Genetic health is a complex issue in all breeds and species. As breeders, we hope to reduce the incidences of genetic conditions in the offspring we breed. However, it is important to realize that there are only a handful of conditions for which a reliable DNA test exists. So, when you hear a vet say your cat has a genetic condition (and they may or may not since most veterinarians don't have an extensive background in genetics) it does not mean your breeder was irresponsible, it usually means they didn't know about the condition until it appeared.
As the founder and administrator of Siberian Cat Health, I've made it part of my mission to track the test results and share information on Siberians. My cats are all DNA tested for those conditions that affect the breed and I screen my breeding cats for HCM with a board-certified cardiologist. Below you will find more information on some of the conditions that affect the Siberian. These are all conditions that affect cats in general including the Siberian.
Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy or HCM is a disease this is not fully understood but is believed to have a genetic component. This is supported by the identification of mutations in Maine Coons and Ragdolls. It is also the most common form of heart disease diagnosed in cats.
Cats with HCM may not have any clinical symptoms at all while others may have congestive heart failure and die suddenly from a blood clot or heart failure.
HCM is challenging because it is often without symptoms, may develop clinical signs long after a cat's breeding career is over, and some may not develop any symptoms at all but may produce offspring who have it.
As a breeder, the best tool at our disposal is the ultrasound as done by a board-certified cardiologist. It is not a perfect tool but is the gold standard. If results are questionable, it can be combined with such measurements as EKG and blood pressure readings. A single normal ultrasound does not mean a cat is going to be free of HCM for life. Multiple tests must be done.
Prekrasne does regular screenings of all our breeding cats. Our retired breeding cats with offspring in breeding are continued to be tested. We also provide an Optional Lifetime HCM Guarantee to owners who opt to screen their pets and provide us with the results.
More information can be found on HCM at:
Polycystic Kidney Disease
Polycystic Kidney Disease or PKD1 is the feline mutation of a disease that affects various species including humans.
PKD causes the development of cysts in the kidneys. These cysts vary in size and number from cat to cat. It is also important to note that while all cats with PKD will have cystic kidneys, not all cats with cysts in their kidneys have PKD. There are also idiopathic causes of other types of cysts.
The mutation for PKD1 was found in Persians and Persian related cats. There are some lines in the Siberian breed that are affected by this and thus DNA testing is needed. It is also suggested to use ultrasound in the event the test is not accurate because the breed is a natural breed and thus not a true Persian related breed.
All Prekrasne cats are tested by DNA and we have tested some via ultrasound.
More info on PKD can be found here:
Erythrocyte Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency (PK Deficiency) is an inherited hemolytic anemia caused by insufficient activity of this regulatory enzyme which results in instability and loss of red blood cells. The anemia is intermittent, the age of onset is variable and clinical signs are also variable.
Symptoms of this anemia can include severe lethargy, weakness, weight loss, jaundice, and abdominal enlargement. This condition is inherited as an autosomal recessive. This means a cat may have 1 copy of the gene and will still be unaffected.
All of our cats are tested negative for PK Deficiency - N/N.
More information on PK Def can be found here: