An important issue in all its forms
A so-called "purebred" cat is not a guarantee of infallible health. It is important to educate yourself about the health problems that the breed of cat that causes your heart pounding may have in order to be able to prevent diseases and provide the necessary care.
In the fight against genetic and virulent diseases, it is essential to choose your breeder well. Indeed, a large part of diseases can be controlled and avoided by good management of reproduction. Sick or consanguineous parents produce kittens of high risk to some of congenital disease. The breeder invests a lot of time and money in this fight against the disease in order to provide future adopters with a healthy animal that is well on his feet.
CATS IN GENERAL
Some viruses can be transmitted between cats of all breeds. All cats, from domestic to the most evolved and supervised breed, are susceptible to developing health problems, but rigorous supervision and regular testing allow breeders to provide healthy animals.
In addition to this, you need to know more about it.
No cat is immune to the development of FIP (Infectious Peritonitis): https://loof.asso.fr/download/fiche-cs-PIF-coronavirus-201812.pdf. Although rare, look for breeders who will provide you with a guarantee in the event of its occurrence. The warranty usually covers a predetermined period of time. We must not forget that we work with life and that this involves certain risks.
HEALTH PROBLEMS IN BRITISH
Thanks to its origins, the British is robust to iron health.
However, certain genetic diseases are present in the breed such as polycystic kidney disease dominant type - especially because the British Shorthair descends from the Persian, which is particularly affected by this disease - and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. In order to ward off these affections in the British Shorthair, breeders must be tested and spayed if positive so as not to pass on the gene. That is why it is very important to choose a responsible breeder.
Risk of overweight!
Despite the strong muscles of the British Shorthair, it is necessary to monitor his diet carefully so that he maintains a reasonable weight and does not lose his good shape.
Interactive exercises are necessary in order to avoid any weight gain.
Ideally, provide the British Shorthair with a cat tree and toys, such as small balls or mice stuffed with catnip, to get him moving a bit.
Polycystic kidney disease
Polycystic kidney disease or PKD in English for Polycystic Kidney Disease, is a disease that affects several breeds of cats including the British. It is a kidney disease that results in the progressive invasion of the kidney of cats affected by cysts filled with liquid. The number and size of these cysts increase with the age of the cat and when the renal tissue is no longer sufficiently present to ensure the purification functions of the kidney, chronic renal failure develops.
This insufficiency results in various symptoms including: depression, loss of appetite, lethargy, vomiting, polydipsia (increased drinking), polyuria (increased volume of urine), weight loss. The rate of growth and multiplication of cysts varies from one cat to another. Also the date of onset of symptoms of renal failure can be very variable, ranging on average from 2 to 10 years.
There is no specific treatment for PKD. PKD is an inherited disease. Its mode of inheritance is autosomal dominant. A sick cat has a copy of the mutated gene and transmits it, on average, to 50% of its kittens. There is no cat with two copies of the mutated gene, this condition is not viable. Thus any cat with PKD has at least one parent with PKD.
PKD can be detected by your veterinarian in two different ways: First, the realization of an ultrasound of the kidneys, allows to see if cysts are present in the kidneys. This ultrasound is reliable. A study showed that affected cats developed cysts visible on ultrasound at 10 months in 95% of cases. At one year this percentage increases further. On the other hand, the discovery of the gene and the mutation (called PKD1) responsible for PKD now makes it possible to carry out a genetic test. This test consists of directly looking for the presence of the mutation in the cat. Your veterinarian will be able to take the oral cell sample, very quickly and completely painlessly, necessary for carrying out the test.
The results of the test can be interpreted as follows: cat homozygous healthy for the PKD1 mutation (also called non-carrier or healthy): the cat will not develop the disease and will not transmit it to its offspring, cat heterozygous for the PKD1 mutation (also called carrier or affected): the cat will develop the disease and transmit the mutation to 50% of its offspring on average.
Therefore, it is recommended that all cats to be bred be genetically tested for the PKD1 mutation. Once the result of the PKD1 test has been obtained, it is strongly advised not to breed a cat carrying the PKD1 mutation or in which cysts have been observed on kidney ultrasound. However, if a carrier cat has an excellent genetic heritage (conformation, type, color), it would be a shame to lose this heritage. In this case only, a marriage with a healthy individual can be envisaged. Obtaining high quality and healthy kittens will allow the line to continue. All kittens will need to be genetically tested for the PKD1 mutation. Those affected (also called "carriers") will be excluded from reproduction. The carrier parent will also be removed from breeding so that it no longer transmits the disease.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or HCM in English for Hypertrophic Cardio-Myopathy, is a disease that affects cats of many breeds, including the British. Feline HCM is a disease of adults and young adults.
The majority of cats are asymptomatic until the development of acute congestive heart failure (arrhythmias, pulmonary edema, pleural effusion, associated arterial thrombosis). HCM can be discovered incidentally during a routine clinical examination, by hearing a heart murmur or a galloping sound.
In some cases, lethargy and anorexia or breathing difficulties (dyspnea, cough) are the only symptoms. Finally, some cats with HCM are subject to loss of consciousness (syncope) or die suddenly in the absence of other clinical signs. Indeed, it is often clinically silent and can result in paralysis or sudden death from thrombembolism.
The origin of the disease can be congenital, hereditary or acquired (a consequence of another disease for example). The diagnosis of HCM can be established by an echocardiographic examination, supplemented by a conventional Doppler, carried out by a veterinarian specialized in cardiology. In several breeds, the presence of an inherited form of HCM is suspected. No genetic test is currently available in these breeds, except for the Maine Coon and the Ragdoll.
Consequently, for the British, it is recommended: to have breeding animals screened by cardiac ultrasound every year, from the age of one year until an advanced age (ideally, 10 years). if possible, to have non-breeding animals regularly scanned, in order to detect as soon as possible the possible occurrence of signs of HCM and to be able to set up an appropriate treatment. It is also advisable to screen every year, by echocardiography, first-degree relatives (brothers and sisters, parents, children if applicable) of a cat with HCM. This will make it possible to distinguish the presence, in the line, of a possibly non-hereditary HCM, from a hereditary HCM.
In addition, it is strongly advised not to breed (or put back) a cat with HCM.