Laura asked in PetsCats · 10 years ago

Question Regarding White cats?

I have a white, yellow eyed kitten. She has a few dark hairs on her head. She is not deaf and has had a full vet check with no abnormalities. She has had her vaccinations.

The vet didn't suggest getting her spayed and I would like the option of breeding her in a couple of years. Depending on her health and temperament. She is an indoor cat who only goes in to the garden with myself or my husband.

If I were to breed her would I be risking breeding kittens with abnormalities? i.e deafness etc?

I would obviously make sure that the kittens have responsible homes to go to before breeding.

Can anyone offer any advice?

Thanks

Her dad is a BSH (Black)

Her Mom is Norwegian Forest cat cross (pure white) again no abnormalities in either

Update:

People have warned me that white cats are often deaf, mine is not and after a bit of research it seems that it is more common in white cats with blue eyes or dual color eyes.

I have a few family members and friends who have searched for white cats without any problems for quite some time so finding a home for the kittens would not be a problem.

As for there being plenty of cats in shelters, yes I understand this and I have given homes to many rescue animals in the past.

Update 2:

Again I asked for advice on genetics and the chance of breeding a deaf kitten! I am not a back yard breeder and the decision to breed from Belle would not be taken lightly and would not be done without full support from my vet, Whom I have used for the past 12 years on the

23 animals I have taken in from the RSPCA, CATs protection, and other abandoned animals. I currently have a dog who was left on my door step as local people know that I will take in any abandoned animal!

I am a responsible pet owner and do not need to be told about over crowded rescue centres etc.

14 Answers

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  • 10 years ago
    Best answer

    First I just want to say I too am surprised that your friends really cannot find a hearing white cat from a rescue. I'm sure I've seen some on some UK sites showing animals for adoption. I think if one is looking for a cat that is not the most common colour or pattern , the key is to try different rescue centres and keep checking again and again - - many of them have the cats online now, for example see catchat.org for links to many places, grouped geographically..

    I really don't like the idea of deliberately breeding cats right now except to preserve existing breeds. But oh well. It sounds like you are determined to breed some moggies. So given that, at least you are wanting to be careful about it and are working with your vet and doing research in advance.

    I hope you realise there is a good chance she'll have some NON-white kittens, and it's even possible for her to have a litter with NO white kittens, so you need to be sure that ANY kittens you produce, no matter what colour, are going to have loving forever homes with you or someone else you trust. Also you need to insist that if the people ever cannot keep these cats you must be notified and you will either take the cat back or have a chance to approve a new home their owner has found . (Having taken in 23 homeless animals I think you will follow that part of the ethics: )

    And before breeding, please do read in detail about cat reproduction so you can assist Belle if needed and so you at least know about the potential problems and can better assess what is going on and react . (and also you need to be sure you have the funds necessary if she should need an emergency c-section in the middle of the night.)

    OK, Deafness & White: Yes, the blue eyed white cats have a lot higher incidence of deafness (something like 60-80% vs 10-20% for white cats with non-blue eyes) A white cat having sound hearing, yellow/ copper eyes and a smudge of colour on top of her head as a kitten is not likely to pass on deafness to her kittens. Since you are wanting white kittens I assume you are looking for a white tomcat to be the sire. Especially if the potential sire is white with blue eyes, definitely get him the BAER test for any hearing impairment, even if it's obvious he is not completely deaf. ( In fact since you probably will be breeding 2 white cats, the more careful thing would be to make sure BOTH cats get tested, just in case there is some partial hearing impairment in which case do not breed them lest the kittens turn out entirely deaf.) Plus of course they need to be Neg for FIV & FeLV and he needs to be up to date on shots as she is. . If it's possible, find out about his parents and make sure their hearing was OK too.

    Whiteness: there are 2 main genes that could make a cat's coat white: they "mask" the cat's underlying colour & pattern with a white 'covering'. -- one, Dominant White (W), does it entirely (or almost so), the other one, the White Spotting Factor (S) AKA Piebald, is also a dominant gene but with variable expression (so a kitten who gets an S from a parent would have some white on their coat, but it can vary from just a few small patches of white all the way up to so much white spotting that the cat is entirely white.

    With Belle's mother being all white, her father being black and Belle herself being all white except for a few dark hairs on her head, I think it is more likely that she is Dominant White; Dominant White kittens sometimes have a smudge on the top of their head where the colour is incompletely masked; often this fades over time. Belle would be Ww, heterozygous for Dominant White, having got the W (dominant white) from the mother and a w (nonwhite) from the black BSH father. She can give a copy of either the W or the w to a kitten. Any of them who get the W from her are going to be white cats no matter what else they get from the sire. For any who get the w, it depends on whether the sire gives them a W or a w So they could all be white or potentially NONE could be white.

    Naturally there is a greater chance of white kittens if the sire also has Dominant White. Actually if the sire is homozygous for Dominant White (WW) then 100% of his kittens will be white. If both the sire and dam have Ww, then theoretically that means 75% white kittens, 25% some non-white colour Of course that is just theoretical / chances, in practice it's like a coin toss for each kitten. If you have info about the potential sire's ancestors and previous kittens he had sired, if any, that will of course help you know or guess about his genetics.

  • .
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    Absolutely no reason to breed a mixed breed cat what so ever. There are thousands of mixed breed cats in shelters. No reason to produce more.

    Edit: They your friends/family members aren't searching very hard. Shelters are full of white cats that aren't deaf/don't have any problems. 2 are sitting at my local shelter right now. If you know about the overcrowding in rescues why add to the problem. Sure they say they want a cat now that is until it comes time to take a kitten and all of a sudden they don't want it any more. If they truely want a hearing white cat they should have no problem finding one at the shelter

    There is also a good chance of her producing few if any white kittens. A solid what cat can be produced 2 different ways one being a recessive gene for white the other being a cat with the dominant white spotting gene that manifests in such a way to produce an all white cat. You have no way of knowing which your cat is

  • Bobbi
    Lv 4
    10 years ago

    I won't go into my usual spiel about backyard breeders and just answer the question...

    Given her generic background, she will probably not have kittens with issues. That said I have to ask if you have ever lived with a cat in heat? The yowling, and rolling, and wailing that she will do for up to 10 days as soon as she hits sexual maturity at around 6 months of age? It's not fun.

    Also, raising a litter of kittens is no walk in the park either. Did you know there is about a 2 week span of time where they are pooping and peeing on their own, but not yet using a litter box? They leave little messes EVERYWHERE and often get it all over themselves.

    If you want to experience the miracle of life, you can always adopt a stray cat from the shelter who is already pregnant. Where I live there are literally dozens of perfectly healthy kittens put down daily. Only 1 in 10 kittens born finds a home. Please don't take away another kitten's chances by breeding your cat.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    Maybe its more of a genetic thing, seeing as the dad was black and the mom was white and wasn't deaf and your cat is fine then the chances are she will bread healthy kittens, breading with another colored cat may make the chances even slimmer.

    My cats grandmother was a long haired white cat who was deaf, she had two kittens in one litter and they were both short haired white cat (both healthy NOT deaf). She then had another litter a couple years latter and had three kittens all white with a bit of black on the top of there head and one was deaf.

    I had my cat (the one in the picture) from one of her daughters in her first litter.

    I suppose its just a chance you take but as your isn't deaf and isn't in the family background (genetics) then you have a good chance of having "normal" kittens. I also defiantly think it is best to bread with a different coloured cat (the father that is), just to narrow it down even more.

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  • puma
    Lv 5
    10 years ago

    Dear Laura,

    Like you I have always been told that white blue eyed male cats are often hearing impaired and may be sterile, I have never researched this since all the cats in my life have been your basic "mutts". I can't give you a definite answer.

    Your cat has a Black Short Hair father and the mother is the Norwegian Forrest cat. There could be many possibilities as for the coloring of the kittens since the gene pools further back could contain any combination of colors and breeds. Since her father is black and she has some slight black hairs my guess and this is only a guess that she would probably have some black kittens and some white kittens. It would be interesting to see what combination would take place.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    I'm unsure why you suspect that her kittens would be abnormal?

    Also, what is your intention for breeding? Cat breeding is no longer very common because the vast majority of people have commonplace "domestic shorthair, domestic longhair" etc cats rather than breeding purebreeds.

    Sounds like your cat is a domestic shorthair, so if you're looking to sell kittens I'd hold off - there are tons of domestic shorthair, mediumhair, and longhair kittens in animal shelters that need homes.

  • 10 years ago

    Please reconsider your desire to breed your kitten. Every year, millions (yes, MILLIONS) of domestic cats and kittens are killed for no reason other than a lack of a home. Even if you ensure that any kitten your cat brings into this world has a home, that means one less home for a shelter cat in need. Please don't be part of of the pet over-population problem. Be part of the solution and have your kitten spayed.

  • Ocimom
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    Any cat (white or color) can be deaf. I've had a gold eye white born deaf. White cats have a higher chance of deafness, so yes its possible for her to have a deaf kitten.

    But since she is not a purebred cat, she never should be bred for any excuse. Spay her now.

  • 10 years ago

    The kittens would not necessarily be white. Given that your cat's father was black you might not get any white kittens, even if the father of the litter is white.

  • 10 years ago

    With thousands -even millions- of cats dying shelters and thousands running feral around the countryside, there really is no need...period...to be breeding a pet-quality domestic cat.

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