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I've heard that due to excessive breeding,pure,himmies,siamese and other breeds are seeing an increase in behavioral and health problems. Is this true?
 

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Perhaps someone who's more current with breeding will be able to answer your question. I used to be involved in breeding for 15 yrs., some years ago now, but I can tell you that when a problem does emerge, most breeders remove the problem by not breeding again with that cat and have it neutered/spayed and likely rehomed. There is a lot more testing that can be done now, to avoid some of problems that wasn't available years ago.

As for behavioral problems, breeding for an excellent temperament is a top consideration. A cat that does not have a good temperament (aggressive or extremely timid) doesn't go very far in the show ring in getting top ribbons. Breeders do like to be able to win those, so the motivation is definitely there to have good temperament.

I would think that there may be fewer problems with purebred cats now than there used to be. How did you hear that there was "an increase in behavioral and health problems"....just rumour or facts?
 

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I think that there's a school of thought that stays purebreds are more prone to certain health issues. This is due to the reduced gene pool they can tap. I also think that they are less prone to some illnesses. I have two purebreds and Franklin has had his share of issues. Over his nearly three years I have spent about $8,000 on vet bills to diagnose and treat IBD. He's fine now with no other issues. Franny just spent $1,000 to have nine teeth extracted due to resorption. I don't know if either of these issues can be attributed to their purebrededness. I'm not sure anyone can say for sure.

As to behavior, that's one of the reasons I got my Bali's. They are the sweetest animals I have ever known :)
 

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I would suspect that if there are these types of issues they are coming from indiscriminate breeders (basically backyard breeders) rather than responsible breeders. So many people see breeding as a way to make a quick buck and in-breed, don't do health testing, don't pull cats with issues out of their breeding pool etc.

When I decided to get Holly my parents were telling their neighbor that I was getting a Maine Coon. He freaked on them a bit, saying "tell her don't get a Maine Coon, they have nothing but health issues". Apparently one of his friends had 2 MCs from the same breeder, not littermates but may have had the same parents or at least one parent in common. Both cats got HCM, which usually strikes before age 4. Good breeders are working to eliminate HCM from the Maine Coon breed via genetic testing and yearly echocardiograms. Holly's breeder had no history of HCM in any of her cats going back several generations (she told me how many, but I don't remember...it was at least 4 or 5). For a breeder to place two kittens with the same person and have them both be affected by HCM says that breeder was cutting corners.
 

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I have 2 registered purebred Devon Rex. A week after I got my boy, he developed lumps on his neck. It turned out to be an allergy to some type of ingredient in his food. Apparently the manufacturer had changed the formula. Got him on a different food, lumps disappeared and since then have had no problem with him, or his half-sister. They've only been to the vet for "maintenance" --- wellness checks, booster shots and teeth cleaning. They're 5-3/4 and 6 years old, and in excellent health.
 

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I often hear about health issues with purebreds. Thus far, Muffin (a purebred ragdoll) has had no problems, although she's only 20 months old...so, I do get concerned when I hear these stories. Muffs certainly has behavioral issues, although whether that's because she's a purebred or because she's Muffin, I can't say. On the plus side, I got her from a registered breeder, so I can only hope for the best when it comes to her future health. And, despite her many peculiarities, she is a little angel.
 

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The only purebred I have is Lacey, my Balinese kitten. I've only had her since the end of October. I took her to the Vet for a check-up and so far she's fine. They gave her the rabies shot and she did well also...keeping my fingers crossed for the future.
 

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Two issues:

1) Inbreeding in the past (less so now). Don't have to go in depth, we all know that genetic bottlenecking creates issues.

2) Unhealthy kittens outdoors generally just die. The strongest are the ones that live and reproduce most, so natural selection favors health and hardiness over coat patterns and headshapes and the like.

Cats aren't as big an issue as purebred dogs though from everything I've read.
 

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The only problem I have ever had with my little himmy girl is that when I got her she was underfed, and her eyes hadn't been cleaned ever(she wasn't good enough for the breeder, so she basically just tried to starve her to death, not providing food after she stopped feeding of her mom, to save costs). So she had a slight inflamation under the eyes. Eyedrops sorted it out thoug, and since then she has been my healthiest cat ever.

As the others have said, I think a very big part of this comes from people who do not take it seriously, that doesn't do their research, doesn't have their breeding cats tested etc.

I don't have much experience with the genetics of cats, but I know there are several theories within dogs that while purebreds usually gets this and this illness, muts can get this, this and this illness from both the parents, because before the craze came some years ago to make "new exotic breeds" by crossing two breeds, it usually happened by accident, where the parents weren't put through extensive tests, thus possibly carrying many hidden defects. This is all theories though. Of course, crosses/non-purebreds are much more common with cats, so I don't know if this applies here. But I figured I'd throw it into the discussion.
 

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My goodness... Your breeder tried to starve your kitten for cost efficiency? :(

How did you go about finding this out, and how did you adopt her? That is a very sad story but I am very happy that she has a home! You rescued her from death!

It's sad how some humans treat animals as currency and not living beings.
 

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The only problem I have ever had with my little himmy girl is that when I got her she was underfed, and her eyes hadn't been cleaned ever(she wasn't good enough for the breeder, so she basically just tried to starve her to death, not providing food after she stopped feeding of her mom, to save costs). So she had a slight inflamation under the eyes. Eyedrops sorted it out thoug, and since then she has been my healthiest cat ever.

As the others have said, I think a very big part of this comes from people who do not take it seriously, that doesn't do their research, doesn't have their breeding cats tested etc.

I don't have much experience with the genetics of cats, but I know there are several theories within dogs that while purebreds usually gets this and this illness, muts can get this, this and this illness from both the parents, because before the craze came some years ago to make "new exotic breeds" by crossing two breeds, it usually happened by accident, where the parents weren't put through extensive tests, thus possibly carrying many hidden defects. This is all theories though. Of course, crosses/non-purebreds are much more common with cats, so I don't know if this applies here. But I figured I'd throw it into the discussion.
The problem you describe with your kitty is very common, unfortunately. Apparently my Modra is a Korat. A guy who knows breeds better than I do, saw her and said to me she is deffinitely a pure breed, but too shy for competitions and she also has some "little defects" like her ears are not rounded enough on the edges and her fur is not fully blue-silver on the chest. Too bad, he said, since her eyes are the most adorable emerald he's ever seen. So since my Modra ended up a stray, I reckon whoever owned her mother, must have abandoned Modra to save costs on feeding her and so on. Terrible, yet I'm gratefuful she wasn't starved to death or worse. I would arrest people who treat animals like that, they are utter bastards to say the least.
 

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Inbreeding, line breeding, whatever you want to call it.

this is one of my pet peeves (sorry for the pun)
Inbreeding, line breeding, whatever you want to call it.
When you breed two cats together because they both have short noses (pick your trait) you will get kittens with shorter noses. If these two cats are related in ANY way, you will concentrate their genes (more homozygous, less heterozygous). And you don't KNOW what might be hiding in these cats' DNA. All of us, our cats, our dogs, even the fleas on your cats' backs have bad genes but fortunately most are masked by being coupled with a good gene - genes are in pairs. but if you breed two cats together that have that same bad gene, chances are some of their kittens will get that bad gene from both parents. This results in weaker cats, lower life expectancies, smaller litter sizes and dead kittens.
So back to the shorter noses. Do you suppose nature had a reason for giving cats snouts? Try feeding a Persian/domestic short hair for example. Or god forbid, if they have a respiratory illness.. or even try to give birth.

When human beings think they are smarter than mother nature, we end up with freaks. For example (and there are many) look at Siamese cats whose faces are so long and pointy that they have problems with their teeth, other breeds of Cats bred to be svelte losing muscle tone...or the "giant" breeds. Nothing to me is more fetching than the Maine Coon cat.. but 30% of them have hip dysplasia!

In working animal breeds (like horses and cattle for example) selective breeding isn't so bad because if you breed a horse or a cow that can't eat right or give birth without surgery, no one is going to buy it.

The best cats in the world are the ones that were born in your neighbor's barn. Even ethical breeders cannot know just how bad the gene pool is in the cats they are using. I used to be a cat breeder. I tried to develop a breed of cats but it became obvious to me early on that you need a HUGE gene pool to successfully set for type a new kind of cat and there are very few people that have the wherewithal to do that. So I neutered my breeders and lived happily ever after with unpedigreed cats.
 

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this is one of my pet peeves (sorry for the pun)
Inbreeding, line breeding, whatever you want to call it.
When you breed two cats together because they both have short noses (pick your trait) you will get kittens with shorter noses. If these two cats are related in ANY way, you will concentrate their genes (more homozygous, less heterozygous). And you don't KNOW what might be hiding in these cats' DNA. All of us, our cats, our dogs, even the fleas on your cats' backs have bad genes but fortunately most are masked by being coupled with a good gene - genes are in pairs. but if you breed two cats together that have that same bad gene, chances are some of their kittens will get that bad gene from both parents. This results in weaker cats, lower life expectancies, smaller litter sizes and dead kittens.
So back to the shorter noses. Do you suppose nature had a reason for giving cats snouts? Try feeding a Persian/domestic short hair for example. Or god forbid, if they have a respiratory illness.. or even try to give birth.

When human beings think they are smarter than mother nature, we end up with freaks. For example (and there are many) look at Siamese cats whose faces are so long and pointy that they have problems with their teeth, other breeds of Cats bred to be svelte losing muscle tone...or the "giant" breeds. Nothing to me is more fetching than the Maine Coon cat.. but 30% of them have hip dysplasia!
You basically just stole the words from my brain. I have never owned a purebred cat. Both Grady and Checkers are Maine Coon crosses and Athena is just a mystery, found near a parking lot. I hate to think of why she was dumped there.

My sister has a friend of whom I got Grady from. I'm glad I got to Grady when I did because just recently she had to get rid of all of her cats. She never spayed or neutered or brought them to vets. Grady came from her first ever litter but I believe he was one of two that went to homes, she kept the other three and let them breed and breed. She had to give them to the local rescue because her cats were developing issues. Not only were they feral but almost all of them had respiratory issues and I can't imagine what else.

My mother had a purebred himmy and a purebred siamese and my grandmother a purebred ragdoll. My grandmothers cat lived until he was sixteen and finally had to be euthanized due to cancer and he was even and indoor/outdoor cat. My mothers himmy died at the age of thirteen and had absolutely no serious health issues. My mothers siamese was very skittish and hated men but that was due to her first husband and the way that he treated the cat. When my mother married my father he slowly worked out of his little hole and he and my dad became the best of friends. He developed kidney issues and had to be put to sleep. He was around ten. I don't think any of their issues came with breeding but old age in general.

I myself have never had any health issues but I do have one question about siamese cats. I've seen and heard of siamese with crossed eyes, is this a result of bad breeding or it is a bad gene common in siamese? I'm not to big on cat breeds and genetics, I'm more familiar with canine genetics. I live in a small town and have come across people who cross dog breeds just to get money because of the new designer dog boom. It is irritating to me that people will breed two animals, cat or dog, for a specific trait when they don't know what they are doing. With dogs one of the most intriguing colors I see is the merle coloration. In dogs that both have the merle color gene you cannot breed two merle carriers safely because the gene is a dilution but people who don't know better may do it just because they think that if they breed two merle dogs, all the puppies will be merle which may fetch a higher price or fetch more buyers. I'm not sure if there is a gene like that in cats though.
 

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The best cats in the world are the ones that were born in your neighbor's barn..
I have to disagree. While I have absolutely nothing personal against DSH/DMH/DLH or the myriad other ''barn cats'' that exist in whatever form I have to say that I don't think they're necessarily healthier than a purebred cat from a reputable, ethical breeder.

We had barn cats growing up and a more inbred, health problem riddled, motley crew you couldn't imagine. Cats have no sense of incest and Mom would quite happily mate with Brother or Cousin or Son or Grandson, producing small, oddly shaped, and typically unhealthy kittens.

Then there are problems like FIP and FeLV.. something that properly tested, evaluated, and kept purebred cats rarely encounter. Not to mention the parasite loads that barn cats can be carting around in their poor digestive tracts.

I'm not saying that you shouldn't adopt a cat from a shelter - I most certainly had DSH rescue cats prior to having Cornishes and I will always have one or two outdoor kitties that I bring home from rescues or pick up off the streets - but you can't point at any random stray cat and say, "This cat is healthier than your purebred because it's not a purebred."
 

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this is one of my pet peeves (sorry for the pun)
Inbreeding, line breeding, whatever you want to call it.
When you breed two cats together because they both have short noses (pick your trait) you will get kittens with shorter noses. If these two cats are related in ANY way, you will concentrate their genes (more homozygous, less heterozygous). And you don't KNOW what might be hiding in these cats' DNA. All of us, our cats, our dogs, even the fleas on your cats' backs have bad genes but fortunately most are masked by being coupled with a good gene - genes are in pairs. but if you breed two cats together that have that same bad gene, chances are some of their kittens will get that bad gene from both parents. This results in weaker cats, lower life expectancies, smaller litter sizes and dead kittens.
So back to the shorter noses. Do you suppose nature had a reason for giving cats snouts? Try feeding a Persian/domestic short hair for example. Or god forbid, if they have a respiratory illness.. or even try to give birth.

When human beings think they are smarter than mother nature, we end up with freaks. For example (and there are many) look at Siamese cats whose faces are so long and pointy that they have problems with their teeth, other breeds of Cats bred to be svelte losing muscle tone...or the "giant" breeds. Nothing to me is more fetching than the Maine Coon cat.. but 30% of them have hip dysplasia!

In working animal breeds (like horses and cattle for example) selective breeding isn't so bad because if you breed a horse or a cow that can't eat right or give birth without surgery, no one is going to buy it.

The best cats in the world are the ones that were born in your neighbor's barn. Even ethical breeders cannot know just how bad the gene pool is in the cats they are using. I used to be a cat breeder. I tried to develop a breed of cats but it became obvious to me early on that you need a HUGE gene pool to successfully set for type a new kind of cat and there are very few people that have the wherewithal to do that. So I neutered my breeders and lived happily ever after with unpedigreed cats.
I have to disagree. Not all selective cat breeding generate freaks. Some breeds may look freaky but that doesn't equal unhealthy. In cats we actually stay quite true to "the original". We don't see the size range from 2 pounds to 160 pounds. We have a fairly nice size range between 5 pounds to 20 pounds and that's you find the same variation in domestics. There are two cat breeds with flat faces (the Persian and the Exotic shorthair) and that's probably the most extreme and unhealthy breeds you find, but turn to the classic Persian (known as doll-faced Persian in the US?) and the respiratory problems disappear, no teeth problems, no eye problems etc. At least not more so than within the domestic cat gene pool.

Not all of us breeders inbreed. Some of us actually cross-breed because we know that inbreeding isn't healthy. In Sweden you hardly see any inbreeding in cat breeding. I personally outcross my Devons with British Shorthair on order to widen the gene pool and to gain type. This happen on a regular basis in the Swedish Devon Rex breeding. You find outcrossing in the Birman, the Ragdoll, the La Perm, the Selkirk Rex, the Ocicat etc.

The best cat you can get here probably doesn't come from your neighbours barn. Kittens that develop URIs early in life because the farmer never bothered to vaccinate the mother or the kittens. Kittens that might develop chronic health problems because of it. Kittens that might be infested with worms or fleas which stunts their growth. Kittens which might very well be inbred because the farmer never cares about neutering any cats and since the kittens are given away to the neighbours you end up with a small village where all the cats are relatives!

Free roaming cats is not a guarantee for healthy cats.

I'd rather buy a cat from me than from any farmer in the world!:yellbounce

Not all breeders are idiots. Most of us actually to wanna breed healthy cats and many of us know how to do it too.
 

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I own mixed-breed shelter cats, but I also grew up with a purebred pomeranian and two purebred dachshunds, and my grandmother breeds (responsibly and with great skill and intentions) dachshunds, so I've certainly seen both sides of the stray vs. purebred fence in cats and dogs.

For the record, one of my mixed-breed cats is completely healthy. The other has severe digestion sensitivities and requires a special unprocessed diet. My purebred pomeranian does suffer from two traits common to the breed (poor teeth, and a collapsed trachea) but he's otherwise completely healthy, active, and happy at the ripe old age of 14, My family's two dachshunds are also extremely healthy. The younger one is in perfect health, the older one (also 14) is healthy aside from cataracts and bladder issues due to his age. So you can get healthy or unhealthy cats/dogs regardless of whether they're mixed or pure.

I would expect the desire to breed healthy cats (or improve upon a breed) is the motivation behind any good breeder's practices.

The chronic problems that crop up in purebreds are the result of poor breeding (inbreeding, lack of gene pool variety, selection of poor lineage, etc.) and in fact, stuff like that inspires a drive in me to possibly breed someday (whether or not I'll ever do it? who knows) in order to help weed out problems like that, and I'm sure that's the case with many good breeders.

I think adopting a shelter cat or buying a purebred are equally valid positions, and the individual choice is up to the individual person. As long as people support healthy breeding, and good breeders, then I see no problem with that choice.
 

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The best cats in the world are the ones that were born in your neighbor's barn.
Don't feral/barn cats keep breeding with each other??
 

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I think all cats have breeding problems whether they are purebred or not. All cats also have health problems, which makes it impossible to answer whether or not a purebred is better than a mix. If done right I think breeding is probably fine (health wise), I just have other moral problems with it that I won't bring up in this thread.
 

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It's good that you brought this up. The breeder I purchased from put a great deal of emphasis on how important it was to outcross. She said the kittens were larger/more vigorous/healthier in general.
She also provided information about the cats in the pedigree in regard to longevity and causes of death. She was very knowledgeable about the history of the breed and doesn't sell cats to every joe just to make money. She is truley passionate about her cats. I am sure there are a lot of purebred breeders out there just like her that are ethical.
You won't find cats from most ethical breeders lining the shelters. All pets are on spay/neuter contracts and they will take the cat back at any time in it's life if you are unable to keep him/her. I'm sure a few slip through the cracks when buyers misrepresent themselves as being willing to uphold the contract. I volunteered at a shelter for over a year. During that time I can say I saw *1* cat that looked as if it were well-bred. The rest of the so-called "purebreds" were either BYB or had colors and patterns that mimic a purebred.
To me it's unfair to say that purebreds in general are unheathier than moggies. After all, who keeps statistics on renal failure or HCM in mixed breed cats? The statistics are kept on purebreds because breeders desire to breed away from unhealthy animals.
This is just my 2 cents.
 
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