There is nothing more important for your kitten.
For me there is no other single most important thing when breeding cats or any animal for that matter. The priority of both my Ragdoll and Brit/Fold programs is first and foremost HEALTH, followed by temperament and then appearance. There will be show breeders who will crucify me for such a statement, however it is very easily justified in my mind and heart. Lets face it, we as breeders breed to improve our own cats absolutely but the majority and I mean around 90+% of the kittens we produce end up in families across the country as much loved pets so as far as I'm concerned I want peace of mind that those loving caring families get a healthy kitten who will live a long, healthy, happy life as part of their family. Sure sometimes things go wrong when dealing with living creatures and genetics, through no fault of anyone, even with stringent testing and health care regimes such as mine. However if something does go wrong it is how the breeder responds to it both internally regarding their breeding program and for their kittens' buyers which I believe makes a breeder a ‘reputable breeder’.
My investment in the health of my cats and the importance of the medical and genetic testing that I do runs deep. I see this an an issue far larger than my own cattery. I am proud to have been the instigator and an integral part of establishing the Murdoch University Feline Blood Bank here in Western Australia, a first of it's kind in Australia and one that has been responsible for saving the lives of many feline friends around Western Australia.
Testing and keeping abreast of scientific discoveries, treatments, diagnosis techniques and medical advancements are an absolute priority for me over the last 15 years of breeding cats I have proven time and time again how important these things are. Many breeders will tell you they ‘don’t need to test’, they ‘don't have any problems’, in my honest opinion they are simply ignorant to what is going on in their own catteries and perhaps simply archaic in their beliefs by refusing to adopt new technologies and advancements as they become available. The entire world around us is not the same as it was 30 years ago so why should the breeding principles, animal husbandry techniques and medical options of 30 years ago be valid today?
I extensively test to benefit my breeding program and therefore minimise the risk of kittens developing problems, weeks, months or years after leaving my care. I offer a health guarantee with every kitten sold that it will be guaranteed as free as possible of many diseases which are relevant to the specific breed or to all breeds.
So much can be done to prevent genetic disorders, disease and hereditary problems so why would any ethical breeder not take advantage of the testing that is currently available? All of my breeding cats are tested for many serious and even deadly genetic conditions and common diseases as well as temperament tested before they are considered worthy of entering my breeding programs.
Some of that testing includes but is not limited to the following:
FULL PCR (Upper Respiratory Disease)
• CHLAMYDOPHILA FELIS (Chlamydia)
• HERPES VIRUS
• MYCROPLASMA FELIS
• BORDETELLA BROCHISEPTICA
PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease PKD1)
HCM (Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy)
and various other genetic conditions which may or may not be evident in these breeds.