Issues in Cats
The presentation of genetic health issues in cats
is not as well
known as with other species. For example, in dogs even a novice owner
is likely aware of hip dysplasia. Many in horses are aware of the
“lethal white” gene in paint horses, even if they don’t have paint
horses. Cattle can have a few genetic health issues as well but when it
comes to cats even similar issues are not viewed in a common way.
when you take the steps to begin breeding it should be done as an
informed person producing the best cats possible, not just for show but
for health. One issue that affects cats is dwarfism.
Dwarfism is beyond
just being a runt of the litter. This is an animal that genetically is
changed through a gene for achondroplasia
- Physically these animals have short limbs, a
large prominent forehead
and ear infections, among other problems.
- There is also a form,
pseudoachondroplasia that appears with the shortened legs but the head
- Kittens with dwarfism can suffer as they grow
when the spine
shifts down around the shoulders, causing the spine to
in turn presses on the lungs, heart and trachea causing additional
- This can trigger problems from infections in
mild cases to
premature death in more serious ones. There is some disagreement if
“officially” dwarf cats have more health issues than others.
in cats tends to be combined with other health issues.
- In dogs some
breeds have a higher incidence than others, leading some to believe it
- This is a cause for questions in cats – with
acute signs of
pain, depression, appetite affected and sometimes vomiting or diarrhea.
Loss of weight and low body temperature are also signs in
the pancreas doesn’t work properly in producing insulin diabetes
Persians can be affected by polycystic
kidney disease and heart issues can happen in any
- However, overweight animals are more prone to
- Some lines have hypertrophic
a genetically caused heart disease.
These things can be tested for and animals
tested ability to produce kittens with them shouldn’t be used for
breeding. Heart issues, for example are incurable and fatal.
- Hip dysplasia and
night blindness can
both be genetic.
- Spinal muscular atrophy
is another disease that can affect cats and can carry it without
showing signs, but the kittens will inherit the defects.
such animals are expensive to maintain while they are alive most pet
owners won’t take them on knowing this is lurking. The kittens affected
that do have signs later may be abandoned or euthanized, preventing vet
bills and suffering but eliminating a life that if healthy would have
many more years.
Research your breed and ask questions about
genetic problems in the breed. Choose matings that consider these
things as well as show qualities for a perfect and healthy litter! It
is much cheaper and in breeding it pays to produce quality in all
aspects including health!
Need any advice now? Ask a vet
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What is it and how you can prevent it.
more: Cat Hair Loss
Most people know that a healthy full coat is a sign of good health
in animals. What should you be looking for if you are facing cat hair
This is a helpful site on cat health
Cat Health Guide - Information on
the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of common cat health problems.
From Health Issues to Homepage
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purpose only, not to replace any veterinarian advice.