Image supplied by Animal Photography
A short-haired cat with striking blue eyes.
Health and welfare issues
There have been problems reported from if these blue-eyed cats are bred together as this causes lethal mutations and deformed kittens which are born dead. It is reported that when the gene is homozygous it causes cranial deformities, white fur, a small curled tail, and stillbirth. However, when the gene is heterozygous, those lethal genetic mutations do not manifest.
International Cat Care’s position is that, despite being a most attractive feature of these cats, a breed must be based on sound health, where the combination of two of the animals with blue eyes should not result in severe problems.
We have limited the information about inherited disorders to those conditions that are known and proven to exist within a breed. For many breeders and many conditions, insufficient information may be available at this time to know whether any particular breed is necessarily free of any particular condition.
In general, pedigree breeds use a much smaller gene pool for breeding than domestic cats and therefore have a higher risk of developing inherited disorders. In addition, a number of ‘newer’ pedigree breeds are derived from matings between one or more ‘older’ breeds, and in these situations perpetuation of inherited problems that were seen in older breeds is likely within the newer breeds.