Health Issues in Somali Cats

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The Somali cat is a blend of the athletic and confident Abyssinian cat with the glamour which can only be found in the longhaired cat. The Somali kitty has an attractive wild look. It can be identified by big ears, masked face, and full ruff. There will be britches on its legs, and the tail will be a busy one. The coat can be either a rosy color or in blue, red or fawn.

PK deficiency

Somali cats, like all other cat breeds, may develop a certain hereditary health issue known as pyruvate kinase deficiency. This could be a matter of concern, especially if you buy your cat from an unknown breeder. Pyruvate kinase is an important regulatory enzyme in sugar metabolism. Any cat lacking in PK generally suffer from intermittent anemia. This deficiency can show up in young Somali cats from as early as six months of age. It may also affect cats up to 12 years old. A recessive gene is the cause of this hereditary problem. You can do a DNA test on your Somali cat to find out whether it is a normal feline or a carrier of PK. The cat may also suffer from PK. Testing for PK is essential as breeding away the problem will be better for Somali cats.

Genetic testing

It is to be noted that not all PK-deficient cats develop tell-tale clinical signs. These include lethargy, lack of appetite. Pale gums, and depression. There could be many other problems too like renal amyloidosis, progressive retinal atrophy (an eye disease), and myasthenia gravis, a certain neuromuscular condition. The retinal problem may end in blindness. Always ask the breeder whether both the parents of the kitty have undergone genetic testing, and the person must give a written guarantee of the same. Never buy from a breeder who will not give you the guarantee. After you bring the Somali cat to your home, it is your responsibility to protect the animal from obesity. Keeping a cat of the Somali breed in its correct weight is the easiest path to keep the animal healthy. Prevent the cat from eating too much food.

A Somali cat is a curious kitty. It is athletic and extremely active. This kitty also loves to play. The cat will always move around and will spend the day time climbing heights. It will explore every part of the home. It will perch high up and supervise your activities. As an owner, it is your responsibility to supply your Somali kitty with puzzle toys which force it to think. You can use a clicker to train it. It is a good idea to train your cat to do an agility course.

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