Multiple factors should be considered when selecting a Siberian for a breeding program. Each cattery will have different goals, but should still go through the same decision process. Start by using the following list and choosing which factors are the most or least important for your breeding program. Prioritize and list the following issues in order prior to purchasing breeding sires and dams. We recommend families use this same list to help select a pet and cattery.
- Show Quality
- Conformation to Standard
- Color or Pattern
- Genetic Health Risks
- Cattery Health Risks
- Low Allergen Levels
It is not possible to eliminate genetic diseases in any breed, but it can be minimized by responsible breeders. We encourage breeders to study the diseases that have been found in Siberians, and how they are passed to offspring. Veterinary examinations of sires and dams should always screen for these concerns. SRI has compiled health records on hundreds of Siberians, and studied the lines involved. As in many cat breeds, the most common genetic concerns that have shown in Siberians are:
- HCM ~ Hypertropic cardiomyopathy
- PKD ~ Polycystic kidney disease
- FLUTD ~ Urinary crystals
- FGS ~ Feline gingivitis-stomatitis
- KIT ~ Cancer in solid white Siberians
Cat Allergies & Siberians
Roughly half of Siberians have lower allergen levels than other breeds. Perhaps 20% of Siberians have allergen levels that are low enough to place in homes with severe or life threatening allergic reactions. Large scale testing by SRI have proven that low allergen parents have mostly low-allergen kittens. Not all kittens from a low-allergen mating will have low levels of Fel-d1.
Reducing allergens should not be the only quality for selection of breeding Siberians, but this unique characteristic should be maintained in the breed. In conjunction with UC Davis and Tom Lundberg, Siberian Research developed methods for testing breeding age cats with fur or saliva.
- Allergen Testing Errors
- Instructions for Testing Saliva
- Instructions for Testing Fur
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