Norwegian Forest cats are predisposed to familial cardiomyopathy

There is a study on the Internet, published on October 30, 2014 on Sage Journals and another scientific journals, which is called Familial cardiomyopathy in Norwegian Forest cats. In their summary they start by saying that the NFC is often listed as a breed which is predisposed to cardiomyopathy. I interpret that as meaning hypertrophic cardiomyopathy which is commonly referred to as HCM. It is a very common heart disease in domestic cats, particularly certain cat breeds. The Maine Coon is also affected.

Norwegian Forest cats are predisposed to inherit familial cardiomyopathy
Norwegian Forest cats are predisposed to inherit familial cardiomyopathy. This is a beautiful NFC. The picture is here to illustrate the page and I have no evidence of a link between HCM and this individual cat. Pic in the public domain.

They concluded with the statement "Pedigree data analysis from 871 NFCs was supportive of familial cardiomyopathy in this breed."

The other words, they confirm that the NFC is predisposed to developing HCM. A health insurance website mentions HCM in the context of this breed so it will obviously affect the insurance premiums if you want to take out a health insurance policy for your NFC.

The insurance company (Embrace Pet Insurance) states that some people say that HCM is caused by a bad diet but this is not the case as it is caused by inheriting a genetic mutation.

If your veterinarian detects a heart murmur in your NFC, an echocardiogram carried out by a veterinary cardiologist will confirm whether or not he has HCM.

RELATED: a full page on the NFC.

You may think about ways to avoid this if you want to adopt an NFC. When you buy an NFC from a breeder can you insist that they confirm in writing that the kitten that you are buying is not predisposed to HCM?

A breeder might state that they can, to reassure you. But to the best of my knowledge nobody can guarantee that NFC kittens will not develop HCM. I could be wrong on that and no doubt a responsible breeder will have tests carried on their breeding cats.

The International Cat Association (TICA) state that there are no DNA detection tests specifically for HCM in NFCs. The disease has been diagnosed in cats as young as four months old and as old as 16. They say that regular echocardiogram screening is the best defence against HCM. That would appear to be the only defence against HCM.

On this basis a breeder cannot confirm in writing through DNA testing that their breeding cats are not going to give birth to kittens that are predisposed to the disease.

P.S. In the USA, UC Davis can DNA test for Erythrocyte Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency (PK Deficiency) and Glycogen Storage Disease type IV (GSD IV) in Norwegian Forest Cats.

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