To us the health of our cats and kittens has very high priority, we want to breed with healthy cats and strive to have healthy babies. Not only a Maine Coon, but every cat (breed or non-breed) has the possibility to carry a genetic inherited disease. We feel very strongly about testing our cats before breeding and use only cats who are tested for HCM, PKD, patellar luxation and Hip Dysplasia. Besides testing also researching a pedigree can give a lot of information about the health of their ancestors, which is also very important. Although we do our utmost to prevent health problems, cats are still living animals and they can have many diseases which we are not always able to prevent.
A very short overview what the genetic disease are that we test for:
HCM: Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a malformation of the heart (thickness of the left ventricular walls) which causes heartfailure. It can be diagnosed with echocardiogram with colour flow Doppler imaging.
PKD: Polycystic Kidney Disease is the presence of cysts in the kidneys which causes renal failure. This can be diagnosed by an ultrasound, ultrasound diagnosis is 98% accurate after approximately 10 months of age.
Hip Dysplasia: is a malformation of the hip joint, instability of the hip joint caused by an improper fit of the femoral head in the hipsocket.
Patellar luxation: is a malformation of the knee joint. The patella, or kneecap, luxates or pops out of place.
SMA: spinal muscular atrophy, is a neurological disease. The death of spinal cord neurons cause muscle weakness and atrophy. It can be diagnosed by a DNA test.
On our links-page you can find several links to interesting websites that will give much more information.