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Breeding healthy cats

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I'm used to dog breeders having to do a few health tests on their dogs before breeding to have health clearances. Are there any tests that should be done on cats before they are bred? Or does it depend from breed to breed? I heard that Maine Coon's get hip dysplasia, should they get radiographed at 2 years old to make sure their hips are good like dog breeds should do?

Are there any websites that show what kind of health problems certain cat breeds get? Like certain dogs are more prone to certain health problems, are there any statistics for cat breeds?

I have a Siamese, I have heard they are healthy cats by most but have been told a lot of them die young by a couple people (I dont think this is true that many die young).
post #2 of 21
My Blue Point Old Style Siamese lived to be 20 years old. He didn't have any real health problems though out his life. H did throw up a lot because he didn't always chew his dry catfood, and that often made him throw it up, but that's it.
post #3 of 21
My half Siamese just turned 16 and my Brothers was 15.5.
post #4 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by sillylilykitty View Post
Or does it depend from breed to breed?
It does depend on the breed, as some are more prone to certain things than others.

About your Siamese, I was talking to a breeder today who just lost her 22 year old and has other over 18 so I don't think they die any earlier than other cats.

I don't know of any website that lists all breeds, but if you were interested in a certain breed I'm sure with research you could find out what they might be predisposed to.
post #5 of 21
Depends on the lines. In some Siamese lines you have more heart issues and so they don't live long. But others are late teens or older. Siamese, orientals, rexes might have more problems with cardiomyopathy then other breeds. So breeders do check that more often.

Persians are being tested for PK something (persians breeders in here can tell you more). And yes the larger breeds, like MC's do have some problems with the hip dysplasia now.

In general, cats seem to be a lot more healthier then dogs with less genetic problems. My two oldest rexes were 15 1/2 and 18 yrs.
post #6 of 21
It depends on the breed. Somalis and abys are tested for PK deficiency and PRA (DNA-tests), Maine Coons are tested for HCM (a heart disease) and HD, Persians are tested for PKD (a kidney disease, nowadays there's a DNA-test available) etc.

Many breeding cats no matter breed are tested for HCM since it's a hereditary, degenerative heart disease that affects cats in basicaly all breeds.

So yes, there are some diseases that we test for but it depends on what breed and what blood lines you work with.
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
Ok, so there are some things that should be tested before breeding a cat. I'm asking because I don't know of any breeders that do health tests on their cats. HCM-what does that stand for?
post #8 of 21
I don't see where anyone has yet posted the most basic of tests that a good breeder will do pre-breeding - for feline leukemia and fiv, as well as being sure they are free of any parasites and are healthy (no upper respiratory or other issues).

I've never met a decent breeder who didn't run tests pre-breeding.
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by sillylilykitty View Post
Ok, so there are some things that should be tested before breeding a cat. I'm asking because I don't know of any breeders that do health tests on their cats. HCM-what does that stand for?
Yes, there are some things. There are of course non-hereditary things you should test for too as already mentioned (FIV and FeLV). Personally I believe all breeding cats should be blood typed. In cats there are 3 different blood types and that can cause problems for newy born kittens (you'll find information about it if you google "feline neonatal isoerythrolysis). Blood typing saves lives.
post #10 of 21
I know that a lot of Devon rex breeders will blood type as they have higher instances of blood incompatability.
post #11 of 21
We blood type our cats. Type B is in about 10% of ragdolls.
We have DNA tested our cats for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) for two mutations. All our cats are Normal/Normal. In addition we scan annually.
Annual tests for FeLV and FIV.
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone. So there are tests that should be done.
post #13 of 21
I agree with bloodtyping - it is more relevant for some breeds than others, as some breeds are mostly A type - but if you have a type B you do need to know to prevent kitten mortality. FeLV and FIV tests within 24 hours before going to stud are pretty much a requirement here for queens.

As far as genetic conditions go, if I were to go into breeding now or in the near future, I would want to find out what DNA testing is available for both health conditions and colour if I needed to find out what recessive genes are carried by any individual, and we are getting to the point now where that is possible if not now then in the near future.

Generally speaking (and I do mean this as a generalisation) I believe that slender breeds are more susceptible to HCM (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy) and cobby breeds are more susceptible to PKD (polycystic kidney disease) and any testing possible should be carried out, to make sure that you are producing healthy cats with a good chance of longevity.
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
I know that a lot of Devon rex breeders will blood type as they have higher instances of blood incompatability.
It's done with many breeds: Sphynx, Maine Coon, Ragdoll, Birman, Cornish Rex, British Shorthair etc. and it should be done in all cats because different blood types exist within basically all breeds, just in different proportions. Aby and Somali are said to be 100% A blood, a friend of mine who breeds Somalis just found out that she's bred AB-cats. I know of Siamese breeders who've bred B-cats but they ignore the problem and try to eliminate it (how on earth they think they're supposed to do that without DNA-testing for it).

If more breeders would blood type we would find more B-cats within those "100% A-blood breeds", I'm sure of it.

It's easy, it's cheap and it saves lives... I see no reason as to why you wouldn't blood type.
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sol View Post
Aby and Somali are said to be 100% A blood
My info I have is Aby and Somalis are in the 10-20% range for blood type B.
post #16 of 21
I did find out at the last cat show (booth with blood doners) that cats only have 3 types - A, B or AB. But in dogs there can be up to 15 different blood types!
post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
I did find out at the last cat show (booth with blood doners) that cats only have 3 types - A, B or AB. But in dogs there can be up to 15 different blood types!
But in dogs there doesn't seem to be the same problem with antibodies that react on foreign blood types as in cats and humans.
post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 
I found this link interesting http://www.messybeast.com/bloodgroups.htm

It has a table saying which breeds are more likely to have type B blood.
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by sillylilykitty View Post
I found this link interesting http://www.messybeast.com/bloodgroups.htm

It has a table saying which breeds are more likely to have type B blood.
Not to much faith should be put to such tables. Many of these kinds of studies have been done on very small groups of cat, often related cats and this gives much room for errors.

I can tell at once that this specific table doesn't match the real life. I personally know of both Siamese and Burmese cats with blood type B. Not many, but they do exist.
post #20 of 21
And since the Oci is Siamese, American SH and Aby - what catagory would they be in??
post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
And since the Oci is Siamese, American SH and Aby - what catagory would they be in??
Probably in somewhere between Aby and Siamese. Maybe more AB than other breeds, a few B and mostly A but of course only testing will tell.
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