Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) in Cat. IV Cats.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is an inherited, late-onset blindness not only found in Abyssinian, Somali and Ocicat breeds but also in the Siamese and related breeds (Oriental Shorthair, Balinese, Oriental Longhair, Seychellois & Peterbald). It is typically characterised by a progressive degeneration of photoreceptors in the eye. A mutation in a gene called CEP290 has been found to be associated with PRA in the above mentioned breeds. It is normal for photoreceptors to develop after birth to about 8 weeks of age. However in kittens affected with PRA, the photoreceptors develop, but as the cat ages, the photoreceptors degenerate, leading initially to night blindness and progressing to total blindness at around 3-5 years of age. PRA is inherited as an autosomal recessive disorder, meaning that two copies of the mutation are needed for the disease to occur. Carriers of only one copy of the mutation are not affected and will have normal vision. A simple cheek swab will enable breeders to identify both carriers and affected animals and plan breed programs accordingly.

June 2011 - The FIFe Health & Welfare Commission has updated the Appendix I for the Breeding & Registration Rules on Recommended genetic tests before breeding. The DNA-test for PRA is applicable for Cat. IV cats and it's highly recommended that breeders test their cats as the mutation has been found in a considerable part of cats in category IV. The Ophthalmic examination is listed in the new Appendix II - Obligatory and recommended health examinations.  See how PRA inherits