Looking into a new kitty and wondering what illnesses they are predisposed for? Dr. Chessie Green from the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association, a professional organization dedicated to compassionate animal care and quality medicine, lists the most common breeds and what commonly ails them.
#1 – Maine Coons, Persians and Rag Dolls
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (heart disease) is most often seen in purebred cats like Maine Coons, Persians and Rag Dolls and is the most common genetic heart disease in all cats. This disease springs from an inherited trait and tends to affect cats up to 10 years old and is more common in males than in females. Heart disease in cats is a silent killer with no diagnosable symptoms.
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#2 – Persians and Himalayans
Polycystic kidney disease is an inherited disease that causes a decline in renal function in older cats. This disease can be diagnosed as early as six to eight weeks old, but most cats don’t have any problems until they are at least seven years old.
#3 – Manxes
Sacrocaudaul dysgenesis is a common neurological disease in Manx cats that occurs when a cat is born without a fully formed spine. This disease can cause urinary and fecal elimination issues.
#4 – Abyssinians
Many Abyssinians are affected by retinal atrophy, an inherited disease that causes blindness as early as eight to 12 weeks old and can be diagnosed as late as four years old. Renal amyloidosis is another common disease, which can cause renal failure at an early age.
#5 – British Shorthairs
British Shorthairs can be affected by hemophilia B, also known as Christmas disease, which is an inherited disease caused by a factor IX deficiency in the blood. Cats with hemophilia B are susceptible to bleeding and should be watched very carefully, especially following surgery and other veterinary procedures.
#6 – Birmans
Neutrophil granulation is a recessive blood disorder most commonly found in Birman cats. There are no specific clinical symptoms, and the disease is generally found through routine blood testing.
#7 – Burmese
Burmese cats are susceptible to dilated cardiomyopathy, a disease in which the heart becomes enlarged and weakened. These cats may also have hyperesthesia syndrome, which makes their skin extra-sensitive to touch.
#8 – Norwegian Forests
Glycogenosis is a rare recessive inherited disease that can cause severe neurological issues and early death in Norwegian Forest cats. This disease is generally diagnosed before six months and causes enlargement and dysfunction of the body’s major organs.
#9 – Scottish Folds
Scottish Folds may suffer from arthropathy, which is a genetic feline arthritis that results in cartilage abnormalities. This condition often leads to pain and difficulty walking, but proper diagnosis and treatment can relieve most symptoms.
#10 – Tonkinese
Congenital vestibular disease, similar to vertigo in humans, can affect Tonkinese and related breeds. This inner ear condition gives cats difficulty walking and staying upright, as well as causes a variety of oral health issues.