White cats, white spotting and deafness

New information on how white and white spotting works

In October 2014 a research paper on the genes for white cats and dominant piebald spotting was published. Now UC Davis (VGL) has developed a DNA-test for this locus.

What is new?

The genes for dominant white W (self-coloured white) and dominant white spotting ws (previously S) are found on the same locus, as different alleles – variations of the gene. Risk factors for white cats being deaf or hearing is dependent of which genes they carry:

  • Homozygous white cats WW are likely to be fully or partially deaf
  • White carrying white spotting Wws have a higher risk of being deaf than White carrying non-white Ww
  • White cats carrying non-white have a higher chance of hearing

The number of tested and controlled cats is not large (270 cats from 30 cat breeds), but the study indicates that

  • white cats should never be bred to other white cats (this is a rule in FIFe already)
  • white cats should not be bred to white spotted cats, only non-white to lower risk of deaf offspring

The different possibilities for this gene: Genotype Colour – Farge WW White cat – helhvit Wws White cat, carrier of white spotting – helhvit og bærer av hvitflekk Ww White cat, not carrier of white spotting – helhvit og ikke bærer av hvitflekk wsws White spotting (highwhite) – hvitflekk: van, harlekin eller bicolor wsw White spotting (bicolour or white paws/bib) – hvitflekk: bicolour eller hvitepoter+bryst/mage ww Not white or white spotting – ikke helhvit, ikke hvitflekk


The locus can be tested at VGL, UC Davis for $50: Read more. The test is now (2018) also offered by Laboklin/Labogen, and included in the test panel at MyCatDNA. Risk of deafness for …

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India er omplassert

CH (N) Zifina India omplassert

Vår vakre snille Maine Coon-jente India trenger etter hvert et nytt hjem. Hun har dessverre HD i moderat form, og kan ikke brukes i avl som opprinnelig planlagt. Hun er derfor nå kastrert, og vi har funnet et varig hjem til henne hos dyrekjære mennesker som kan gi henne masse oppmerksomhet og omsorg, og fine, trygge utemuligheter. India is now neutered and rehomed. India 2014 juli India fylte 2 år i november 2014 og er en ung katt. Hun er ca 4,5 kg, lang og slank, kan godt legge på seg litt. Hun trives godt med barn, er nysgjerrig og leken. Hun kan gjerne ha selskap av en annen snill katt. India har et fantastisk mildt gemytt og ville kunne passe fint i både barnefamilie eller hos eldre med god tid til henne. Det er også viktig at hun får trygge utemuligheter, for hun elsker være ute i naturen. Hun har ingen synlige symptomer på hofteproblemene, men det kan komme når hun blir eldre. Nye eiere må være forberedt på dette. Så lenge hun får være i aktivitet, og holdes i god kondisjon med sunt fôr så bør hun være frisk og rørlig til hun blir gammel. India skal følges opp med årlig veterinærkontroll, og ellers ha veterinærhjelp når hun trenger det. Skilpaddefarget Maine Coon India er også svært vakker, hun er Champion, og med rolig gemytt er hun en drøm å ta med på utstilling. Om noen har lyst til å fortsette stille henne ut som kastrat er hun ypperlig til det. Hun har lang pels med en del underull, og trenger ukentlig kamming, noe hyppigere i røyteperioder så …

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Lovely Hearts!

Suki and Olenna have been to visit veterinarian cardiologist Liva Vatne for their first HCM echo/ultrasound.

Both have good hearts!

Suki 2015-02-09h2   Next scan will be in about a year, spring 2016.  

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Hip Results for the Girls

Hip X-ray results are now ready for our girls:

We check all cats for Hip Dysplasia before breeding.   PawPeds HD Health programme, Dr Per Eksell. Olenna: Normal (L), Normal (R) Suki: Normal (L), Normal (R)  

It means the two young girls are ready for their HCM echocardiography in February. Depending on the results, we will start to plan possible matings in 2015. For our beautiful India the results are not good, unfortunately. India has moderate HD, 2-2, and cannot be used for breeding. She will hopefully become a very happy neutered pet later and be allowed to stay more outdoors, hunt and climb trees.  

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Summer is over

Summer is over

Now the autumn winds and rains have arrived on the northwest coast, and it is time to return home. We have been in the countryside since late June, and have had a warm and relaxing summer. The three young cats have had two houses to roam, and we have seen many visitors during summer. The small ones have grown a lot, but are still kittens at heart, chasing each other and finding every opportunity to do mischief. The three neuter cats have been allowed to run free outside, and for the first time we have been presented with hunt trophies! There are apparently small mice in the woods here after all. Rose dew Summer started and ended with shows, and we are happy with the results: Ski in June, Smaalenene: Suki got an excellent judgment and was Ex 1 out of 2 cats in group 4. Olenna had her debut in the show ring and got an excellent judgement with Ex1. Not bad for a low-clone cat with complete inbreeding 6,54 %! Ålesund in September, Sunnmørskatten: Suki was just over 7 months and in class 11 Junior. She again had excellent judgements both days, and was up for nominations which she lost to typed India’s niece on Saturday and a beautiful Norwegian Forest boy on Sunday. India got CACIB both days and cannot be shown again in Norway until she has a CACIB from a different country. Sommer 2014

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PawAcademy G3 completed!

PawAcademy G3 course is finally completed!

This is the third and last of the three-step education for cat lovers and breeders. It has been the most interesting and also most demanding of the three courses, which together cover reading material, tasks, and assignments over a total of 27 weeks. The third course is aimed at breeders who want to understand population genetics and how to breed with the future of the whole breed in mind. There is important material on keeping cats in groups and infectious disease – and a lot more. The course is available in English and Swedish, check the PawPeds website.  

The content of the G3 course in summary:

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • The danger of breeding for extremes
  • Behaviour
  • Communication
  • Behaviour problems
  • Reproduction and reproduction disorders
  • Kittens and kitten problems
  • Colour genetics and pedigree info
  • Population genetics
  • Breeding for health
  • Designing a health programme
  • Working with health
  • Analysing a genome
  • Breeding and selection
  • Evaluation systems
  • Breeding progression
  • Showing vs breeding
  • Development of the breeds
  • Keeping cats together in groups
  • Infectious pressure
  • Infectious diseases
  • Teeth and oral cavity
  • Nutrition for cat
  • BARF
  • Economy and selling
  • Special project

I will also thank all the knowledgeable and inspiring course leaders I have had during these three courses, and all my class mates from all over the world with all kinds of breeds: I have learnt SO much from you all!

PawAcademy G3

PawAcademy G3

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