruction can reduce blood flow and is particularly dangerous if a cat has HCM. Cats will often experience paralysis in the rear legs, requiring veterinary treatment to return blood flow back to stable levels.

While the blood clot can be surgically removed, it’s typically not a recommended form of treatment because it’s risky. Aspirin and anti-blood-clotting medication may be administered to prevent future blood clotting.

bombay cat lounging outdoor
Image By: Lolame, Pixabay

4. Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease

Signs and Symptoms: Pain while urinating, blood in urine, frequent urination
Life Stage Affected: All life stages
Treatable: Yes

Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) describes a range of conditions that impair the bladder and urethra. They can be caused by bacterial infections or obstructions in the urinary system, such as bladder stones.

Male cats can be prone to developing FLUTD due to urethral stones, but FLUTD is a common illness cats can experience, regardless of breed or sex.

Treatment is available to help cats recover from FLUTD, and it’s best to consult a veterinarian to address the condition.

5. Obesity

Signs and Symptoms: Non-visible waistline, slow movements, rectangular profile
Life Stage Affected: All life stages
Treatable: Yes

Obesity is a common disease in indoor cats. Since they don’t get as much space and natural opportunities to exercise as outdoor and feral cats, they can become overweight relatively easily. They also have better access to food and treats, which can contribute to weight gain.

Although chubby cats are part of an internet craze, cat obesity must be taken seriously because it can significantly decrease a cat’s quality of life and increase the risk of developing other health conditions, such as arthritis and diabetes.

Bombays are playful, intelligent, and good climbers. So, they’ll need plenty of play sessions and various places where they can climb and perch. They need to stay active and have plenty of exercise to prevent obesity.

overweight bombay cat
Image By: rodrigocswm, Pixabay

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How To Keep Your Bombay Cat Healthy

Environmental factors can help Bombay cats stay healthy, and it’s the cat owner’s responsibility to ensure that their cats live in good homes that promote a healthy lifestyle. One of the best ways to help your Bombay Cat stay healthy is to be consistent with your annual vet check-ups.

Finding a good vet can make all the difference in maintaining your cat’s health. Make sure to find a vet willing to answer any of your questions and knowledgeable about hereditary health conditions related to Bombay cats.

Since Bombays like to climb and jump, make sure to have at least one cat tree and a couple of perches they can use. Since they’re also very smart cats, they benefit from enrichment toys and puzzles. Remember that Bombay Cats are very social, and they’ll love playing with you and can have fun chasing toys attached to cat wands.

Lastly, keep track of your cat’s diet. Bombay cats may be cute, but that isn’t an excuse to overfeed them treats or share your human snacks and junk food. Since they have shorter legs and love to climb, becoming overweight can prevent them from climbing and enjoying some of their favorite activities.



Most Bombay cats are healthy, but it’s still important to be well-informed about diseases and illnesses they risk developing over their lifetime. On top of providing a happy and healthy home environment, make sure to be on top of vet visits and monitoring your cat’s diet. All these factors can help your cat live a long and happy life.

Featured Image Credit: Ton van de Blaak, Pixabay

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