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bengal cats

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
are bengals more likely to have problems such as blindness and deafness?

does it make a difference if they are snow bengals? I have a blind 2 1/2 week old snow bengal kitten so I'm just trying to educate myself about as much as possible! thank you!
post #2 of 11
I'm going to try not to get too technical here, and what I'm going to say may be slightly controversial, however it is established biological fact- and scientific studies have been carried out to investigate it.

All colourpoint cats run a slightly higher risk of sight defects than full colour cats. This is because the enzyme that is needed to chemically produce pigment is faulty and doesn't work at body temperature. That same enzyme is also responsible for formation of the optic nerve in the foetus. Siamese cats have been found to have abnormally formed optic nerves, which is what can cause the tendency in that breed to be cross-eyed in those with a worse degree of optic nerve abnormality. The snow bengal colouring is caused by the same faulty enzyme. (Blue eyed cats are also at slightly higher risk of developing retinal atrophy and glaucoma due to the lack of pigment - again this is only a SLIGHT tendency.)

HOWEVER - this does not usually cause any noticeable problems with sight for the vast majority of colourpoint cats. At worst, it is usually a slight difference in depth perception, which is usually noticed by the individual having crossed eyes to compensate. It is very unusual for a colourpoint cat to have their sight affected in any noticeable way, as the brain learns to compensate when they first open their eyes and start to percieve the world.

So it is POSSIBLE that your snow bengal's sight problem is due to this, but it is highly unusual to have a problem that severe. Has the vet had a look to determine possible cause?
post #3 of 11
I have just realised that you said the kitten is only 2 1/2 weeks old - I initially read it as 2 1/2 months - it is so young and sight is still developing at that age, are you sure it's completely blind? Are there any siblings to compare its development with?
post #4 of 11
In general, Bengals are NOT known for having defects like that. Epona is correct in that the pale cats (of any breed) tend to have a higher risk of being born blind or deaf. It's usually just all-white cats, but it can happen here and there with others.

One of the TCS members has a blind tortie, so you never know. But again, this isn't anything related specifically to the Bengal.
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by GingersMom View Post
In general, Bengals are NOT known for having defects like that. Epona is correct in that the pale cats (of any breed) tend to have a higher risk of being born blind or deaf. It's usually just all-white cats, but it can happen here and there with others.

One of the TCS members has a blind tortie, so you never know. But again, this isn't anything related specifically to the Bengal.
Cheers m'dear, you know I think I have lost the ability to say something in 3 words when 300 will do. My answer should have been "not usually, no" which is what I've said, but I could have done so in a far more succinct and easy to understand fashion. I think this should be a warning that I am spending too much time looking at highly technical reports about enzymes and not enough time interacting with humans

My apologies to the OP for not giving a briefer reply!!!!
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Epona View Post
Cheers m'dear, you know I think I have lost the ability to say something in 3 words when 300 will do. My answer should have been "not usually, no" which is what I've said, but I could have done so in a far more succinct and easy to understand fashion. I think this should be a warning that I am spending too much time looking at highly technical reports about enzymes and not enough time interacting with humans

My apologies to the OP for not giving a briefer reply!!!!
I got lost at "colourpoint" and so I figured I would translate for you.

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
lmao, it's okay I was able to understand you, no need to apologize! thanks for the reply!

Yep, they were a litter of 6(1 passed) and I'll tell you what I've done, and how different she(from here on, Kiara) is.

I first noticed Kiara would get seperated from the litter by just about 1 foot and would start meowing histerically, even if she was "staring" right at them, she had to touch them to calm down. When I expanded their box area, she would turn circles/crawl aimlessly around meowing.

I read some about telling if a cat is blind and I did a flashlight test on her eyes, when I saw her eyes stay completely dilated when the flashlight goes on and off. They stay dilated 24/7 actually.

She does not track movements whatsoever either.

I moved my finger towards both her eyes(without touching whiskers) and she didn't react.

I did the same tests to her siblings and they all reacted normally. They also track movements really well and "chase" your fingers if you wiggle them around while they're awake, Kiara doesn't.

She's been the slowest to develope also. She crawled last, walked last, played last, started licking herself last,etc.
Kiaras eyes were the first to open(been open over a week) and even the runts' eyes who were LAST to open, track movements and respond to the flashlight.

She is just...very different. She's really cautious in her movements all the time, and goes by memory a ton..I moved them to the opposite side of where they are staying and she walked all the way back to the other side after a minute, and didn't come back over to the other side. She remembered where they were supposed to be.

Whew sorry that was really long!!!!!!!
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by GingersMom View Post
One of the TCS members has a blind tortie, so you never know. But again, this isn't anything related specifically to the Bengal.
Damita is a blind tortie(I assume the one you were referring to). Why? Good question! Then again, I've got the two deaf solid white blue eyed kitties....as is common.

The fact that you said she's been slow to develop makes me question.....her gentics. I suggest you get her vet checked now so you know what you're dealing with. Get her hearing tested, too. If it is indeed genetic....being deaf/blind wouldn't be too surprising, IMO. But I know nothing about purebreds & genetics, either!
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Get her hearing tested, too. If it is indeed genetic....being deaf/blind wouldn't be too surprising, IMO.
Oh, no. Her hearing is the best of any of the kittens. She hears the littlest thing which you know the old thing, when 1 sense is gone, all the others are heightened?

I'm not that worried about her genentics. Yes she has been last to develope but that's common in blind cats(I read that lol) and by being slow, I don't mean she is STILL crawling. She's walking now and doing very well, she has just been last for everything but opening her eyes.

She turns 3 weeks tomorrow
post #10 of 11
Damita has sonar, I swear....she has the dumbest meow....and uses it to search out her toys!

You might want to discuss with your vet.....I let normal checkups slide to once a year for my kits....but with Damita....because she's blind & no one knows why, he reccomends check ups every 4-6 months. Then again, she's got quite a few other health problems as well that are unexplained.

I also suggest a "seeing eye kitty" for the blind kitten. I'm dead serious when I say that, too. Helps with any adjustments within the home. Dorian is Damita's seeing eye cat.
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
^funny you should say that, about the seeing eye cat. Kiara seems to have chosen her bigger brother as one, I swear. She follows right behind him all the time now, she keeps her head touching his tail or legs. It's quite cute!
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