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Cat Health Issues — 18 Comments

  1. I had not mentioned the issue with the dwarfism gene because at this point I had hoped that it was a mute point. Dr. Solveig Pflueger a geneticist which is on the TICA genetics committee had received some Munchkins when the breeders were first starting the breed. Dr Pflueger had done multiple exrays after studying them for a lengthy time, and deemed these cats to be healthy with no deformities. The Munchkin have been in Championship status (final status) for many years now and the designer breeds have been around a few years now too. At this point there is no issue about the dwarf gene since its questionable health issue was cleared so many years ago. The question about deformity in a dwarf cat was asked and answered so many year ago that to question it now is my opinion a waste of time. Anyone who wants to get answers to this subject would simply need to search for the history of the Munchkin cat. The Cat Channel has an article on its website http://www.catchannel.com/kittens/breed_history/munchkin_kitten_history.aspx
    I have a brief history about the Napoleon is on my webpage purwaky.net and my cattery Face Book page named Purwaky Cattery and there are links for the other websites on my FB page for more details about the breed. It mentions the issue of the dwarf gene being cleared by Dr Pflueger many years ago.
    The Napoleon breeders have moved way past that history now and they are in the process of trying to move the Napoleon up through TICA. The breed is presently in Provisional status and about to go to another board meeting at the end of May 2013 (this month). The Nap breeders have met all the criteria to go to the board this month which accounts for the required number of cats and breeders in all the regions along with other requirements. Napoleons have been allowed to be shown in Provisional status but not for titles yet. There have been enough Napoleons shown to meet that criteria too and the breed standard was changed years ago per the boards request regarding the wording of the standard. If the board denies the breed again it will be most likely based on the personal opinions of the judges. I my opinion that is not a fair way to judge a breed. I think the breed should be based on meeting the requirements of the association and and the uniqueness of the breed. The breed standard has been revised to describe the Napoleon as a breed unique to its parent breeds and to any other breed in existence. The Nap has acquired the best qualities of its parent breeds which IMO makes it better than them. I think that once enough of the public finds out about the breed that it may surpass the Persian in popularity. Since the Persian and the Exotic are first and second in popularity the Napoleon my become the most popular breed given time for the word to be spread about the breed. Most of the Nap breeders have long waiting lists and feel that there are not enough Nap breeders now to fill the demand for the standard (short legged) Nap. The long legged (non-standard) looks like a baby doll faced or traditional Persian which has become popular to those who are willing to pass on the short legged version.

    • Just for the record your comment was not published immediately because it has a link in it and the program thinks it might be spam requiring moderation because spam comments have links in them. Your comment is not spam but the computer can’t read English. I will respond properly to your comment soon.

  2. How would a reader know if Sara Hartwell was knowledgeable about genetics? Most people who have knowledge in a specific area usually have a degree or some other credits to their name. Does she have a degree is this area? I have been studying genetics for over 20+ but I don’t claim to be any sort of an expert. I could set up a site and write articles too. Writing articles also does not prove that anyone is an expert in any specific area. When some people read your articles the are impressed with them, but do they know that the information contained in the articles are correct? Or are they impressed because it is a well written article and your statements convinced the reader that the statements within it seem to be true?
    Just because you have read many of the authors articles written by Sara or have worked with someone for many years does not mean that you know how much knowledge someone has about a specific area like genetics. I was merely reading articles about the various breeds and came across several statements that I knew were incorrect and thus stated so. After researching some of Sara Hartwell’s information I came across a statement were she admits that she is not a genetics expert. Here statement about genetics were incorrect and I was simply pointing them out. Since she is not a genetics specialist then why are you quoting here statements as though she is? If I were going to quote a statement about genetics in an article I was writing, I would look for statements from a University or person with a degree in genetics. I would not quote a person who clearly states that they are not a specialist or expert on that subject.
    From my research I have not found that the Napoleon, or any other dwarf breed is prone to any predisposed decease like the flat chested disorders. I have found that these disorders are some of the disorders that are in all cats. This means that they can occur in any breed or non-breed (domestics)of cats.
    The Nap breeders are watching for all the health problems that can occur in cats and they are keeping records so that some day this information could be useful to breed out of all cats. I don’t understand why you have singled out dwarf breeds to write about in your articles that may be prone to these deceases. Singling them out and writing about a general cat decease gives the public a false impression that this decease is prone in this group of cat breeds and thus they should avoid getting one of these breeds for this reason. That was my impression when I read your article.
    Why did you pick out just the flat chested deceases to write about in your article about dwarf cats? Why not add all the deceases that cats in general are prone to have? Why not add all these deceases that all cats are prone to have in all the breeds of cats that you are writing articles about? This is a more fair thing to do than to pick out a specific group of breeds of
    cats and to pick out a couple related deceases and state that these breeds are prone to these deceases. Even if this is true the way you worded the article did not make it clear the these breeds are no more prone to it than any other breed. I think that is a fair question. If you go to Dr Susan Lions webpage, she states that this is not a breed specific decease. Why did you not make this clear in your article? You seemed to avoid making this clear throughout your article. Instead you quoted a non genetics expert (without a degree) to state the opposite.
    Yes I am writing in defense of breeders, because I am a breeder. And I am writing in defense to the group of dwarf breeds because I have researched these breeds and I have decided to breed some of them. I did not make my decision lightly. I made the decision based on the information that the breed that I have chosen to breed, has no known breed specific deceases. After surfing the internet and finding information about the breed, I came across a group of articles that contained information that stated incorrectly about the Napoleon breed. Which articles should I believe? The other articles from people and Universities with degrees and the breeders who have helped to create the breed or your articles?
    As a breeder myself for 28 years, my experience does not correspond with some of the information contained in some of your articles. I did however admit to some of the health problems I had with the Persians on the Persian health pages and I found that some of the information in your article to be somewhat true on some specific occasions. But I must point out as you did that not all Persians have these health problems and not all the time. I do not in anyway claim to be an expert in any area of cats. I only make my statements from my specific experiences as I know them to be true. I am not a creative writer such as someone that makes up fictional stories for entertainment purposes. My motives are simply to state that from my experience that some of your articles contain incorrect information and I am questioning some of your quotes and some of your sources. As a reader that is all I can do. And as a reader and a breeder I am powerless to do any more. Since the Internet contains many articles and pages with incorrect or false information, the reader has no power to do anything more than to point out that some of the information is incorrect in a reply such as this. I suggest to all readers who read information on the Internet, please do not automatically assume that the information is true. Check out the sources yourself before you make any important decisions.

    • Hi Rebecca. It is OK what you have said and to be expected. I don’t mind and even like it to a certain extent because it is a good dialogue. Polite argument is good as it airs thoughts and beliefs.

      Of course, not everything I write is true and correct but then nothing really is anywhere. There is always something that is disputed or about which people disagree and so on.

      All one can do it be careful, research well and be respectful. I hope I have done that all the time. Even the experts get things wrong and it is not rare either.

      The reason why I mentioned health issues on dwarf cats is because that is the subject of the page. The page is about that and nothing else. Other pages on the site discuss other issues and present a very balanced viewpoint and of course such as you can balance things when needed. That is why I like your comments. They add something that in the end helps the page.

      To be honest a lot of people criticise the dwarf cats because they are based on a health problem: dwarfism. That is why the CFA don’t accept them. I have not gone into that or been too hard on dwarf cat breeders or the cat itself. I think that was decent of me 😉 I hope you agree.

  3. “Sarah Hartwell is not a breeder or a geneticist. She has no knowledge of cat genetics. ”

    Dear Rebecca – I may not be a cat breeder, but I’ve been studying feline genetics for almost 30 years. Which is a long way from having “no knowledge of genetics”. I contributed material to the 4th Edition “Genetics for Cat Breeders & Veterinarians” and sometimes geneticists email me with “have you come across this?” questions.

    • Sarah, I found Rebecca’s statement very odd.

      To say that you have no knowledge of cat genetics is simply absurd.

      I have read a lot of your pages, and your writing is careful and very informed.

      • Totally agreed. Rebecca is being defensive of cat breeders. Understandable but it has resulted in a slightly insulting comment with respect to Sarah Hartwell and I don’t like that.

    • You are considered an authority on almost everything to do with the domestic, stray and feral cat. Rebecca is wrong. She is defending the breeding fraternity as I am sure you have guessed, which is odd because I wrote this article in a very respectful and gentle way (for me!).

    • This is to Sarah or Rebeca, I am not a long time cat breeder but live on a farm and have breed many types of animals over the years and had many feral /barn cats and never have seen this before. I have Bengals and have been raising them for 6 years now. I have a male kitten that is 6 weeks old I notice that his spine behind the should blades started dipping.(pectus excavatum or lordosis) I think that what you are calling it. I took him to the vet and she had never seen this before. Otherwise he behaves like a normal kitten. I don’t know what to think or where to get information on this. there isn’t much on the internet about treatments or about this please help me out if you can. Micheal thank you for writing about this even if my cats aren’t dwarfs. Apparently it can happen in any breed.

      • Hi Heidi, yes it can happen to cats other than dwarfs. I surprised to read that it has occurred in a Bengal cat. It is the first time I have heard this.

        I have a page on it here:


        You may have seen it. It was written years ago and is quite comprehensive and concerns dwarf cat health issues.

        Thanks for commenting.

  4. Jeri Newman was referred to as a man in the article regarding the Lambkin which is a hybridization between the Selkirk Rex and the Munchkin. There are some misspellings of Miss Depesto’s name in this article as well. I will look through your articles to see if I can find the picture of the “curly Brit” again.

    • She was 😉 I apologise. I think that has been corrected. There were some misspellings. At the time I was under a lot of time pressure. My tying is faster and more accurate these days (touch type)! I will recheck the page today.

  5. I meant to say that Jeri Newman is NOT a man but she is a woman. And as a last note, the cat she used to start the Selkirk Rex breed is Miss Depesto not Miss Drpresto. Thank you

  6. You have several statements within your article about dwarfism that are misleading. Dwarfism is not directly related to pectus excavatum or lordosis. I bred Persians, Exotics and Selkirk Rex between 1985 to about 2006 and through the years I had about 3 kittens born with a flat chest. I have been breeding Napoleons for about 3-4 years and I have not had any kittens with this problem. These two conditions can occur in most if not all breeds of cats whether purebreds or not. Do you have documented proof that these problems occur only in dwarf cats or that there is a way to genetically breed this out of a purebred breeding program?

    Your article about Jeri Newman who is responsible for creating the Selkirk Rex breed is a man and referred to him several times. Jeri Newman is a woman. You have a picture of a curly hair British Shorthair. There is no such breed. Once a British SH is bred to a Selkirk Rex, it can only be a Selkirk Rex whether it has curly hair or straight hair. The You also have some grammar and spelling errors. Do you have someone that edits or verifies facts for your articles?

    Sarah Hartwell writes articles and runs the website Messybeast in Britain.
    While Messybeast will try to answer general email queries (or refer you to an appropriate source of information), it is not qualified to give veterinary or specialist advice. Please refer to the webpage:
    Sarah Hartwell is not a breeder or a geneticist. She has no knowledge of cat genetics.

    I understand your good intentions for the need to write articles whatever they may be but the articles that I have read about the dwarf cats and Selkirk Rex have several incorrect facts. People who read these articles will be misinformed and in my opinion this does not help but hinders the discussion about these 2 articles specifically the articles about the dwarf cats.

    I would suggest that you gain your information about genetics from U C Davis or Cornell University. I am sure Terri Harris would love to give you correct information about the dwarf breeds. Thank you for your time. Rebecca Warren owner of Purwaky Cattery

    • Dwarfism is not directly related to pectus excavatum or lordosis.

      I know and I have not said that. I have said there is a possibility of this disease occurring.

      About Jeri Newman, on the pages you refer to I have not referred to her as a man. Please tell me where I have done that. I can’t find this.

      You have a picture of a curly hair British Shorthair. There is no such breed.

      The cat you refer to is a Selkirk Rex! I simply don’t know what you are talking about. Please explain yourself. All your comments don’t make sense to me.

      I am very careful in my research. I appreciate your input and visitation to PoC but at the moment I can’t agree that your criticism is justified.

    • Hi Rebecca, thanks for visiting and commenting. I wrote this article about 6 years ago. It was one the first cat articles I wrote and I was very careful and respectful of the dwarf cats and the Dwarf Cat Association. I believe I was fair. The page was carefully researched. Sarah Hartwell can be relied upon to provide quality information and I have credited all the sources carefully. Not many people do that.

    • _To whom it may concern-
      Was it not clearly stated that not enough information has been tested & documented concerning Dwarf Cats? Let the experts research and carry out a genetic program to breed out the anomaly’s in cross-breeds to prevent future mistakes and then post your own Proffessional results to this reputable and respectable link for yourselves. No one knows all-that’s why we as humans share our thoughts-discoveries & concerns. As for the Photo of a >British SH is bred to a Selkirk Rex, it can only be a Selkirk Rex whether it has curly hair or straight hair.So what about the photo> It is still derived from the same gene pool_ is it not? correct me if I am wrong.And lastly-I must caveat on the typos which may be ” DISCOVERED” herein.I am handicapped. Every cat Lover who visits this web site enters for a good reason__Because right or wrong-they Love Cats *Let’s take ego out of the equation.

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