Unfortunately, still many people close their eyes and turn a deaf ear to HCM with statements such as:
- each cat is going to die one day
- tests are not safe enough
- vets just want to make money
There are some very good cardiologists who can perform these echocardiograms with reliable results. Unfortunately, you can never be totally sure when HCM is going to appear. Since HCM is inherited as an autosomal dominant trait, this means that each cat bearing the HCM gene will also be suffering from the disease. It cannot be inherited recessively over generations. It also means that each cat diagnosed with HCM has at least one parent with HCM. The best time for echocardiogram tests is at the age of 2 years for males and 3 years for females. If they will be tested negative, you can be 99% sure that they will remain HCM-negative. However, it needs to be taken into account if HCM had already been appreared in the family in the past or among the kittenīs generation and if the parents had been tested at the appropriate age. Many cardiologists say that mostly already at the age of one year, it can be confirmed whether or not a cat will suffer from HCM and usually, at that time, our cats do not have kittens yet. At least we can say that we did the utmost best at that time, although it was just a glimpse of the moment!
Therefore, I would like to appeal to every NFO breeder and ask him to have his animals tested by an echocardiogram, because in each cats pedigree there are ancestors which have been put onto the so called hotlist for HCM. Of course, I am scared too that one of my cats might be tested positive when I have them tested, after already two of my cats had been positive or still are, and I believe that most people fear a possible positive result which makes them refrain from having their cats tested. The more irresponsible it is when breeding is being continued and HCM can further be inherited.
We have sent Nuchaīs blood to the U.S. and I will also send Faramirīs DNA there to support researches for looking for the gene responsible for HCM. Having isolated this gene would allow to recognize it with a simple blood test and to exclude the cat from breeding. For these researches, the foundation still needs more blood samples which had been tested positive. You will find a link to the foundation among my useful links as well as a list of cats which have been already tested at the end of this text.
Please do not keep on closing your eyes but make an appointment with a cardiologist and have your cats tested, so that together, one day we will manage to safe future owners of our wonderful NFOs from the grief which I have already had to suffer twice;-(. At least I will contribute my utmost possibilities to have all my cats tested before their first breeding. I am thankful for any breeder taking responsibility at this point, just as I and fortunately some others do, having his cats tested and running his breeding in a consistent and responsible manner!