About PRA

About PRA (Progressive retinal atrophy) in Siamese and Oriental cats

Jossan and Albert are tested negative for PRA (CEP290 PRA-rdAc). Father of Jossan’s kittens is also tested negative for the same mutation.

That is great news, it means that the kittens any of them parents will never become blind (caused by CEP290 PRA-rdAc), no matter whether the other parent is a carrier or not (this is an autosomal recessive condition).

About CEP290 PRA-rdAc:

The cats with two copies of the mutation have normal vision at birth.  Vision loss progresses slowly and is variable, with most cats becoming blind by usually 3-5 years of age. Some estimates are that 33% of Siamese and related breeds are carriers of the mutation, meaning that about 11% of them will eventually become blind later in life.

You can check which cats are tested so far and what the results are here for female cats and here for male cats. Click on [h] far right next to the cat’s name to see the test results.

Please observe: not everyone has tested their cats used in breeding programs yet. I have become aware of this in winter/spring 2011, after a study in Finland has been done. Also, not everyone is going to register the results in Pawpeds; not all the breeders are aware of the existence of the Pawpeds – the cat database. But more and more reports will arrive with time.

If you plan to mate your Siamese/Balinese/Oriental or buy a kitten from a breeder, make sure you know the PRA status of the cat in question. Carriers and PRA-negative cats will never develop PRA. Only homozygous cats will.

The goal is that with selective breeding where a carrier can be mated only with a non-carrier we will be able to minimize the appearance of the mutation within the Siamese gene pool.

We sent our cats’ DNA to Veterinary Genetics Laboratory, UC Davis, California. We got the results 8 days after the lab had received my letter with the samples. Read more about PRA here.

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