Health

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The health of our cats and kittens is paramount in our breeding program. All of our cats in our cattery are assessed, tested and screened on a regular basis. We are proud advocates for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM), Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency (PKDef) and Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRB-b) screening to ensure that all of our Bengals are free from these genetic diseases. We screen for FIV/ FeLV and we also screen for Feline Panleukopenia, Campylobacter, Clostridium, Giardia, Toxoplasma and Tritrichomonas.

What is Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy?

Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a condition that causes the muscular walls of a cat’s heart to thicken, decreasing the heart’s efficiency and sometimes creating symptoms in other parts of the body. In a cat with HCM, the heart’s left ventricle (its primary “pump muscle”) is thickened, leading to a decrease in the volume of the heart chamber and to abnormal relaxation of the heart muscle. These changes can cause the heart to beat rapidly, resulting in increased oxygen usage and possibly to oxygen starvation of the heart muscle. This oxygen starvation may cause heart cells to die off, worsening heart function and leading to the development of arrhythmias (in which the heart beats too rapidly, too slowly, or with an irregular rhythm).In addition to these difficulties, less efficient blood pumping may also lead to a backup of blood to the other chambers of the heart and to the lungs, which may contribute to the development of congestive heart failure or the formation of blood clots in the heart. We have all of our adult cats annually screened for HCM by The Cardiff Cat Clinic to make sure they are are free from HCM.

 

What is PRA-b?

 

Bengal Progressive Retinal Atrophy is an inherited eye disease affecting the Bengal cat. The disease is characterised by progressive blindness that starts around the age of 7 weeks and slowly progresses until the cat has very compromised vision around the age of two years. The trait of inheritance is autosomal recessive which means that the disease can affect both male and female cats and that a cat can only develop the disease if it inherits two copies of the mutation one from the mother and one from the father. Carries do not develop the disease but they can pass the mutation to offspring. In our cattery, neither males or females carry the mutation therefore, there is a zero chance that the kittens we breed will have PRA-b. To test our breeding animals for this genetic disease we use the Langford Vets genetic diagnotic laboritory in Bristol.

What is PKDef?

Pyruvate kinase deficiency is an inherited disease which affects the Pyruvate kinase which is a red blood cell enzyme important in red blood cell energy metabolism. Therefore, if this enzyme is lacking, a haemolytic anaemia can result. However, the anaemia may only be mild and intermittently detectable, or may not become evident until the cat is older. A rapid severe life-threatening anaemia can also develop. The disease is inherited as an autosomal recessive trait, so only cats with two copies of the defective gene are affected. Carrier cats are clinically healthy but can pass the defective gene to their offspring. Just like PRA-b, we genetically test all of our breeding animals for this genetic disease. Neither males or females in our cattery our carriers therefore, the kittens we breed will have a zero chance of carrying or being affected by PKDef. To test our breeding animals for this genetic disease we use the Langford Vets genetic diagnostic laboratory in Bristol.

 

 

 

What is FIV/FeLV?

FIV - Feline immunodeficiency virus is a retrovirus infection. The virus is often referred to as cat HIV or cat AIDS because it has a similar effect on felines. FIV-positive cats may have the virus in their system for years before showing signs of illness. The virus works by killing or damaging cells in a cat's immune system, often targeting white blood cells. The ongoing damage of FIV in cats eventually leads to a weakening of the immune system. Once that happens, cats with FIV can become vulnerable to secondary infections.FeLV - Feline Leukaemia Virus is a viral infection which can lead to the development of cancers such as lymphoma, leukaemia and other tumours and weakens the immune system of affected cats meaning they catch other infections very easily. It is fairly common in the UK and is spread through a cat’s saliva, poo, wee and milk. Pregnant cats can pass the disease to their unborn kittens. Young kittens are most at risk, but adult cats can also be affected. With both FIV and FeLV, all of our cats in our cattery have tested negative. All of our kittens are vaccinated against FeLV before they leave for their forever homes.


All of our breeding Bengals are fully vaccinated and given annual boosters for feline calicivirus, feline herpes virus, feline panleucopenia virus and FeLV as well as wormed and fleaed at the correct intervals.

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07967186750