What You Need to Know About British Shorthair Health
All cats have the potential to develop genetic health problems, just as all people have the potential to inherit diseases. Any breeder who claims that her breed has no health or genetic problems is either lying or is not knowledgeable about the breed. Run, don’t walk, from any breeder who does not offer a health guarantee on kittens, who tells you that the breed is 100 percent healthy and has no known problems, or who tells you that her kittens are isolated from the main part of the household for health reasons.
The British Shorthair is generally healthy, but he’s prone to hypertophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and hemophilia B, a hereditary bleeding disorder. A DNA test has been developed that allows breeders to identify hemophilia B carriers or affected cats.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the most common form of heart disease in cats. It causes thickening (hypertrophy) of the heart muscle. An echocardiogram can confirm whether a cat has HCM. Avoid breeders who claim to have HCM-free lines. No one can guarantee that their cats will never develop HCM. British Shorthairs that will be bred should be screened for HCM, and cats identified with HCM should be removed from breeding programs. Do not buy a kitten whose parents have not been tested for this disease.
Do not buy from a breeder who does not provide a written health guarantee. Remember that after you’ve taken a new kitten into your home, you have the power to protect him from one of the most common health problems: obesity.
Keeping a British Shorthair at an appropriate weight is one of the easiest ways to protect his overall health. Make the most of your preventive abilities to help ensure a healthier cat for life.