Genetic testing

Breeding cats at Ailuring are selected from healthy lines and are DNA tested for all of the Oriental-breed specific illnesses that we can test for.

While Oriental cats are generally very genetically-healthy as a breed (as can be seen in their commonly long lifespans and large-sized litters), there are a few traits – like in every species on the planet – that may have an inherited basis. Where this is known, we test our breeding cats and will not breed with a cat that can pass on these traits to their kittens.

We know how much a part of the family an Oriental cat becomes because of their special personalities, and we know how painful it is to lose a family-member. We do what we can to minimise the chances of this by avoiding breeding with any cats that have the genes for those genetic diseases that may have a connection to the Oriental or Siamese breeds.

Currently we test our breeding cats for: Progressive retinal atrophy (rdAc), Polycystic kidney disease (PKD), Gangliosidosis (GM1), Mucopolysaccharidosis, and Niemann Pick Disease. Of these diseases, only Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) has been commonly-found in Orientals, and our cats are all negative for it. The other diseases are not common at all, and in some cases, like PKD, there is only a tenuous connection – it is common in other breeds that might have been crossed with Orientals, but only in some breeding programmes in the past.

In any case, we feel that it is simply better not to take any chances with our cats, and so, if there is a test that we can do to rule out a disease, we would rather do it. The cats don’t mind much: they only need to give a few cheek-cells on a cotton bud!

If there are any new genetic tests developed in future for diseases which may have a connection to Oriental or Siamese cats, our breeding cats will be retested for those.

 

Please also see our general Kitten Policies.